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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

What we should know about SAD

By Dr. Brindusa Vanta, B.Sc, M.D (Euro)

According to American Psychiatric Association (APA) symptoms of depression that come during the colder months can be associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This mood disorder is often attributed to the lack of light during the colder months of the year, especially January and February. SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain brought on by the shortening of daylight hours and lack of sunlight in the winter. Younger persons and women are thought to be at higher risk. There is also evidence to suggest that the farther someone lives from the equator, the more likely they are develop SAD.

Symptoms that may be associated with SAD include:

 Excessive sleeping, difficulty staying awake, overeating and weight gain during the fall or winter months
 Feelings of extreme fatigue, inability to maintain regular lifestyle schedule
 Depression (feelings of sadness, loss of feelings, apathy) combined with irritability
 Lack of interest in social interaction, losing interest in activities of enjoyment
 Remission of symptoms in the spring and summer months

In a very small number of cases, annual relapse occurs in the summer instead of the fall and winter, possibly in response to heat and humidity. During that period, the depression is more likely to be characterized by insomnia, decreased appetite, weight loss, and agitation or anxiety.

Those suffering from mild cases of SAD can benefit from additional exposure to the sun. This can include a long walk outside or arranging your home or office so that you are exposed to a window during the day.

For many suffering from more severe cases of the condition, light therapy (photo therapy) has a proven effective treatment option. Additional relief has been found with psychotherapy sessions, and in some cases, prescription of antidepressants.

Visit Dr. Brindusa Vanta at Wellness for the Body to learn more about natural, effective forms of therapy for SAD.

American Psychiatric Association website: www.healthyminds.org

The Whole Grain on Carbohydrates

By Nancy Zivkovic, CNP, RNCP

Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat. These include a variety of breads, pasta products and ready-to-eat cereals.

Whole grains are considered healthy carbohydrates and should be the basis for many healthy meals and snacks.

Mistakenly carbohydrates are thought as fattening. Whole grain products can easily fit into a healthy eating plan without leading to weight gain. Excess calories lead to weight gain, not simply the carbohydrates found in grains. However, watch out for grain products laden with sugar and fat — such as pastries and dessert breads — as they're high in calories and provide few nutrients.

Consider these ways to incorporate whole grains into every meal every day:

Enjoy breakfasts that include high-fiber cereals such as slow cooked oatmeal, cream of brown rice, shredded wheat, and cereals made from ancient grains such as millet, quinoa, teff and kamut
  Substitute whole-wheat toast for 100% whole wheat, 100% rye, spelt, or brown rice toast
  Make sandwiches with whole-grain breads such as 100% whole wheat, 100% rye, spelt or Ezekiel bread and tortillas
  Expand your grain repertoire with whole-grain complements such as millet, quinoa (keen-wa), kasha, brown rice, wild rice, spelt and kamut
  Feature wild rice or barley in soups, stews, casseroles and salads
  Add whole grains, such as cooked brown rice, or whole-grain bread crumbs to ground meat or poultry for extra body
  Sprinkle ground flaxseed over salads, soups, yogurt or cereals

waterbottleRefer a Friend Program

A Special Thanks - Free Polycarb Bottle!

As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a free polycarb sport bottle when you refer a friend as a new client! Be sure to tell your friend to mention your name when they come in for their first appointment.

Thought of the Month

"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties"
--- Anonymous



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