Cut-Out Holiday Chemicals & Feel Your Holiday Blues Fade Away


Turn Down Holiday CHemicals and Your Holiday Blues Will Fade Away

Simple Ways to Feel
Your Best during the Holidays
and Avoid the Blues

Richard Shames, MD.

Congratulations Canary Club members! Once again many of you have proven that you can detect things in your environment long before the existence of a problem is even acknowledged by science.

Every year during the holiday season you may be one of our "Canaries" that have been hit hard by a particular set of symptoms, a kind of depression, or anxiety, often called the holiday blues.  While it may have spared your family, you continue to feel at your worst at this same time every year. 

No one knew why this was happening during the holidays, until now. Like the canaries in the coal mine, you might be exposing yourself and your family to synthetic chemicals that wreak havoc on pre-existing conditions of even a mild case of hormone imbalance or an abnormality in your thyroid or adrenal hormone production.

Your holiday blues aren't being fabricated in your head.  For those individuals that have a known history of hormone imbalance and hormone sensitivity, one likely cause to consider is your hormones are reacting to your environment. The results are feelings of mild depression, and lingering sense of worry and anxiety. 

The good news is that you can reduce the exposure to these compounds and have a happier holiday season.

Another cause may be Vitamin D deficiency, which is a particular concern for the "Canaries" in our membership that see an increase in winter illnesses like cold, flus, and congestion in addition to depressed feelings.  The reduced sunlight during the fall and winter months effects many in the population and is usually diagnosed as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression.  Those that know they have a medical history with hormone imbalance do well to look deeper than SAD, and take a quick check on their Vitamin D levels.



Vitamin D is straightforward.  When your test shows you are deficient, the supplements available quickly return you to health.  But what about the synthetic chemicals in our home or office environment.  Let's discuss some of the options.


What are these synthetic chemicals and how do we avoid them?  

This holiday season, Dr. Richard Shames, the nation's chief pioneer in raising awareness on the impact environmental toxins have on human health, has these simple suggestions to help you identify hazards and limit your exposure to toxic chemicals.


Synthetic Chemicals are a threat to Thyroid and Adrenal glands

A few extra pounds may be the least of your holiday worries. It is now known that synthetic chemicals impact the major function of your thyroid and adrenal tissue.

And, that can lead to more anxiety and depression. New research has shown that even mild abnormalities in thyroid or adrenal levels can result in significant shifts. 

It is all spelled out in the September, 2012 issue of Mind, Mood, and Memory, a journal of Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital in the article "Beating the Winter Blues" by Michael Henry, MD.

Thyroid and adrenal dysfunction and mood disorders. 

Severe problems with thyroid and adrenal function can lead to mood disorders.

But this new research is confirming that even people with ‘mildly abnormal’ levels of thyroid and adrenal hormone can experience symptoms of depression and anxiety.

It has been found that synthetic chemicals known to be in holiday food and drink could increase your chances of coming down with the holiday blues. 

O.K., how do you find out what these chemicals are and how do you avoid them?

1.  Avoid the obvious chemicals.

Say a polite “No, thank-you” to all the pretty red and green color candy and cookies, or anything you know is synthetic.

Go for more natural products that have more neutral and natural colors and flavors.

2.  Read the labels on food packaging.

In addition to the obvious items above, be on the look out for the hidden chemicals.  Avoid any ingredient you're unfamiliar with.

The holidays are generally a time of extra eating. Make sure the extra food that you eat is low in sugar and additives.  This means buying organic whenever possible, and reading labels more carefully.




3.  Don't ingest what you can't say

Have you ever read the label of standard eggnog, whipped topping, or mulled cider?  Often there are several chemical sounding ingredients. 

A handy rule is, “If you cannot pronounce it, don’t ingest it.”  Luckily, if you look around a bit,  you will find good non-chemical alternatives to such standard holiday fare.

4.  Avoid the worst hormone disrupters — household cleansers

In addition to avoiding the obvious and hidden chemicals, make it your business to avoid the harsh chemicals. Many of the worst hormone disrupters are in the household cleansers we routinely use as well as over the holidays.

Cleaning the house for guests does not have to involve large amounts of harsh chemicals.

Start off by using the mildest item that will do the job. The least harsh products are called ‘all-purpose’. Know that the other similar item that is marked ‘heavy-duty’ might be a heavy-duty intrusion upon your thyroid and adrenal function.

Definitely avoid the ones marked ‘danger’ or ‘warning’. So, even amidst the holiday hubbub, take time to read the labels on cleaning products.  We are fortunate to now have available a large variety of natural, non- toxic cleaning products.

5.  Replace chemical cleansers with natural cleansers

Better still would be to dispense with chemical cleaners altogether.  Vinegar or club soda make a fine general purpose cleanser. Baking soda does well just by itself as an oven cleaner or scouring agent, without the risk of the strong commercial chemicals.

6.  Pesticides are the worst of all hormone disruptors.

If you're troubled by crawling insects going after fallen holiday crumbs try a little boric acid mixed with peanut butter, as a safer alternative to heavy poisons.


Here is one final thought. A fine holiday gift 
to yourself would be?


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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.