With spring right around the corner, chances are you’ll begin to show symptoms of the “Spring Fever.” It’s not an actual disease in a conventional sense, say experts, and you won’t be bed ridden. But you may experience biological problems and physical symptoms that actually do exist.
“While it’s not a recognized medical condition, people do experiences changes in mood and energy level as spring approaches,” Dr. Sharad Paul, author of “The Genetics of Health: Understand Your Genes for Better Health,” tells Newsmax Health.
“This is definitely a disorder of wealthy nations who pay more attention to the changes in weather as opposed to parts of India and Asia for example where people can’t afford to dwell on the weather. We tend to hibernate and become depressed during the dark winter months and then come to life as the temperatures soar.
One way to minimize the effect of Spring Fever is to maintain exercise levels throughout the winter even if you have to work out indoors and make sure you keep your vitamin D levels stable, Paul says.
“You may need to take supplements if you simply can’t get enough sunshine,” he adds. “You should also try to maintain a similar diet year round so you don’t gain too much weight in winter and then have to shed pounds in the spring.”
Here are six symptoms of Spring Fever to watch for:
You have a surge of energy. Maybe it’s that extra dose of vitamin D from springtime sunshine that gives folks the extra energy to start jogging after work or taking lunch hour walks. Dr. Miguel Smolensky, Ph.D., professor at the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health, says it may be the image of the body “springing to life” after winter doldrums that gives us the urge to move more.
You’ve got romance on the brain. This is partly because both men and women are wearing less clothing say experts, but it’s also because sunlight helps us release endorphins. A study conducted by the University of Tromso in Norway showed that these extra endorphins put us in a better mood and increase physical attraction.
You are eating lighter. If you start to crave fresh salads and fruit, you’re not alone. Paul says that typically, people eat more and exercise less during the cold winter months. That’s partly because our ancestors used to experience a period of famine during the winter months and to plan for it, they would eat heavier foods just like bears who stock up for winter hibernation. Also in many parts of the country, it’s harder to get reasonably priced fresh fruits and veggies during the off season.
You’re sleeping less. In spring, you may find it harder to sleep at your usual time and that’s not just because we switch to daylight saving time. The additional sunlight tells our bodies to produce less melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that regulates our circadian rhythm and natural wake-sleep patterns.
Your general mood brightens. Paul says that the onset of more sunshine in spring and the abundance of color bring us out of our “winter blues” and puts us in a more positive place. You find yourself feeling happier and more sociable. We also experience an increase in production of the “happy hormone” serotonin during the transition to spring.
You may become obsessed with cleaning. The urge to clean the house from top to bottom, and spruce up the yard are sure signs of Spring Fever. Although spring cleaning is probably not caused by biology, it has been so ingrained in our Western culture that our subconscious mind takes over, urging us to get out the cleaning supplies and scrub away winter grime. Cleaning services and products are known to boost their advertising during springtime, cashing in on our natural urge to purge away the old and make way for the new.
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Functional & Physical Medicine & Nutritional Specialist*