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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article :

MS Brain Function

and my Own

Symptoms of MS 


Depression in MS

There are different types of depression, connected with Multiple Sclerosis.  One of the forms of depression, which is more common for those of us with MS is called seasonal affective disorder or SAD for short. Symptoms of SAD include depression, insomnia, irritability, fatigue or even problems with thinking clearly or with figuring things out.

SAD is a seasonal .

SAD is a seasonal depression that is more common than you think and it is based on how a person’s body reacts to the shortened periods of day light hours during the winter months. SAD can present a much worse dilemma for people that live in countries where they receive less day light hours per day than the average day light hours that a person receives that lives in a country closer to the equator.  It has been found that there is a link with how often people have the depression and low vitamin D levels in their bodies.

Vitamin D Multiple Sclerosis:

Our skin produces vitamin D as a response to sunlight shining on the skin. Our bodies need the increased levels of vitamin D to boost our immune system and make it easier for our bodies to be able to fight off infections. Adequate levels of Vitamin D also help to reduce or even possibly eliminate depression.  It is so much more vital to those of us that have been given the Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis to find ways to boost our vitamin D levels, since Multiple Sclerosis sets us up for our immune systems to become much weaker to start with.  MS also can contribute to depression, and the depression that results from a larger vitamin D deficiency just makes things so much worse.

For those of us that have been given the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, it is so much more important for us to find a way to boost our vitamin D levels. I have found that for my own case of MS, that if I do find a way to increase my vitamin D levels, this reduces the number of infections that I end up having each month and it also reduces how frequent and how severe the infections can become when they do occur.


Those of us that have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis have a tougher time getting enough vitamin D, through sitting or lying in the sun and if our degree of  ms disability is severe enough, this will also prevent us from being outside in the sunlight enough for us to have enough vitamin D in our bodies. Because of the problem with ms heat, where heat is difficult for those of us with MS to tolerate it, sitting in the sun can present a worse problem for those of us with MS to get enough sun exposure to increase our Vitamin D levels sufficient for what our bodies need on a daily basis.

Our brains also produce more serotonin in response to the daylight hours, but being out in the sun works much better at boosting serotonin levels than being indoors.  As the sunlight enters our eyes, this stimulates a gland in the brain called the pineal gland, which regulates our levels of serotonin, as well as our wake-sleep cycle. 

Serotonin is one of the hormones that helps to regulate our wake-sleep cycles and helps us to maintain a regular sleep pattern. When our bodies do not produce enough serotonin this disrupts our bodies natural rhythm of our wake-sleep cycle and this can greatly reduce how much restful sleep that we actually end up with.

Ending up with enough restful sleep is so important for those of us that have been given the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis for several reasons.  

The majority of those us that are battling with Multiple Sclerosis have more problems already with decreased levels of serotonin and the problems of the reaction of our bodies to the shortened day light hours just adds to the problems that we already are experiencing because of the effects of MS on our bodies with reducing our serotonin levels. This can contribute to more extreme MS insomnia.

Serotonin also helps to regulate mood.  If the levels of serotonin in our brains drop too low, depression, anxiety and total unrest can result, which just adds to the ms fatigue that we that those of us with MS may already be experiencing. If the serotonin deficiency is severe enough, the depression can become more severe to the point that it heads towards becoming more of suicidal tendencies.

What can be done about this?

There are 2 options that I found that have helped me with finding a way to reduce my problems with SAD and ms depression.

One option is to take vitamin D tablets or soft gels, as either dry vitamin D or as fish oil vitamin D. I tend to take the dry vitamin D in tablet form, so that I can take it in larger doses, as needed (this was recommended to me by my doctor, since vitamin D is NOT considered as toxic like some other vitamins are if taken at higher doses for longer periods of time).

The Second option is to purchase a device that uses what is called light therapy, which uses light that mimics natural sun light fairly closely.  This device allows you to be able to use it to shine this light on your skin each day to boost vitamin D and serotonin levels in the body and to rid the body of SAD. The benefit of using this type of light is that it eliminates the effects of being exposed to ultra violet radiation that we also are exposed to when we sun bathe. Light therapy can actual help to reduce or maybe even eliminate depression ms by elevating the amounts of serotonin in the brain, which helps to regulate mood.

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is known for accelerating the aging process and causing skin cancer. Although this often is not a concern for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis, since our reactions to ms heat can keep us often from getting enough sun exposure, it is still something to keep in mind when sunning yourself.

Using the light therapy device allows you to eliminate the exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, while allowing you to receive the benefits that would be generated in your body from your skin being exposed to sun light on a daily basis. It would be better if you can find a way to sit out in the sun without covering up all of you skin to allow your skin to be able to produce the serotonin and vitamin D that your body needs, but if finding the time and a way for you to get out in the sunlight enough during the day, this is a good alternative.

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