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Natural Awakenings Hartford

Food Sensitivities Affect Mood

Food Sensitivities Affect Mood

by Stacey Munro

As we prepare for the winter months ahead, some people begin to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Many individuals are fearful of this transition from light days to dark ones, which begins as early as the end of August. They seek treatment to counteract the effects of long New England winters. Additionally, SAD can be made worse by food sensitivities; but there are treatments that can improve anxiety, depression and fatigue for those afflicted.

Adverse food reactions can take many forms. Digestive conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating are often linked to food sensitivities. Other common symptoms include joint pain, rashes, headaches and respiratory problems. Testing for food sensitivities will identify hidden food reactions that won’t show up on allergy testing. Common food sensitivities include wheat, gluten, cow’s milk, corn, eggs and soy.

Many patients report improvement in mental symptoms and energy as a welcome side effect once they remove the culprits of their food sensitivities from their diets. This specific association has not been tested in a controlled study, however. There is evidence that the Mediterranean diet, based around natural, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, legumes, fruit and healthy fats, may reduce depressive symptoms. Processed foods high in gluten, soy, dairy, corn and refined sugars should be limited. Eating a diet lower in processed food offers many health benefits.

There are other natural treatments that can also improve SAD. Studies show that regular exercise improves anxiety, stress and depression. Vitamin D and light therapy have also been shown to help those suffering with wintertime SAD.

Dr. Stacey Munro is a naturopathic doctor in Suffield. She sees patients, both adults and children, for chronic health issues and preventative medicine. Getting to the root cause of imbalance or disease is the focus of her approach. For more information, call 860-758-7808 or email [email protected] Location: Nature’s Helper Medical Clinic, 178 Mountain Ave, Suffield. See ad, page 9.


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