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Lack of Sunshine

It's that time of year again!

The lack of sunshine, lack of Vitamin D and "the blues" are all related.  Actually, "the blues" can be more that just a bad day and should be taken seriously.  While the cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not completely understood, it is no longer a contested condition.

For those who "suffer" from SAD, the consequences are not in dispute.  For each day without sunshine, the more disagreeable one gets.  In addition, work becomes a chore:  undpredictable, not working well, operate unreliablly-all phrases associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

According to webmd.com, there are two types of Seasonal Disorder:  one is referred to as "Winter Depression", the other is "Summer Depression".  More is know about the former.  One of the leading theories is that the serotonin level reduces in fall/winter months.   Serotonin levels can contribute to weight gain, depression and fatigue.

There are various approaches that can reduce the symptoms mentioned above: get as much outside morning light as possible, some doctors recommend using a "light box" (your doctor will help determine if necessary or helpful), eat a well-balanced diet despite the craving for increased carbohydrates, exercise at least 30 minutes a day (three times a week) and stay connected with your social circle.

Most importantly, do not dismiss these feelings as "feeling blue".  If your "blues" last for any extended period of time, be sure to contact your physician for assistance.  It's not "in your head" and can make getting through Winter a more pleasant, effective and productive experience!

Published Sunday, December 26, 2010 1:29 PM by Sheila Bell

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