Medical Medium Blog

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Have you or a loved one ever been given a seasonal affective disorder (SAD) diagnosis? Although this label has grown in popularity, there is a great deal of misinformation surrounding SAD which is preventing people from getting the correct answers to their health issues. If you’ve been diagnosed with SAD, consider it a red flag that something else is going on in your body that needs to be addressed. Many well-meaning doctors and practitioners give a patient a SAD diagnosis but they don’t actually know the true cause. The individual suffering must dig deeper to figure out the actual root causes of their health issues. That’s what I am here to share with you. 

SAD-related Symptoms

People who are given the SAD label may experience symptoms such as listlessness, low energy, fatigue, aches and pains, arthritis, sadness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, nervousness, and a feeling of disconnect. These symptoms can vary in intensity. For example, someone may experience mild depression, while another person may feel suicidally depressed. 

For many people, the symptoms grow more severe over time, and someone who once felt a slight tiredness throughout winter may struggle to lift up their arms or move their legs due to the emergence of severe fatigue just a few winters later. Another person may encounter low energy and a feeling of disconnection every winter for ten years before enduring an exceptionally bad winter filled with a variety of symptoms including severe fatigue and depression, aches and pains, and tingles and numbness. At this point, a practitioner would most likely look past the SAD tag and try to find out what’s really going on. If the practitioner had explored the patient’s more mild symptoms initially and put the patient on a healing protocol sooner, the patient could have potentially avoided suffering to such a degree. If you or a loved one notice symptoms, regardless of what season they occur in, a thorough search for the true, underlying causes should take place. Do not let a label be thrown on your symptom just because it arises in the middle of winter. There is another reason why you are experiencing a so-called SAD-related symptom.

Identifying the Underlying Causes

If your practitioner blames your depression or aches and pains on SAD, they do not understand what’s truly going on in your body to trigger these issues. Perhaps these issues are too subtle to be detected through tests and instead of saying “I don’t know,” the doctor tells you it’s SAD. If you are struggling with depression, you may have toxic heavy metals in your brain that need to be detoxed. You most likely have a sluggish liver that needs cleansing as well. If you are experiencing severe aches and pains then it’s most likely a viral issue that needs to be addressed. Do you have shingles or cytomegalovirus? Could it be Epstein-Barr virus-related?
As the information I share becomes more well-known, these are just a few of the questions doctors and practitioners should begin to ask their patients to discover what’s really behind the mystery symptoms their patients are suffering with.

It may be surprising to learn that many of the SAD-related symptoms are actually neurological. Depression, melancholy, loneliness, hopelessness, feeling lost or disconnected— all of these symptoms are neurological. Other neurological symptoms include anxiety, nervousness, focus and concentration issues, and aches and pains. Even if your depression is set off by the loss of a loved one, it is still neurological because your nervous system is affected by that loss. Betrayal, a disastrous communication breakdown, and other emotional hurts impact our brain and nervous system as well. Other symptoms, like weight gain, can stem from a stagnant liver  that's grown more congested due to a period of poor food choices, exposure to toxins, a low-grade viral issue, or the buildup of toxins in the organ throughout one’s life. Symptoms can also stem from many other possible issues. You can read about The Unforgiving Four behind almost all illnesses today in my book Life-Changing Foods.

How The Seasons Can Affect Underlying Health Issues

It’s possible that certain aspects of each season can highlight underlying health issues that you or a loved are already dealing with, especially if they are very sensitive. Lack of sunlight, freezing temperatures, the contrast between cool, damp outside air and very dry, warm inside environments, and constant wind or snow do not support your health as much as mild temperatures and sunshine. But it’s not the seasons themselves that are the cause of symptoms. For example, someone who has terrible sinus issues during the winter may experience worse symptoms when their house is filled with dry heat. Although the actual sinus issues were already present, the dry heat exacerbated the issue. The real cause maybe streptococcus or scar tissue in their sinus from a sinus infection thirty years prior. Regardless of what the reason may be, the season's only call attention to already present health issues.

Often during the springtime, our livers will detox and start to push out viral byproduct, heavy metals, pesticides, plastics, and other toxins clogging up this vital organ. When these toxins enter the bloodstream, they can trigger depression, anxiety and other symptoms throughout the spring and summer months, which people typically associate with SAD. If someone were to diagnose you with SAD because of these symptoms, they would be missing the true cause— your liver detoxing. In the fall, the spleen tends to detox for most people and some people will experience additional liver detox as well.

The immense air pollution during humid summer heat waves can also aggravate any underlying issues people are experiencing. The air contains less oxygen and possesses an immense amount of toxins, such as radiation and heavy metals. If you’re dealing with with symptoms such as fatigue or edema, your issues could easily be more pronounced during this period.

