Beat the Winter Blues, The Naturopathic Way

Functional medicine

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs with a semi-regular seasonal pattern (usually over the winter months), and can manifest as moodiness, sluggishness, insomnia, and changes in eating patterns. Symptoms include decreased concentration, increased appetite, weight gain, social withdrawal, and fatigue. Often times people who suffer from SAD lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and feel unmotivated in their career and relationships.

Following the guidelines below and scheduling a consultation with the best doctors at Spark Health who specialize in functional medicine in San Diego  will help you combat the onset of SAD.

  1. Increase Vitamin D intake

    It can be increasingly difficult as the winter months loom to get sufficient Vitamin D, which is a critical nutrient for combating SAD. Vitamin D helps regulate immune and nervous system health, and is required for maximum calcium absorption, thereby keeping our bones dense and our brains functioning at full capacity. Additionally, vitamin D plays a significant role in our mental health by helping to encourage production and release of serotonin, one of our “happy” neurotransmitters. Contact the highly reputable naturopathic doctors at Spark Health today for further remedial options.
  2. Connecting to Others

    Connecting with other people, whether it’s through words, touch, or quality time,is crucial for preventing feelings of isolation. Take the time to reach out to family and friends during the winter to help boost each other’s mood and hold each other accountable to achieve goals and resolutions that have been set. Planning small activities and gatherings can help break up the mundane winter weeks and provide a date to look forward to.
  3. Exercise

    Consistent exercise has been demonstrated to reliably improve sleep patterns, and can aid in relieving insomnia associated with SAD. Exercise also provides a boost to serotonin and other endorphin levels that can act as positive stimulants. Go with a buddy to keep you accountable,and be sure to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times a week!
  4. Eat Right

    No single diet fits all. Eating a clean, well-balanced diet that’s catered specifically to you can increase your energy and mood, and overall wellbeing. At Spark Health, your naturopathic doctorwill provide in-depth nutritionalassessmentto determine the best approach to revive your health.

If you or a loved one suffers from seasonal affective disorder and would like to learn more about the naturopathic treatment options available at Spark Health, please call (858) 228-4188 or[l8]  and for further information visit .

A Natural Approach to Mental Health

Mental health awareness

Do you suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, attention or behavioral problems? You are not alone. In fact, mental health awareness is everywhere these days, from television shows to Instagram storiesbecause mental illness is a top global health concern.

Statistically, depression, is predicted to become the second leading cause of disability in the world  within the next few years, behind heart disease. Many people who suffer from mental illness are prescribed medications such as Xanax, Zoloft, or Adderall. For some, these medications make day to day activities much more bearable. For others, however, these medications have terrible side effects, such as adverse effects onone’s mood and behavior, or the effect of the drugs after prolonguse. There are a variety of effective techniques and approaches donewithout psychotropic medications that may be beneficial for mental health conditions. At Spark Health, we specialize in functional medicine in the San Diego. We offer patients an alternative, holistic approach to treating mental illness. Our comprehensive approach allows us to factor in not only mental but social factors, to customize a treatment program.

Here are some of the top natural approaches:

Nutrient Deficiencies and Dietary Changes 

Many people suffer from nutrient deficiencies and are unaware of the havoc it is wreaking on their body and mental health. Less extreme nutrient deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients and amino acids can be detrimental to your mental well-being. Vitamins B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C and vitamin D are involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Magnesium and calcium are involved in nerve cell communication. Without an adequate amount of each of these key nutrients, your body cannot perform at its optimum function.

Studies have shown that your diet and your mood are connected, so it makes sense that changing your diet may help calm your symptoms. Eating more non-processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, and less whole grains can help balance your hormones and gut health. Additionally, be sure to watch what you drink. Cut out caffeine and alcohol to prevent mood swings.

There are a variety of vitamins, herbs, enzymes, infusions, and oils that our highly experienced naturopathic doctor at Spark Health can help implement into your diet depending on your symptoms and illness.


Exercise not only helps to prevent chronic illness and obesity, but it can also improve one’s mental health. Exercise sends endorphins to the brain which encourages positive thought, heightened energy, and increased circulation in the body. Additionally, exercising is a great distraction that allows you to escape negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression. Be sure to move at least 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week to ward of negative energy and thoughts.


Mindfulness is a great way to combat stress. Clearing the mind of negative thoughts and embracing a minimalistic form of thinking when extremely stressed has shown to calm both the body and mind. When meditating, the chemistry in the brain actually changes. The mind is more susceptible to positive emotions such as joy, love, and peace. So, when you meditate, your brain embraces the positive emotions while clearing out the negative ones. If you or a loved one suffers from a mental illness or symptoms such as anxiety or depression and would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experts at Spark Health, please contact us either via phone: (858) 228-4188, , or visit our website

Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System This Winter

Neurotransmitter Testing

As 2019 draws to a close, the cold and flu season is just ramping up. From calling in sick to work to missing quality time with family and friends, feeling under the weather wreaks havoc on your daily life.

The best way to avoid falling prone to the inevitable changing of the seasons is to fuel your body with proper nutrients. There are many Naturopathic diet, lifestyle, and supplementation tips that can help you avoid catching the common cold or flu. Here are some of the top tips from your favorite naturopathic doctor in San Diego  to support your immune system naturally during the winter season:

  1. Get Adequate Sleep. Sleep plays an important role in the function of your immune system. Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep, allowing illness to settle in without a proper night’s rest. Be sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep during cold and flu season.
  2. Check Nutrient Levels. One of the easiest ways to put oneself at risk for developing an illness is to lack key nutrients that help support the immune system. A nutrient deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t absorb or get from food the necessary amount of a nutrient. Deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems and illnesses. At Spark Health, we test your individual nutrient levels to develop a highly specialized treatment plan to ensure you are getting the necessary nutrients needed to keep you at peak level. 
  3. Receive IV Therapy and Vitamin Injections. IVs and vitamin injections are a great way to get high doses of vitamins and minerals that bypass the gastrointestinal system for one hundred percent absorption. As Spark Health, our immune IV contains high doses of vitamin C, B vitamins, electrolytes, and amino acids. This customized IV is administered to help support your immune system and can be used preventatively or when you are feeling sick to reduce the length of a cold.
  4. Adjust Your Diet.  As a general rule of thumb, you want to reduce the consumption of processed foods, sugar, dairy, gluten, and alcohol to protect the body from unnecessary inflammation. Diets rich in colorful fruits and vegetables have been proven to help support the immune system and prevent disease. Additionally, bone broth and collagen protein are not only nutrient dense but help to support your gut health as well.

For further information about how we can help you stay healthy this winter and every season, please call Spark Health at 858.228.4188 to schedule an appointment or email

Spark Health is conveniently located so we can serve patients in San Diego, and all of North County such as Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Escondido, San Marcos, and Poway. We look forward to being a part of your journey back to health.