We all know what #IBS stands for, but what about SAD?

We all know what #IBS stands for, but what about SAD?

Besides literally being sad, SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a type of depression that’s related to the seasons changing. Sometimes your low feeling can be more than just the winter time blues!


Considering IBS can be depressing in itself, us Sisters need to make sure that we’re taking care of our selves mentally and physically during these cold, winter months. SAD can zap your energy and make you feel moody. If this started happening to you this fall, read on!

The number one cause of SAD is the reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter. One fix? Vitamin D! The decrease of sunlight might throw of your body clock and make you feel depressed, but a Vitamin D supplement can help ward off these feelings. A decrease in sunlight can also cause a decrease in serotonin levels, which the B-vitamin complex then comes in handy. Can you say stocking stuffer? Other vital vitamins for the winter are multivitamins & Omega-3-Rich Fish Oil for mood.


Also, make sure you are getting outside while there is daylight, and basking in that short-lived sunshine! Take your tenni’s with you to work and go for a brisk walk in the sun on your lunch break. That will give you a great pick me up and will also be a great way to squeeze in that exercise! When you come in from your walk, try a cup of citrus tea or citrus aroma therapy. Lemon, lime, and orange have all been know to help uplifting the spirit. Lemon Lift and Lemon Ginger tea are two of my favorite herbal teas. Peppermint oil behind the neck and under the nose can also give you a wave of energy to get you through that afternoon meeting.


The change of seasons also can disrupts your body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in your sleep patterns and mood. Taking a melatonin supplement one hour before bed can help, but just be aware that melatonin is a hormone. Just make sure you’re getting your 8 hours!


As always, eat healthy! The winter months are full of yoga pants and carbs, but refined carbs can give you a spike in serotonin levels, and then quickly deplete them. Make sure you are eating whole grains, lean protein, and green, leafy veggies. With the exception of Thanksgiving, of course!


Being a Sister (female) makes you more at risk for SAD. Other risk factors include being young, your family history, having clinical depression or bipolar disorder, and living far away from the equator.

Other treatments your doctor may suggest for SAD are light therapy, antidepressants, and psychotherapy that would include coping mechanisms and tips on how to manage stress.

Are you or someone you know feeling blue this November? Make sure you take care of yourself and get out of the funk so you can enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with your family and friends!



IBS Sister





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  • Sacha Walsh says:

    Thanks for writing about this! SAD has definitely been a significant problem for me when I lived in the UK and Canada in the past and did not get as much sunlight as I am used to in sunny Australia! Even though I get plenty of sunlight here, I am still very deficient in vitamin D and I now take supplements daily to manage this. Once I finally had this diagnosed and treated (only 18 months ago!) I have discovered a very quick response in my moods and energy. Researchers are not able to attribute this type of deficiency directly to IBS, but I feel that it must be related some how…

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