Lack of sun can cause vitamin D deficiency, Seasonal Affective Disorder, general gloomy mood

CHICAGO (WLS) -- January 2020 will go down tied with January 1914 as the third gloomiest on record.

The Chicago area was officially just four minutes shy of nine straight days without sun thanks to a brief break in the clouds Friday morning. But that doesn't much matter to Peter Matuszak, who gets outside to walk his dog Huck every day.

It's been more than a week since he and Huck were able to enjoy a little sunshine and it's starting to wear on them both.

"It's a hard thing to stay positive without sunlight. Need that vitamin D right?" Said Matuszak.

Yes. According to doctors, you do need vitamin D, and sun is a necessary ingredient for helping the body produce vitamin D.

"Lack of vitamin D can make us fatigued and over the long term it can affect bone strength," Said Dr. Carolyn Fitzpatrick from West Suburban Medical Center.

Fitzpatrick said in some cases lack of sun leads to Seasonal Affective Disorder. But at the very least most Chicago area residents tend to have low vitamin D levels in the winter.

"I wasn't aware of it until they gave me a blood test and prescribed vitamin D," said Kathleen Moser, Chicago resident.

"I can wake up and if the sun's not out I'm not happy. When the sun is out I'm much more energetic and happier," said Brenda Rossman, Chicago resident.

Downtown got a glimpse of the sun behind the passing clouds Friday. But after a few precious seconds it disappeared again, leaving us to deal with the gloom.
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