People may also experience SAD-labeled symptoms in the fall and winter months because people’s diet and exercise choices tend to shift. Even health-minded people don’t always make ideal food choices around Thanksgiving and holiday parties, and people who are active during the warmer months, may not get out to exercise as often once the weather changes. Because of these different choices, the liver may grow a little more clogged, the blood may get a little thicker, less oxygen may travel to the brain, and existing health issues can be triggered. When these problems emerge, instead of looking at potential viral issues, toxic heavy metals in the system, or other possible causes, doctors may incorrectly blame the time of year and give someone a SAD label. 

Healing Supplements & Teas

If you’ve been diagnosed with SAD, your doctor or practitioner may have urged you to begin taking a vitamin D supplement. While vitamin D3 can be beneficial, there are many other supplements that offer even greater support for people looking to support SAD-related symptoms. 

Zinc helps strengthen the immune system and is a critical supplement for anyone who’s been given a SAD label. Liquid zinc sulfate is an incredible option and a recommended brand for this zinc and the other supplements below can be found on the Medical Medium preferred supplements page. If you’d prefer to take zinc picolinate, that’s another option as well. It is best to avoid zinc supplements that are filled with preservatives such as citric acid. 

A B-12 supplement that contains both adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin is another essential addition to consider. Many symptoms connected with the SAD label such as depression, anxiety, feeling disconnected, aches and pains, and focus and concentration are neurological, and B-12 is a highly supportive supplement for the central nervous system. Weight gain, another SAD-labeled symptom, is often times linked to a sluggish liver which could benefit from B-12 supplementation. 

Spirulina contains an array of powerful nutrients and will provide amazing support for anyone dealing with fatigue, a viral load, or heavy metals. If you’re concerned about deficiencies, bringing spirulina into your life can be helpful. 

Lemon balm is a fantastic nerve tonic. If your SAD-labeled symptoms are actually low-grade Epstein-Barr, chronic fatigue, shingles, streptococcus, or another unwanted bug, lemon balm is an antiviral and antibacterial powerhouse. It can also relax and strengthen the central nervous system. 

Depending on the type of symptoms you are experiencing, you may want to try out goldenseal for a week or two and see whether it’s antiviral and antibacterial qualities are beneficial for your unique health issues. 

Eyebright is another antiviral and antibacterial herb that can offer support by acting as a blood cleanser. 

Bringing red clover into your protocol is another way to help clean the blood. You can try drinking a daily mug of red clover blossom tea throughout the winter to help clean the blood and support the liver. 

Nettle leaf can calm nerves, bring down inflammation and potentially reduce aches and pains.

Turmeric can provide support as well. A simple glass of turmeric tea with a squeeze of lemon or some ginger if desired can be another of the many secret weapons used to combat SAD-labeled symptoms.

Healing Foods

Make sure your bring life-filled foods into your diet. In the winter months it is especially easy to forget about the fresh fruits you may have enjoyed during the summertime or early fall such as strawberries, blackberries, and apples. These foods that we may have enjoyed earlier in the year protect our nervous system and our overall health. Keeping fruit in your diet year around is essential. During the blustery winter months remember that the fruit you are consuming still harbors the sunlight required for it to ripen, even if it was grown and shipped from a different country. Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables you may remember eating during the summertime, such as red leaf lettuce or green leaf lettuce. Other wonderful foods to consume include fresh spinach, celery, celery juice, cucumbers, avocados, oranges, walnuts, and hemp seeds

Often times depression, anxiety, mood swings, and focus and concentration issues are related to toxic heavy metals, so beginning the heavy metal detox outlined in Medical Medium and on the blog can be incredibly beneficial. The five essential pieces of the heavy metal detox include wild blueberries, spirulina, barley grass juice powder, cilantro, and dulse

Moving Forward

If you’ve been given a SAD label, know that the practitioner who gave it to you most likely did not understand the true cause of your symptoms. The changes in seasons only serve to reveal the issues already present in your body, and it is important that you begin to address the real underlying issues. By incorporating some of the healing supplements and foods mentioned above and working with the protocols outlined in my books Medical Medium and Life-Changing Foods or with a practitioner who is open to searching for the actual causes of your symptoms, you will begin to make progress towards genuine healing. If your symptoms are mild, jumping into a healing protocol quickly can help save you from experiencing more severe symptoms in the future. Let go of labels that have held you back and move forward with confidence and the knowledge that true healing is possible!

This item posted: 04-Feb-2017

 

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