Seasonal Affective Disorder

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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also referred to as SAD, is a condition that affects over half a million people in the UK. This condition impacts upon the mental well-being of people during the winter months particularly during January and February when the days begin to shorten. If you tend to feel really down during winter or find it hard to get going during the winter months, you may think that this is a natural reaction to the cold and dark days, but you may actually be suffering from SAD.

Sufferers of SAD often experience low mood, varied degree of depression, loss of energy, sleep problems, irritability, increased appetite, strong cravings for carbohydrates and sweet foods as well as headaches and muscle pain. The defining characteristics of SAD are that the symptoms return annually and go away during other seasons. Read More…

Banish The Winter Blues

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These dark winter days make my tendency towards low mood worse. Are there any natural remedies that could help?

Winter blues affect around one in five people in the UK, according to the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (sada.org.uk). These mildly debilitating symptoms are known as ‘sub-syndromal seasonal affective disorder’. For about two per cent, however, SAD is a seriously disabling illness. The key is to try a range of strategies.

Go outdoors in natural light, especially at midday. Sit near windows when you can, and choose pale bright colours at home and to wear.

Walk away the blues. A daily one-hour walk around lunchtime can be as helpful as light treatment (below). Read More…

Why can’t we shift the tummy weight?

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My 50-year-old friend has intractable weight gain, particularly round her tummy. I’m 45 and have good and bad tummy days, which can vary from flat to fat in a day. Exercise isn’t shifting it at the moment. Is it the same cause?

‘These are different but both common problems,’ says women’s health expert Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Fat Around the Middle* (marilynglenville.com). ‘Leading up to menopause, extra pounds often settle around the middle because your body tries to compensate for declining oestrogen. Some oestrogen is manufactured in the fat cells there, which offsets some of the loss from the ovaries.’ Read More…