Seasonal affective disorder symptoms How to Manage? The few winter days can seem to drag on forever for those who reside in colder, more wintry locations. The cold and lack of sunlight, especially in January and February, can start to wear on the body, both physically and mentally.
Unfortunately, seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short, is a rather prevalent affliction for people who live in higher latitudes with colder, wintery temperatures and noticeably shorter, darker winter days.
- 1 What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
- 2 How to Manage Disorder Naturally
- 3 Foods Rich in Vitamin D
- 4 Vitamin D3 Supplements
- 5 Here are some of our favorite Vitamin D Supplements:
- 6 Here are some recommended light boxes for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder:
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The unofficial name for seasonal sadness is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Higher latitudes are where it is more prevalent (where winter months are colder and darker than places closer to the equator). Therefore, it is considerably more typical for people who reside in Canada than in Florida, for instance. Teenagers and women are more likely to experience it.
Reduced exposure to sunshine is a major contributor to seasonal affective disorder.
Why that matters for more than simply our tans is as follows: Sunlight is how most people receive their vitamin D. In addition to being vital to healthy body operation, vitamin D also significantly affects immunity and mood. Because sunlight provides the majority of our vitamin D, less sunlight during the winter months can lead to levels dropping too low, especially in the later winter months.
feelings of sadness or hopelessness
reduced interest in hobbies or social activities
increased appetite and carb cravings
In order to identify the underlying reason for any symptoms you may be having, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor because the symptoms of SAD can also be brought on by other health issues.
How to Manage Disorder Naturally
If you reside in a colder, wintery area, it may not be entirely possible to fully prevent the major cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder (loss of sunlight in winter months), but there are some straightforward, natural “remedies” that might help alleviate its effects:
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Actually, there aren’t many dietary sources with enough vitamin D in them. Our main and most effective source of it is the sun.
Unfortunately, modern lifestyles have us spending more time indoors than at any other time in human history (thanks, office job!). As a result, even during the summer, many of us are not obtaining the recommended quantities of vitamin D from sunlight. (Since the human body can store vitamin D for months, getting the right amount of exposure during the summer will help you get through the winter with less sun exposure.)
It’s a good idea to include additional vitamin D-rich foods in your diet if you aren’t getting enough vitamin D through sunlight. Though scarce, there are a few particular foods that are high in this vitamin, most of which have been used for centuries by populations without access to year-round sunshine:
Fatty fish: salmon, sardines, herring, tuna
Oysters & shrimp
Egg yolks (Note: Eggs from pasture-raised chickens—those roaming outside in sunlight—contain 3-4 times the vitamin D as those raised indoors. Look for “pasture-raised” on the label, which is not the same as “cage-free.”)
Cod liver oil
Fortified foods: cow’s milk, soy milk, and cereals are often fortified with vitamin D, though usually at lower levels than natural sources
D2, which is present in plants and yeasts, and D3, which is present in animal products, are the two kinds of vitamin D that can be received from food sources. D3 works better at increasing vitamin D levels in the blood.
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Vitamin D levels can be maintained over the winter by eating more foods high in the vitamin. But if you can’t consume enough of these items on a daily basis to acquire adequate vitamin D… Taking vitamins is another choice.
Vitamin D3 Supplements
Taking a vitamin D pill is one of the simplest ways to compensate for the lack of sunlight throughout the winter. The best person to ask about your recommended daily intake is your doctor, but in general, we strive for up to 4,000 IU each day.
Keep in mind that animal sources are generally slightly more effective than plant and yeast sources at raising blood levels of vitamin D.