As we step into 2018, ready to deepen our understanding of the critical balance of hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as the role of elements in optimal health, we wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on the top stories of the past year.
Following is a round-up of 2017's most popular posts for practitioners.
Everything we do, feel, think – it all starts with the brain. A balanced, healthy brain helps lay the essential foundation for optimal wellbeing. A small but significant aspect of brain health is regulated by a specific class of steroid molecules called neurosteroids.
That the brain is a steroidogenic organ is widely accepted, and neurosteroids are woven into its very fabric. In fact, the term “neurosteroid” refers to cholesterol-derived steroid compounds that play critical roles in the nervous system - its development, maintenance and survival. “Neurosteroids: of the nervous system, by the nervous system, for the nervous system” as Baulieu said a decade and a half following the remarkable discovery of the very first neurosteroid - DHEA-S  .
What if there was a safe, effective, inexpensive, and simple way to help treat one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood?
Health care professionals often overlook nutrients; yet imbalances in many minerals are frequently seen in medical disorders including ADHD. Fortunately, replenishing nutrients with an integrative treatment plan has proven to be an effective treatment for the symptoms of ADHD.
When clinicians measure salivary cortisol and DHEA (DHEA-S) to assess stress and HPA axis function, it is common to find DHEA levels below the reference range in a number of individuals. A common explanation for the depletion of DHEA and other hormones (e.g., progesterone, testosterone) due to chronic stress is the phenomenon known as "pregnenolone steal."
The pregnenolone steal notion states that since all steroid hormones use pregnenolone (derived from cholesterol) as a precursor, the elevated secretion of cortisol caused by acute or chronic stress will inevitably result in less available pregnenolone to serve as a precursor for the production of DHEA and other down-stream hormones.
One of ZRT's most popular tests includes diurnal assessment of a patient's salivary cortisol levels. On the surface, these tests seem easy enough to interpret, but experienced clinicians know there can sometimes be pitfalls.
Patients testing cortisol in a clinical setting may take undisclosed medications, live under stressful conditions, have inflammation, genetic variations, tumors, and diseases. Sleuthing out the cause of cortisol elevations and depressions can be a real challenge.
"You have a 5-inch tumor in your chest" were the words spoken from a friend and radiologist as we both stared bewildered at my chest X-ray, following a host of side effects I'd been having for weeks.
As I looked at the X-ray film in amazement, my thoughts quickly changed to frustration and anger as I realized my behaviors and actions played a pivotal role in creating my disease—non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.