Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that usually begins in the fall and continues throughout winter months. Symptoms include feeling sad or anxious, fatigue, concentration problems, irritability and feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Although the exact cause of SAD is unclear, numerous studies have suggested the condition may be triggered by lack of sunlight. SAD is more common among people who live at high latitudes or areas with lots of clouds (Southwestern PA). One hypothesis behind SAD is that reduced sunlight exposure interferes with the body’s biological clock that regulates mood, sleep and hormones. Another theory is that lack of sunlight causes an imbalance of neurotransmitters– such as dopamine and serotonin– which regulate mood. Vitamin D levels fluctuate with the changing seasons in response to available sunlight. Studies have found that depressed patients commonly had lower levels of vitamin D. The average annual sunshine percentage for Pittsburgh PA is 45%, or 2021 hours of sunshine. That is about 164/365 days per year, which creates a problem for many. Intrigued? Keep reading! Many people take no vitamins at all and most of those who do, purchase them from grocery stores, pharmacies or health food stores. The problem is that the bulk of those vitamins are made synthetically, lifeless chemicals that skip the whole process of nature. Nature never produces nutrients in isolation! Laboratory-produced synthetic substitutes were never meant to be assimilated apart from their natural form in food. Ideally, whole foods are best for consumption by the human body. Whole food supplements are free from additives and combine all of the enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals and other elements, which work synergistically. They are produced with the belief that the loser to nature a product is, the more beneficial it is to the consumer. I wholeheartedly agree and use whole food supplements for myself and my family, including my children. If you think that you or someone you care about may be suffering form SAD, please share this information with them.Remember, be certain that if you decide to purchase vitamins, they are whole food, so that you receive the maximum benefit. If its synthetic, your body wont absorb it.

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