Dr. AmandaLynn's blog

Naturopathic Medicine is the answer for the healthcare crisis.
~Dr. AmandaLynn

S.A.D or just the winter blues?

Seasonal affect disorder is very common in mild versions.  As someone who is connected to the seasons very deeply, I can truly feel the “low”. This is how we all are wired.  This time of year is about hibernating. We aren’t perfect, and we’re not supposed to be “on point” every single day. To be affected by the seasons simply shows that we’re connected to the Earth. It is a time of rest and a time of a little bit more sleep. I personally am feeling seasonal affect disorder symptoms that include hypersomnolence, the low of not wanting to go out and eating more carbs. These are all ways we often deal with cold weather.   

    Every so often, I’d like to question the norm of some of these diagnostic labels. It’s not just because I experience it too, it’s because a little bit of this is normal however, we need to find where it’s not so normal. For instance sleeping all the time, not ever getting out and seeing your friends or just having no energy  would ALL be symptoms worth getting help for.

We need recharging to take care of ourselves and this is the only time we’re allowed to go inside and work on ourselves. Dream-work with a little more sleep is important now. We don’t need as many carbohydrates as it’s been mild winter thus far. (And well, we just had extra carbs for the holidays.)  Also, it would not be necessary to start a huge cleanse i.e. eating salads and smoothies all day. 

 This winter, make sure you’re staying in balance.

 Here are a few tips:

1. Walking outside in nature. Nature is definitely healing!

2. An OTTLite or full spectrum light. They happen to be sold just down at Jo-Ann Fabrics! A few hours a day under the light helps your body shut off the melatonin and in return, helps produce your serotonin.

3. Make sure you connect with your friends a little bit more if you’re feeling especially lonely.

4. Exercise 20 minutes a day. But don’t overdo it! If you are hitting a hard workout, limit to no more than 4 days a week or the benefits can actually become less.

5. Invest in rain gear! A great tip from my friend Dr. Orna who says, “There’s no bad weather, just bad gear!”

6. Do your favorite things, ie dance parties in your living room, swimming, researching cheap airfare to your favorite destination, writing, and inner body/mind work are definitely appropriate!

You experience these symptoms:

  • Feeling tired all the time, as if you’ve done some strenuous activity even when you’ve just been lying down the whole day. An individual feels fatigued and would not want to go out and or do anything at all.
  • The person often longs for isolation. If someone tries to talk to him/her, the tendency is to get angry or irritable. Crying for no specific reason may also happen.
  • Problem in sleeping as well as trouble with concentrating. People with seasonal affective disorder tend to feel restless all the time.
  • Shift in appetite is also a symptom. Either the individual eats a lot, or does not eat at all.

These symptoms often intensify on the darkest days of the year or when sunlight is scarce.    symptomstreatment.org

You may have other reasons for fatigue and low mood so getting checked with some basic labs may be helpful.

If these symptoms apply even beyond the list above, it would be strongly suggested to see Myself or another health practitioner you feel may help. Specifically, a counselor, a psych nurse practitioner, or Naturopathic Physician who won’t immediately throw you on to a psychotropic drug.

Many people with S.A.D. may already have unipolar depression or manic bipolar depression. I believe that some of us just get a little bit low in energy in the winter and may not necessarily feel like we are depressed. But, we need to watch out for those who really do have a little bit of mania with depression. In fact, the springtime holds the highest suicide rates for these patients. 

So if you have any concerns, now is definitely the time to get help to prevent the spring struggle. Or, if you have a friend you’re concerned about, winter is actually a good time to talk to them and address these bad thoughts or persistent low moods.

How does this affect my Marfan patients and other chronic disease folks? We are more suspectible, for we deal with more reasons for depression/anxiety. Pain alone can send us down the low mood rabbit hole, so make sure you are being supported mentally this time of year! Your body will appreciate it!

Bad moods could also most likely mean you have a bad gut.  Your serotonin is mostly made in your GI tract. So, if your stomach has been giving you problems for years and now you have depression, there’s a connection there. I see this hundreds of times in my patients and I can predict it.  Naturopathic Physicians see that the root of healing begins in our gut. We support our mood the best way we can until we reach this point of finally addressing our GI. An SSRI (antidepressant) is only a “crutch” to help you have the energy and bandwidth to take the steps to truly heal.  Even taking 5-HTP for your mood… yes it’s natural, but it’s not truly naturopathic. There is a difference between natural and naturopathic. Just giving a natural alternative is green allopathic medicine for improving symptoms for just a short time. Real medicine gets to the root cause!  Just a little FYI!

I’m happy to help your mood and find out YOUR true root cause!

So a great way to blast the winter blues is to get out and have fun!

Join us this Thursday Jan. 16th 2020 430-630pm at Calypso as I discuss the Secrets to Vitality from Egyptian, Mayan and Incan culture in an interactive workshop on Thyroid and Hormones.  You will leave with an assessment of how and what these hormones are doing for you…as well as some gifts and treats and maybe the big prize! 

If the snow hits hard enough this week, then we will reschedule as needed!!

Stay posted through our facebook page @ Calypso Natural Clinic

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Loose Women: A Naturopathic Guide to Connective Tissue Issues

by Dr. AmandaLynn Hoffman, ND

Loose Women is a support guide for all things “not talked” about natural therapies for Marfan Syndrome, Vascular Ehlers Danlos, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. This covers Naturopathic Medicine therapies discussed from balneotherapy, regenerative medicine, nutrition to marijuana. The primary goal of this guide is to expand your knowledge of what is available outside the conventional medical model to lessen your pain, improve your digestion, energy, strength, and overall quality of life. As a rare doctor with a rare disease, Dr. Amanda personally “gets” what it takes to work hard toward staying well as a chronic pain patient. You can find here real and intertwined stories of her journey throughout her life as she finds her own answers to living with a leaky gut syndrome, hormone imbalances, chronic pain, as well as preventing fatal cardiovascular incidents. This offers Naturopathic gems for everyBODY – from good gut health, gentle detoxification, pain to hormone education.

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