Seasonal Affective Disorder
Even though it doesn't quite feel like sweater weather in St. Louis, it's officially fall -- and that means shorter days and less exposure to the sun and vitamin D.
Why does that matter? Without the proper amount of vitamin D -- which functions like a hormone -- individuals can face a number of health issues, including bone pain, bone loss (it helps the body properly utilize calcium), depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), muscle weakness, eczema and dermatitis, delayed wound healing, and conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and their connection to vitamin D are currently being studied.
Having dark skin
Being overweight or obese
Not eating much fish or milk
Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round
Always using sunscreen when going out
Being indoors often
Having difficulty absorbing the vitamin (including those with cystic fibrosis)
While vitamin D can be found in a few foods (fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and fortified products), most foods that contain it only have small amounts, so it's nearly impossible to obtain the necessary amount (which varies based on the individual) from food alone.
One of the best ways to produce vitamin D is in response to exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B -- or UVB -- rays). And if you're in St. Louis, our Vitamin D Light Therapy!
Our FDA-approved Vitamin D Sperti lamp produces the UVB rays that generate vitamin D naturally in your body. With this therapy, you simply sit in front of our safe UV light for up to five minutes (we provide the goggles!). Most people average two-to-three sessions per week for best results. We offer 12-pack of Vitamin D Light Therapy sessions for $100 (only about $8 per session! Packs expire 30 days from the date of purchase).
Additionally, for extremely low vitamin D levels or a to more quickly improve your levels and wellbeing, we also offer an intramuscular (IM) injection of vitamin D3. IM injections are more efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream and will produce a greater improvement in blood levels (versus oral supplements).
Of course, there are individuals who may not need vitamin D supplementation if their levels are adequate. Our physicians can create a customized protocol based on your needs and vitamin D blood levels.
Are you vitamin D-deficient or feeling some of the symptoms that are caused by low levels of vitamin D? Tell us in the comments, and call, book online or visit us today to schedule your appointment.