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.
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.
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.
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.
with enough restful sleep is so important for those of us that have been
given the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis for several reasons.
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
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
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
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
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
The benefit of using this type of light is that it eliminates the
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