Uninvited Guests in Autumn: SAD and Cold
Uninvited Guests in Autumn: SAD and Cold
  • Kee Seong Eun-hye
  • 승인 2008.09.05 17:42
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Most Sookmyungians have experienced that their mood is more dull and gray than upbeat or have caught a cold during the autumn.  Is there a special reason these things happen frequently in autumn?  The Sookmyung Times explains why this occurs and how we can get rid of it.

Do You Have SAD?
1. When I feel gloomy once, my feeling gets worse continuously.
2. Tears fall when I see falling leaves.
3. I think I’m the only one who feels lonely.
4. I feel tired easily and lose my appetite.
5. I lose enthusiasm for doing something. 
6. I don't have anyone to keep my hands warm.
7. I want to fly off to somewhere new and travel there.
8. I want to sleep all day in my house.
9. All things become bothersome to me.
10. I think my strength is declining these days.

If you checked ‘Yes’ to more than seven symptoms, you might have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) because those symptoms are related to SAD. 

What Is SAD and Why Does It Occur?
SAD is an abbreviation of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  As you know, human beings live according to a complete cycle.  In the morning, they wake up, at lunch time they feel hungry and later they go to bed.  When this cycle slips just a little, people feel fatigued, indisposed, and languid because of a hormone, serotonin, which used to be secreted at fixed times, but the time became disrupted, which makes lots of changes in our body. 

Our biorhythm is controlled by the SCN (Suprachiasmatic Nuclei), a part of our brain.  This part is regulated by various outside stimuli; the strongest one is ‘light.’  This is the reason why we feel restless and depressed the when season is changing.  In summer we spend lots of time basking in the sun but suddenly the sunlight is reduced a lot in autumn.  The diminution of sunlight decreases production of serotonin which affects the way we feel and makes us feel gloomy. 

How to Combat SAD
1. Take a walk in the early morning between 6–8 A.M. and soak yourself in the morning light.  Bright sunshine makes you feel fresh and helps boost your morale.
2. Avoid caffeine.  While it can provide temporary relief, it can also cause anxiety, muscle tension or gastrointestinal disorders. 
3. Eat foods containing the amino acid tryptophan such as turkey, milk, and egg whites.  Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin and eating food rich in this amino acid can help elevate the production of serotonin.  

What is a Cold and Why Do People Frequently Get It in Autumn?
The cold is a mild, very common illness which makes you sneeze a lot and gives you a sore throat or a cough.  It is caused by more than 100 kinds of viruses; among them rhinovirus, adenovirus, parainfluenzavirus are well-known.  However not every person who is infected with a virus catches a cold.  Depending on defensive power, change of temperature and consumption of body strength, some get a cold but others don’t. 

A cold is usually contaminated through the respiratory organs and it is infected by direct touching or by air which contains the airway secretions of the sick.  It happens frequently in autumn rather than summer because of humidity.  The nose and mucous membranes of our organs need the right level of moisture to maintain their work, like detecting a scent or expelling dust and viruses from outside.  However, the drier the air, the more the mucous membrane becomes weak so it cannot block viruses.  That’s why people catch colds easily in the dry season. 

How Can I Treat a Cold?
Even though a cold is a common disease, modern medical science, despite its remarkable development, has no wonder drug to remedy it.  Nowadays, allopathic treatment is the best answer because there is no treatment which factors in bacteria.  Therefore the rest cure is the major treatment.  When you get a cold, take a sufficient rest and eat balanced nourishing meals to recover your body condition.  If you use medicinal therapy, administer a pertinent dose according to your symptoms. 

How to Prevent Colds
1. Avoid places where people are crowded because you can get infected through air.  So, wear a mask which can protect you and make you warm.
2. Keep your body clean.  Whenever you come back home, wash your hands and feet.  Also, brush your teeth using salt and rinse the inside of your mouth.  It might lessen your symptoms.
3. Overwork and stress are harmful to your health.  Too many appointments and poor living habits reduce immunity and cause colds.  So, go to bed early and have a deep sleep.
4. Maintain a proper temperature and humidity.  20℃ and 50-60 percent humidity are good.  When you take a shower, use tepid water.
5. Drink enough water everyday.  Don’t let your throat mucous membrane become dry.  Seven or eight glasses of water are good for your health.  

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