Mountain View Medical Supply

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Feeling Out of Sorts? Maybe its Spring Fever

Growing up, I always thought Spring Fever was more of an "itch to get outside" after being cooped up all winter.  As it turns out, there are a bunch of physiological changes happening that cause a chain reaction to our minds and bodies.  There are reasons for feeling the way we do this time of year!

Spring in the northern hemisphere means the days start to get longer and we have more exposure to sun, which triggers changes in our bodies. Germans call it Fruhjahrsmudigkeit, which means "spring tiredness".  

For some, Spring Fever means more energy, vitality and increased sexual appetite.  For others, Spring Fever triggers sensitivity to changes in weather, dizziness, irritability, headaches, and sometimes aching joints and a lack of drive.

Experts believe hormone balance may play a role in Spring Fever.  One hypothesis suggests the body's reserves of serotonin (happiness hormone) whose production depends on daylight, become exhausted over the winter.  This makes it especially easy for melatonin (sleepy hormone) to have its effect.  Then, when the days become longer in springtime, the body readjusts its hormone levels, and more endorphin, testosterone and estrogen are released.  These changes and adjustments taking place with hormones puts a heavy strain on the body, which responds with a feeling of tiredness.
In addition, we have greater temperature fluctuations in Spring.  When temperatures rise, blood pressure drops since the blood vessels expand. 
Food also plays a role.  In winter, one tends to consume more calories, fat and carbohydrates than summer.  But during the spring hormone adjustment the body requires more vitamins and proteins. 

To better cope with Spring Fever, get outside when you can, exercise regularly, keep a fairly regular sleep schedule and eat healthy.  Of course, always consult with your doctor.

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