GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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“SAD lights,” which help shine light on the retina and stimulate the brain and body. Moderate your food intake. Keep a set schedule for sleep and activity. Antidepressants can be of use to those who feel these other tactics aren’t fully doing the trick.


There is a difference SAD and vitamin D deficiency, which also occurs in winter months when there is less light. Many people think going to tanning salons is an effective method of replacing vitamin D, but according to Dr. Thomas Kuhn of Holland Hospital Behavioral Health Services, this is a fallacy because there are different types of ultraviolet light.


“The light that one experiences in tanning beds is UVA, which doesn’t penetrate the skin in the same way as UVB, which gives us vitamin D absorption from sunlight,” Kuhn said. “You may get a little in the tanning beds, but not as much as you may think or is claimed.”


In addition, keeping up with exercise, monitoring protein intake, drinking plenty of water and having quiet time for meditation and relaxation remains extremely important when battling moods swings in general, whatever the season.

The old Kentucky adage, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes,” is as true today as ever. The weather changes constantly in this region, no matter the season. To say our bodies are affected by the weather is an understatement for some people. Many people are more prone than others to environmental shifts.


So many things affect moods, but one certain variable is the change of seasons. It is easier for most people to have “up” moods on days when there is more sunshine, no snow and a general feeling of warmth and coziness. When the temperature lowers to 40°F and below, snow falls, leaves change color and drop and there is less daylight, the body goes through some radical changes.


Most people are familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a phrase that was first coined by Normal E. Rosenthal at the National Institute of Mental Health in 1984. Symptoms of SAD can include feelings of depression, low energy, problems sleeping, appetite shifts, problems concentrating, tiredness, irritability, weight gain, hypersensitivity to some issues and suicidal thoughts. These are different from the normal feelings most people have as the winter months approach. The body is preparing to hibernate, trying to pack on a few pounds as our ancestors did to survive the long, brutal winters without heat and indoor plumbing. SAD is a legitimate depression, and some people are more susceptible to it than

SEASONAL MOOD SWINGS

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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others.


Along with the shift in weather patterns come the holidays, which always seem to make people a bit more crazy. Happy jingle bells are everywhere; there is overindulgence in food and drink and increased traffic; every store wants you to buy more; and high expectations that you must play a part in all these rituals can be overwhelming. Add to this the feeling of another year closing and time passing. These abrupt seasonal changes tend to throw us off our game.


The further you live from the equator, the greater the likelihood of being affected adversely as the seasons change. Melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” tends to be released more when we are in the dark. When there is less light, more melatonin is secreted, which can increase drowsiness and create more feelings of listless depression.


Many things can help SAD and other similar conditions that occur as a result of seasonal changes. Spending more time outside in the fresh air and sunshine can go a long way. SAD can also be helped through artificial light therapy or