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Spring is Coming

Winter kicks my ass. I’ve been told I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, but whatever you call it, I don’t generally feel my best during the winter months. For those of you that live in sunny, warm climates…I suppose you can skip this article 🙂 The winter blues have a tendency to cause a variety of symptoms that are not ideal for creating a healthy, IBS-friendly environment. Most of the symptoms mimic major depressive disorder. The good news is that once the sunny days of spring return, many, if not all of these issues tend to drift away. The bad news is that the symptoms you may have during the winter months are really not very good for caring for IBS.

Winter blues and IBS

So what do those of us that struggle with winter time experience? Low energy, sluggishness and social withdrawal. All very good for staying active (sarcasm). As we all know, staying active and exercising is extraordinarily beneficial to tending to our IBS and keeping flare ups away. Let’s see what else winter can offer those of us that struggle with it. Increased appetite, weight gain, overeating, an obsession with carbs and possibly, a Vitamin D deficiency. Could they have written a worse recipe for IBS care? I mean really. Let’s be depressed, overeat and stay inside. Wonderful. That all said, I think that we will see that our IBS may take a big jump in activity should we succumb to any of these symptoms. Vitamin D deficiency alone is bad enough. Vitamin D supplements are often given to people that have IBS and are also struggling with low Vitamin D levels. I don’t think I even need to say anything about the overeating or carb thing.

So what do we do until spring arrives?

Winter does have sun and sun has Vitamin D. I know its cold, but get outside anyway. Call me a masochist, but I love hiking and walking in the freezing cold. IT MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE 🙂 If you are not into that sort of extreme sport, they have light therapy lamps available that can help you achieve the same sort of effect without enduring 20 degree weather. If the depressive feelings that come with the winter blues are keeping you from living your best life, it might be beneficial to see a therapist. Even if you don’t regularly attend therapy sessions throughout the year, perhaps if you are feeling hopeless and agitated in the winter, a winter therapy run might be just the thing to turn the tide. Anyway, spring is coming and hopefully we will all make an easy transition back to feeling full of life, energy and empowerment. Back to eating right, back to exercise, back to the outdoors and back to life. I know our IBS will be happy for us.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.