When you hear the acronym SAD, you would rightly assume that it is referring to the Standard American Diet. But there is another SAD which is also important to talk about – Seasonal Affective Disorder. What is this particular SAD? Think “winter blues.” Many people notice a change in the way they feel at the start of the colder season – lethargy, weight gain, loss of libido, difficulty concentrating, and even low grade depression. Some may have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, sleep longer, crave carbohydrates and feel less joy in everyday activities. Continue reading “Feeling the Winter Blues?”
Strep infections are known to trigger autoimmune disorders, affecting millions worldwide (Aran et al 2011). Recently, researchers from Stanford University found an association between post-strep autoantibodies and an enzyme involved in insulin degradation and insulin resistance (Aran et al 2011). The autoantibodies attack the enzyme and decrease insulin degradation and correlate with higher insulin levels and insulin resistance.
Aran et al (2011) have shown these post-strep autoantibodies are also associated with metabolic syndrome, Continue reading “Strep, Insulin and Depression”
The darker days of winter can take a toll emotionally and mentally on many people. For some, feeling down and the longing for warm sunshine is constant and can be accompanied by symptoms like fatigue, weight gain and irritability. This feeling is referred to appropriately as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a type of depression that is common during winter months.
The cause of SAD isn’t absolutely clear. However, research indicates that lack of sunlight and the roles of two neurotransmitters, serotonin and melatonin, may have a part in the onset of this disorder.
Serotonin is known as the “feel good hormone” and helps to regulate our moods. Continue reading “Strategies to Lift Your Mood and Help with SAD”
A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry has found that combining omega-3, SAM-e or vitamin D with antidepressants increases the effectiveness of the antidepressants for people with clinical depression.
Researchers examined 40 clinical trials and found that people who took these supplements along with their antidepressants had fewer depressive symptoms compared to those taking the antidepressants alone.
The strongest finding was that omega-3 fish oil, in combination with antidepressants, had a statistically significant effect over a placebo.
Continue reading “Omega-3 Boosts Effectiveness of Antidepressants”
Some people know the third Monday in January as Blue Monday, because it is supposed to be the saddest day of the year. For a number of people, the winter blues aren’t just limited to one day. SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a type of depression that affects people in the winter months because of the darkness from shorter days and grayer skies. Less natural sunlight, shorter days and colder weather can really affect your mood. It has been estimated that as many as 9% of U.S. adults experience symptoms of SAD. It is more common in women than men, and in the north than the south.
Symptoms of SAD can be low energy, anxiety attacks, weight gain, sleeping too much, and decreased libido, all of which typically begin in the late fall and alleviate in the spring. But here is the good news. People with SAD often respond very well to light therapy (phototherapy) and vitamin D supplementation, as well as other forms of natural medicine. Be sure to talk to your doctor about symptoms you are experiencing, for a proper diagnosis. Continue reading “Fight the Winter Blues Naturally”