Posted by terrepruitt on February 21, 2012
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) per the U.S. National Library of Medicine is “episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter.” Interestingly, “Like other forms of depression, it occurs more often in women than in men.” According to Wiki ”Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder”. I remember when it was declared a “real” disorder. It really sounds as if this type of disorder can become very serious. There are general symptoms that are common when someone is depressed; difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking, sleeping too much, not sleeping, over eating, not eating, gaining weight, losing weight, not socializing, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and so on. It seems as if any depression, if left untreated and it continues, could become serious. This type of depression is no different.
I was surprised to see that it is treated somewhat the same way as other depression with both drugs and therapy. Since it is caused by lack of sunlight I hadn’t thought of using medication or talking about it to help it. But I guess that if you are depressed and antidepressants make you not depressed they would work no matter what the cause. And talk therapy helps with all types of depression too. The Mayo Clinic states the causes for SAD to be possibly your body’s rhythm being “off” due to the lack of light, so your body doesn’t know when to sleep and when to be awake, the serotonin levels being low, this is the chemical in the brain that affects your mood, so low levels could be a cause of depression, then there is melatonin levels which regulates sleep so this hormone can be off balance and affect one’s mood.
With that said, I would think that doing things to help make certain your clock stays regular would help. Make certain you keep to a strict bedtime and rising time in the morning. Also eating foods that can increase levels of serotonin might help. Good foods to eat include bananas, papayas, walnuts, and dates. (Mmmm, sounds like a recipe for a smoothie!)
I found the following list on: Muscle-Health-Fitness.com
1) Free Range Turkey
2) Flaxseed/ Flaxseed oil
4) Wild Fish and Sea food
5) Whey protein
7) High quality Eggs
8) Sour Cherries
9) Free Range Beef
10) Dark Chocolate
According to Livestrong foods that boost your melatonin are rice, barley, bananas and tomatoes. Melatonin is also found in tart cherries, sunflower seeds, almonds, and red radishes. Which again, if low levels of this hormone are thought to play a role in SAD, then increasing the levels would seem to be a logical step.
The thing I see most is light therapy. But it doesn’t work for everyone. It needs to be a bright light, one that is like the sun. I found a variety of lights on Amazon ranging from $60.00 to $600.00. With this type of therapy you sit in front of the light for a prescribed amount of time per day.
Another way to fight depression is to exercise. Exercise is always going to help because it increases your endorphins. The endorphins create a positive feeling in the body. Feeling positive helps with depression. For me dancing is both a great exercise and a great way to get happy. That is one reason why I love Nia because it really does make me happy. But, of course there is all types of exercise to help get those endorphins up. So anything that you will actually do . . . is GREAT!
I think SAD is much more widely accepted as an actual disorder than it once was. There are so many things and ways that we are educated and allowed to see how people live and feel. We probably all know at least one person living in an area where they might be susceptible to SAD. Even if you don’t feel you have felt depression because of the weather, maybe you have things you do that make you happy and get you out of a funk. What are they? What do you do that help make you happy? Share with us here and maybe they can help someone who is SAD.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: chemical in the brain, dance exercise, depressed, depression, endorphins, exercise, Mayo Clinic, melatonin, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia exercise, S.A.D., SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, serotonin | 12 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 2, 2010
The recommended daily maximum sodium intake for Americans is 2300 to 2400 milligrams for healthy people, for people with high blood pressure and elderly people it is even less at 1500 milligrams. Do you know how much the average American consumes per day? A lot, more than twice the amount for a healthy person, at 5000 milligrams. The body needs 500 milligrams a day and we are getting about 10 times as much.
One teaspoon of salt contains 2325 milligrams of sodium. So one teaspoon is about all we should be having per day. It would be a lot easier if we were in complete control of the sodium we consumed and it was not added to our food. A lot of food might not even taste salty to contain a high amount of sodium. Most of the salt in the American diet comes from restaurant foods and processed, about 80 percent. Foods high in sodium are the highly processed foods, canned foods, pickled foods, condiments, dressings, and sauces.
There is research predicting that more than 100,000 Ameican deaths a year could be prevented if Americans reduced their sodium intake.
It could be a matter of understanding the labeling terms, according to an article on the Mayo Clinic’s website, here is some help:
- Sodium-free or salt-free. Each serving in this product contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
- Very low sodium. Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
- Low sodium. Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.
- Reduced or less sodium. The product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version.
- Lite or light in sodium. The sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version.
- Unsalted or no salt added. No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. However, some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium.
I really love salt. Even though I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, I do salt my food. I am probably one of the “average Americans” that consumes sodium on the high end. The information that I am seeing states that liking foods salty is an acquired taste so one can learn to like food less salty by just reducing the salt slowly. I think I am going to do that. What about you, do you eat the “average American” amount? Is there a way you can reduce your sodium intake?
Posted in Food | Tagged: daily max of salt, high blood pressure, Mayo Clinic, salt, salt-free, sodium, sodium intake, Sodium-free, unsalted | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 18, 2010
One of my best friends’ sister has been battling cancer for a year. When people say “battling” cancer, it is an accurate statement. When one “battles” cancer, it is for one’s life. The fight is messy, painful, tiring, expensive, costly, and heart breaking, just like all battles.
I questioned myself regarding posting about it, because I didn’t ask my friend. But I received a sense of knowing that if I wrote this and one person read it and it affected their life in a positive way then even though my friend’s sister lost the battle yesterday (May 17, 2010) she would be happy. SHE would have wanted me to write this, because she fought with all of her might and all of her faith until the very end. So she would want me to remind you of some of the signs you might want to pay attention to. She would want us to continue with the war with cancer.
—A change in bowel habits
—Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
—Stools that are narrower or have a different shape than usual
—Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
—General abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps)
—Change in appetite
—Weight loss for no known reason
—Feeling very tired
You might want to talk to a medical professional if you have any of the previously mentioned signs. These symptoms may be signs of rectal cancer. (1)
I would like to remind you that you need to listen to your body, you need to take time out from your schedule and you need to question things when things don’t feel right. We all suffer from, “Well, its nothing.” “Its this.” “Its that.” It is scaring and frustrating that as we age our bodies change so we never know if what is going on is part of the natural aging or if something is wrong. Then we rely on the medical professionals to tell us because that is their job, but they don’t know either. The last time I went to the doctor I felt as if I greatly annoyed her and was wasting her time because I was healthy. So, I understand hesitation in going to the doctor.
But we all need to be better about it, myself included. I learned some other things today that I didn’t know in regards to colon cancer*.
-According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States.
-Nearly all colon cancers begin as noncancerous (benign) polyps, which slowly develop into cancer.
-You have a higher risk for colon cancer if you: Have a personal history of breast cancer
-There is no single cause for colon cancer. What you eat may play a role in your risk of colon cancer. (2)
The Mayo Clinic’s definition:
*Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers.
You were brave and fought well, you will be forever missed and loved. When I think of the situation and your family I am sad, but when I think of you and your attitude during your battle, I smile. Thank you for positive energy.
(1) Information from the National Cancer Institute
(2) Information from Medline Plus
Posted in Misc | Tagged: best friend, cancer, colon cancer, Mayo Clinic, National Cancer Institute, positive energy, rectal cancer, rectal cancer symptoms | 13 Comments »