Gail always comes to the office with a bright smile on her face and some good story to share about her grandchildren or a trip to visit relatives in Maine. In spite of being in really good health, especially for a 66 year old woman, this November she came to see me and had a concern that took the smile off her face.
“I just want to sleep and have no excitement about anything right now. I am not exercising and I ate half a bag of Oreos yesterday. This isn’t like me.”
Gail usually takes an extended trip to Florida each year, leaving in late October and returning home in March. This year, they were not able to go. Connecticut weather had been bleak.
We talked extensively about other changes in her physical health and I ordered laboratory tests. Everything looked great, although her vitamin D level was a bit lower than I like to see. Her physical exam was fine.
Gail was certain that she did not want to do a “chemical antidepressant” but was willing to talk about natural ways to help. I decided to give her 5htp, which is a direct precursor to serotonin. It should help her sleep and boost her sullen mood.
Less than two weeks later, I bumped into Gail at the super market. She was laughing and joking with someone in the produce aisle. She caught my eye and ran over to me and with a big hug and sparkle she exclaimed, “I’m back!” I understood immediately what she meant. She was already feeling like her happy self.
Sometimes it only takes a little help to get you through a rough patch and Gail certainly benefited from the addition of a new supplement.