A symbol of femininity for so many women, our hair demands attention. Both deeply personal and superficially public, changes in the looks of our hair can inspire a range of emotions, driving us to willingly partake in its cutting, straightening, curling, bleaching, darkening, or other aggressive chemical treatments. Hair is part of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. This is why…

Tags: Stress, Menopause, Cortisol, Progesterone, Estrogen, PCOS, Thyroid Health, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12


Read this article

Understanding the Connection Between Hormones and Hair Loss

We are heading into the new year with a goal to strengthen our understanding of hormones, neurotransmitters, and heavy metals and the influence they have on our overall health and wellness. As we welcome 2019, we would like to take a moment to look back at our most popular blog posts from last year. Serotonin, or rather its deficiency, frequently…

Tags: Depression, Neurotransmitters, Stress, Mental Health, Heavy Metals, Sleep


Read this article

Looking Back: Popular Articles for Providers in 2018

The hypothalamus is directly innervated by neuronal systems that produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (5-HT), dopamine and norepinephrine (NE), that are involved in mood regulation and play various other roles in cognitive health. During the acute stress crisis, the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system is stimulated to help maintain morale. However, during chronic stress or depression, the reward system is down-regulated by stress mediators, resulting in anhedonia.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression


Read this article

Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 3

Glutamate (L-glutamic acid) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are, respectively, the principal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS and play a significant role in HPA axis function and mood. These two amino acid-based neurotransmitters account for over 50% of the synapses in the brain, while the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) account for only about 5%.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression


Read this article

Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 2

When we talk about “stress,” or allostatic load, in terms of the perception of an event, we must realize that these “events” must first be translated into neurochemical signals before they trigger the HPA axis. Therefore, the sensitivity and outcome of translating these events (whether they are ongoing events, memories of past events, or stressful anticipation of unrealized events), is highly dependent upon signaling from other neurotransmitters.…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Neurotransmitters, Depression


Read this article

Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress

Traumatic stressors are defined by the direct experience, witnessing of, or confrontation by an event involving actual or threatened danger, and they evoke responses that include intense fear, helplessness or horror. On a national and global level 2017 was peppered with one disaster after another. There has been a palpable sort of post-traumatic stress permeating the nation. On the heels of the…

Tags: Neurotransmitters, PTSD, Mental Health, Stress


Read this article

PTSD and the Resilient Brain: A Symphony of Neurotransmitters and 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.…

Tags: Stress, Saliva Testing, Adrenal and Cortisol


Read this article

Avoiding 3 Common Interpretation Pitfalls for Salivary Cortisol Tests

The New York Times did a remarkable story the other day that ended with the line "When you hear hoofbeats, the chances are good that it's a horse…but we must also remember that sometimes the circus is in town." ZRT is apparently hosting the circus this year. At the odds of 3-8 individuals per million – ZRT has been instrumental in discovering two cases of pheochromocytoma tumors in the last…

Tags: Neurotransmitters, Stress, Cancer, Dried Urine Testing, Adrenal and Cortisol


Read this article

Pheochromocytoma - A Rare Condition Exposed by Neurotransmitter Testing

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…

Tags: HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Stress, Pregnenolone Steal, Adrenal and Cortisol


Read this article

Re-assessing the Notion of "Pregnenolone Steal"

Sometimes, when we endeavor to understand and describe complicated medical topics, there is a temptation to find a simple explanation to cut through the complexity. These explanations can help bridge the knowledge gap for a while, but as our knowledge grows, they lose some of their original usefulness (e.g., the notion of “good” and “bad” cholesterol). In some cases, those over-simplified…

Tags: Stress, HPA Axis, Hormone Balance, Adrenal and Cortisol


Read this article

Is It Adrenal Fatigue? Reassessing the Nomenclature of HPA Axis Dysfunction.

Subscribe to Our Blog