The Brighter Side of SAD

by | Feb 2, 2015 | Health, Hormones, Wellness

We all know Utah’s winter season as the time of year when the days are short, the weather is cold and snowy, the inversion is at its worst, and it can be hard to spend enough time outside. If the winter months leave you feeling tired, depressed and blue, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

SAD is a mood disorder that occurs in reaction to extreme winter or summer seasons.  If you notice this depressive pattern in yourself, you should talk with your doctor.


Antidepressants are used commonly to treat this condition. However, in our office, we treat SAD through analysis and adjustment of nutrition and hormones.  We also recommend the following treatments:

Take Vitamin D

Most people living above the latitude of Los Angeles simply can’t get enough sun to reach optimal levels of vitamin D. Sometimes the sun doesn’t even hit us at the optimal angle to make the changes in our skin that cause us to make vitamin D. Generally, people do much better when their vitamin D levels are in the optimum range. Surprisingly, many people need at least 10,000 units of vitamin D3 every day to function optimally; many people even need 15,000 units. However, you should not take these amounts without having blood tests indicating your levels and appropriate dosage.

Be Proactive

When you know the season is affecting you, you should be proactive about planning outings, whether it’s walking in the neighborhood, skiing, snow shoeing, or simply shoveling your driveway.  It is beneficial to be outside to soak up as much vitamin D as possible.  Also, let your eyes see the sun, which means taking off your sunglasses from time to time. Plus getting fresh air rejuvenates the body and mind—a huge help.

Get a Light

It is often helpful to get full spectrum lights and shine them in your eyes and face first thing in the morning for at least 30 minutes. This helps tell your brain that you are getting plenty of full spectrum light.  You can find these bulbs at any hardware store.

If you think you have SAD, don’t suffer through it or feel miserable any longer. The treatment is simple but very effective and will make the winter a brighter and happier time of year. If you have any questions, please contact us


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