Holiday & COVID Wellness
With COVID happening, the holiday season looks a lot different.
A few key themes have come up on my radar. They are:
Feelings of isolation and Mental health (Anxiety, Depression)
Increased fatigue levels
As an ND, anxiety and low moods are common concerns for patients.
Certain vitamin deficiencies such as vitamin B6, niacin and B12 have been shown to contribute to low moods. Correcting these low levels through diet or supplementation can help improve symptoms. Other supplements such as magnesium, fish oil and probiotics have been shown to change mental health scores in studies and improve quality of life.
Due to higher levels of sugar, and processed carbohydrates, these important vitamins are often missed. A dietary evaluation through a diet dietary can assess whether these levels are being obtained through food. Being a vegetarian or on a gluten free diet can put you at risk for these deficiencies.
Other causes for low mood and anxiety:
- Social pressures and financial constraints
Ways to improve this may be doing non-gift exchanges such as "virtual dinner parties" instead or making homemade gifts. Pinterest has many examples of this and can be both fun and therapeutic to make a homemade gift (Also can be under $20 at times!)
With COVID and general colds and flus occuring, immune maintenance is an important health topic also. Vitamin C, probiotics and zinc may both reduce the frequency of colds and flus and also be used for treatment purposes. NOTE: There is no known natural treatment for COVID, however maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and reducing stress levels can help your body's natural resilience.
Due to ongoing stress levels, and sleep issues, fatigue is also a common concern. Adaptogenic herbs, and B vitamins are commonly prescribed supplements.
Often times, thyroid levels are tested to evaluate whether suboptimal thyroid function is a cause and can be tested through a thyroid panel (T3, T4, anti-TPO (antibodies to thyroid)), along with iron and B12 levels.
Abnormal hormone levels and food sensitivities may also lead to low energy and mood which can be tested as well.
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