Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Dr. Rick Tague

Are you prepared to face the “Winter Blues”?

Everyone tends to feel a little “blah” when the days are short and cold, but for some people seasonal change brings with it something more serious than the blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression that 20% of Americans struggle with.

If you experience some of the following symptoms during the fall and winter months, you may be affected by SAD:

Increased appetite
Carbohydrate cravings
Social withdrawal

Genetics, age, and your body’s natural chemical makeup can all play a role, however the specific cause of SAD is unknown. A few other factors that can also contribute include:

Your biological clock
The reduced level of sunlight in the fall and winter months may disrupt your body’s internal clock, which lets you know when you should sleep or be awake. This disruption can lead to feelings of depression.

Serotonin levels
Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s associated with mood and helps control hunger.  Serotonin drops can increase appetite and also trigger depression.

Melatonin levels
The change of season can disrupt the balance of the natural hormone melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.  Melatonin supplementation may be needed.

Vitamin D deficiency
SAD symptoms often improve during the spring/summer months when more sunlight is available, and your body can manufacture higher levels of Vitamin D. Several studies have shown that persons with SAD that receive optimal Vitamin D experience relief of their symptoms. In fact, one study showed that SAD patients taking Vitamin D for just 5 days reported feeling more enthusiastic, inspired, alert, active, and attentive. Those that did not receive the Vitamin D experienced more stress, health complaints, nervousness, and irritability. All of Dr. Tague’s Nutrition Solutions’ protocols include as a priority keeping our patients Vitamin D levels optimal, especially during the winter months.

“Essentially everyone living north of Texas needs supplemental Vitamin D to maintain optimal Vitamin D, which is mandatory for optimal health. Available in our online Nutriton Store  or Center for Nutrition clinics, most adults should take 2 capsules of natural Vitamin D-3 per day and have blood levels monitored periodically. Wishing you optimal health….” Rick Tague MD

Dr. Tague’s Nutrition Solutions program can help you beat this years “Winter Blues”! Whether you have 10 lbs or 100 lbs, our mission is to empower you to reach optimal weight, metabolic health, and wellness. Sign up today for a Free Consultation!

Nutritional Resources

Vitamin D-3 Vitamin D3

Melatonin Melatonin

Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M. is a nutrition & weight loss specialist and the Founder & Medical Director of the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, P.A.

Dr. Tague is an Alpha Omega Alpha honors graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Tulane. Dr. Tague is board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. His medical practice has focused on optimum health, nutrition, and weight loss since 1996.

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