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Seasonal Affective Disorder and Vitamin D Deficiency

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. Symptoms include sadness, gloomy outlook, feeling hopeless, irritability, low energy, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, and carbohydrate cravings and weight gain. Researchers have found that people with SAD have low vitamin D levels, and may have an imbalance of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood. Their bodies also make too much melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. The main treatments for SAD are vitamin D and light therapy. 



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