Does winter time have you feeling oddly blue, out of sorts, tired, and just plain unhappy?
The cooler months provide less hours of sun light and keep you inside feeling cooped up. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a common seasonal depression that leaves you feeling down in the dumps. It is more common in northern climates, such as Minnesota where it remains cold for many months and we get less sun exposure. Some people withdraw socially, have trouble concentrating, or have less energy. Is there a way around it? Can I stop being Blue? In this article I’ll discuss why chiropractors focus on your energy and vitamins, how to fight SAD, and why you need to be aware of your health.
Are There People Up North Who Don’t Get The Winter Blues?
Yes, not everyone experiences the winter blues or SAD. Different types of skin color absorb vitamin D from the sun at different rates. If you have darker skin it will take 2-3 times longer to make enough vitamin D. If you get normal sun exposure (10-15 minutes several times a week) during the summer months, your skin will naturally produce vitamin D which is stored in your body fat. The key is you need 50-75% of your skin exposed without sunscreen for 15 minutes per day. However, by living in Minnesota we cannot get enough vitamin D in the winter months. The UV Index does not get high enough from October to April.
Why Do Chiropractors Focus On Energy And Vitamins?
Chiropractors not only look at your spine, which is your life-line, we look at the total well-being of your health. This includes nutritional areas such as a lack of vitamins that may be of concern. During the colder months when you can’t get out in the sunshine, it is easier to just stay inside and eat comfort foods. To avoid SAD, make sure you try to stay active and eat nutritious, balanced, whole foods. This helps lift your mood, energy, and boosts your serotonin levels, the feel good hormone. You can keep your energy up by eating small meals every few hours. Replace processed, packaged, fast foods and refined foods (which can deplete your body’s vitamins and minerals) with natural fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and protein. Getting a good night sleep at the same regular hours is also important to peak energy. As well as staying hydrated by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Supplementing with the right vitamins can also give you higher energy. Most people know that taking vitamin B helps with energy levels. Studies have also shown vitamin D helps make energy and is related to a leaner body mass. Vitamin D also helps control blood sugar, helps with heart function, builds strong muscles and bones, helps the immune system, protects against cancer and auto immune disease, as well as helping brain function and mood.
If SAD Hits, Is There Any Way To Fight It?
Increasing vitamin D3 levels may help fight depression and sadness. The coldness of winter prevents you from the best method, lying out in the sun to absorb the sun rays. However, food offers some vitamin D sources. You can find it in egg yolk, salmon, herring, mackerel, beef, Swiss cheese, and shiitake mushrooms. You can also help your body produce more vitamin D by using a light box with full-spectrum light bulbs that can mimic the effects of the sun. Another great way to increase your vitamin D levels is to supplement. Make sure to supplement with vitamin D3 as this is what is absorbed properly in your body. Recommended dose is taking your body weight times 20 for the proper IU per day. (Example: 150 lbs = 3000 i.u. per day)
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Other Problems?
Yes, when your body doesn’t produce or have sufficient amount of vitamin D it can have an impact on a host of other health concerns. Vitamin D deficiency has been blamed for Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, influenza, osteoarthritis, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and cardiovascular disease. A deficiency can also cause symptoms such as, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, weight gain, high blood pressure, or getting sick easily.
How Do You Know If You Have A Vitamin D Deficiency Or Not?
No need to guess, a simple blood test from your primary doctor can quickly give you an answer. Optimal levels are between 50-70 ng/ml.
Why Worry About Your Health Or Vitamin D Levels When You’re Healthy?
At Oasis Chiropractic PA we educate our patients on what would give them overall better health and wellness. It makes more sense to look at the cause of a health problem and resolve it versus focusing on the symptoms. If there is a nutritional deficiency it is important to treat it now so future health problems don’t arise
Click on the link below where I explain more on why we focus on wellness at Oasis Chiropractic.
Back to you…
If you are aware that you had the winter blues and found solutions other than what I mentioned above please share with our readers below.