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  • Writer's pictureKaitlyn Zorn

Health Over The Holidays

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

This year, COVID-19 still has an impact on us while we are going to our work and family holiday parties. Along with the increase in viruses and need for immune support, we also experience other aspects of health being affected such as mental health and nutrition.


A few key themes that come up at this time:

  1. Worsened mental health from financial and social pressures (Anxiety, Depression)

  2. Immune health concerns such as: Cold and flu viruses, COVID-19 and RSV

  3. Increased fatigue levels and weight gain




MENTAL HEALTH

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 and help reduce stress levels. Other supplements such as vitamin D, magnesium, fish oil and probiotics have been shown to change mental health scores in studies and improve quality of life. It may be worthwhile checking B12 and vitamin D through blood tests.

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.

Proper sleep, movement (yoga, walking) and deep breathing can also promote better mental health.

Mindfulness and gratitude are also great ways to improve low mood over the holidays.


IMMUNE HEALTH

With COVID-19 and general colds and flus occuring, immune maintenance is an important health topic. Vitamin C, probiotics, Vitamin D and zinc may both reduce the frequency of colds and flus and also be used for treatment purposes. Adding in herbs like garlic, thyme, oregano and ginger are great antiviral foods. Certain essential oil blends can also be diffused in crowded areas and throughout your home to kill airborne viruses (Eucalyptus, Clove, Lemon, Oregano). Following public health measures (masking, sanitization and isolation), along with proper sleep, stress reduction and a healthy diet and exercise are the basic treatments to start with.

If you feel that you experience more frequent colds and flus than the average individual (more than 1-2 times a year), then booking a Naturopathic Consultation can help to discover reasons for poor immunity and ways to support you.



FATIGUE & WEIGHT GAIN

Due to ongoing stress levels, and sleep issues, fatigue is also a common concern. Adaptogenic herbs, and B vitamins are commonly prescribed supplements. Along with fatigue, are complaints of weight gain from excess consumption of processed foods and sweets. To avoid sugar crashes and excess weight gain, ensure that protein is eaten with each meal, adequate water is consumed, and alcohol and caffeine intakes are balanced.

Often times, thyroid and hormonal imbalances may also lead to both fatigue and weight gain. 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, weight gain and mood imbalances which can be tested as well.


Whether you are dealing with low mood or anxiety, are sick over the holidays or feel tired and struggle with weight gain, a Naturopathic Consultation or Free 15 Minute Meet & Greet can help you reach your health goals.




Happy Holidays and Happy New year,


Dr. Kaitlyn Zorn HBSc. ND




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