ZRT is a company made up mostly of women. It’s not that we don’t have men working here, but 80% of our employees happen to be women. A combination of a company mostly of women, working in the health field, and having gone to medical school which tends to take away that filter that says “perhaps certain topics are off limits,” can lead to hilarious conversations like our one today on the favorite…

Tags: Menstrual Cycle Mapping, Estrogen, Progesterone, Saliva Testing, Blood Spot Testing, Menstruation


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Periods: The Miracle of Bleeding for 7 Days Without Dying

Delivery of the bioidentical hormones estradiol (E2), progesterone (Pg), and testosterone (T) through the skin as a cream or gel (topically) has become a mainstay of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for women and men. A plethora of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, compounded, and even over-the-counter topical BHRT products are available. The popularity of these products lies not only…

Tags: Bioidentical Hormones, Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Dried Urine Testing, Blood Spot Testing, Serum Testing, Saliva Testing


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Topical Delivery of Sex Steroid Hormones and Distribution in Different Body Fluids

Here in the Pacific Northwest we love talking about the sun! We grumble about it being hidden away behind heavy rain clouds for months at a time in the winter; we delight in the first breakthrough rays in the spring, realizing our pagan longing for it, watching, as if for the first time, as everything around us wakes up from a deep slumber; we marvel at its delightful, almost intoxicating warmth…

Tags: Vitamin D, Sleep, Depression, PMS and PMDD, Metabolic Health, Melatonin, Blood Spot Testing


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The Connection Between Low Vitamin D and Sleep Disturbances

I was so tired. I needed a new word for tired. I felt exhausted and incapacitated, utterly drained and hollowed out. It was like my brain and body were fading. And yet, these words are still not descriptive enough to relate how I felt. Getting out of bed felt grueling, punishing. I was 24 at the time, in my 4th year of my PhD program at Purdue University. I was newly engaged and so in love with my…

Tags: Thyroid Health, Blood Spot Testing


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My Thyroid Story

Mercury is one of the most toxic heavy metals. There are numerous natural and man-made sources of mercury, but the most concerning are the ones we are exposed to daily. Mercury is known to affect the nervous, circulatory, immune, reproductive, and digestive systems, along with organs such as the kidneys, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Mercury primarily targets sulfhydryl groups (sulfur) and…

Tags: Dried Urine Testing, Heavy Metals, Mercury, Blood Spot Testing


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Five Common Sources of Mercury Exposure

Urine, serum, plasma, whole blood, red blood cells, feces, hair, fingernails…the list goes on. How do you decide what biological sample(s) to use for element analysis? Can results be compared to scientific literature or do they have clinical significance? Is it possible for values to be elevated or low in one sample type and normal in another? Do test results indicate recent intake, body burden,…

Tags: Elements Testing, Heavy Metals, Dried Urine Testing, Blood Spot Testing, Iodine, Selenium, Bromine, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Magnesium


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Elements Testing – Why Sample Type Matters!

It may come as a surprise to most people that each year, the last full week of April is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating laboratory professionals. This year Medical Laboratory Professionals Week falls on April 24-30. Setting aside one week a year to acknowledge these experts is a perfect opportunity to increase public awareness of, and appreciation for, clinical laboratory personnel. Just…

Tags: Laboratory Quality, Saliva Testing, Dried Urine Testing, Blood Spot Testing


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Celebrating ZRT's Hormone Laboratory Professionals

CLIA-certified testing laboratories such as ZRT are required to provide reference ranges as an aid to interpretation of test results. Ideally, reference ranges provide the expected range of values for a healthy population. When methodology and equipment is identical for testing a particular analyte among different laboratories, reference ranges for that analyte should be the same. However, when…

Tags: Dried Urine Testing, Saliva Testing, Blood Spot Testing, Research


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How Reference Ranges Determine a "Normal" Lab Test Result

Practice Takeaway: Providers should be aware that three different body fluids – saliva, blood or urine – can be used to assess adrenal gland function, and should know each method’s advantages and disadvantages, when deciding how to test patients. Inadequate or excessive production or disrupted circadian patterns of cortisol synthesis by the adrenal glands in response to stressors can eventually…

Tags: Dried Urine Testing, Saliva Testing, Blood Spot Testing, Stress, Adrenal and Cortisol


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Cortisol Testing in Saliva, Blood & Urine

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance can often be challenging to assess. Is your patient exhibiting signs of estrogen dominance because her estrogen is too high or is it due to the progesterone being too low? Is his fatigue because he’s not making enough testosterone or that his adrenal glands are working over-time? Are her imbalanced sex steroids the cause of her depression or is it the low thyroid…

Tags: Hormone Balance, Saliva Testing, Blood Spot Testing, BHRT


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How to Use a Symptom Checklist to Choose a Hormone Test

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