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Do you find yourself hitting the snooze button far too often? Are you feeling groggy, tired, and fatigued? Do you find it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning?

Have difficulty waking up in the morning? This might all be a sign that you're having an adrenal issue.

What is cortisol?:

Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone that is produced and secreted by your adrenal glands. Cortisol is also known as your stress hormone.

Your cortisol plays a large role in regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure, circadian rhythm, energy, metabolism and inflammation. In normal adrenal function, cortisol should be highest in the morning and should reduce as the day goes on.

Cortisol is usually tested first thing in the morning (before 9 am), however, a more salivary test may be ordered that assesses your cortisol throughout the day.

What are your adrenal glands?:

Your adrenals glands are a pair of 2 glands, each located right above each kidney. Your adrenal glands produce several hormones that are responsible for many of your essential bodily functions.

Some of these functions include helping regulate your immune system, stress hormones, metabolism and blood pressure. The adrenal glands are made up of two parts: the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla. The cortex and medulla are each responsible for producing their own hormones.

There are specific conditions associated with too little or too much production of adrenal hormones.

Your adrenal cortex makes up the majority of your adrenal gland and is the outermost part of your adrenals. Your adrenal cortex is made up of 3 zones that each produce different hormones; these zones include the zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata and zona reticularis.

The zona glomerulosa secretes aldosterone, the zona fasciculata secretes cortisol and the zona reticularis secretes both androgens (DHEA and androstenedione, both made from cholesterol)  and a small number of glucocorticoids. Aldosterone is a steroid, released by the zona glomerulosa, that is responsible for regulating the salt and water in your body, having an effect on your blood pressure.

DHEA is a hormone that is a precursor to your other hormones, like testosterone and estrogen. 

The adrenal medulla, the innermost part of the adrenal gland, secretes primarily epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are your stress hormones and neurotransmitters  that are often released when you are in fight or flight.

These chemicals cause your blood pressure and heart rate to increase and your blood sugar to go up. Epinephrine has a greater effect on your heart, and norepinephrine affects your blood vessels, causing them to constrict which is why your blood pressure goes up. 

What are ideal cortisol levels?:

Typically, cortisol is tested first thing in the morning. The reason being is that your cortisol should be highest in the morning and drop as the day goes on.

If your cortisol is below that or at the bottom range of normal, it indicates you have a low cortisol awakening response. There can be many causes of this, some of which include Addison's Disease, physiological burnout, chronic fatigue, poor sleep, or chronic pain.

Depending on what is causing your low morning cortisol levels, therapy will likely differ, however, there are natural tools you can use to help raise your morning cortisol levels to help you start your day more energized!

Ways to increase cortisol levels:

You want to first make sure you don't have Addison's Disease. Addison's Disease, commonly known as primary adrenal insufficiency, is an adrenal gland disorder in which your body does not produce a sufficient amount of cortisol or aldosterone.

Addison's Disease is of autoimmune etiology, which occurs when your body's immune system attacks the adrenal cortex. While the cause of typically autoimmune, other causes exist including cancer, assault to the adrenal glands, or infection.

Cortisol and autoimmune diesease

If your cortisol is low, your doctor will want to look at your ACTH to assess whether you have primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency.

If you do not have Addison's Disease but have lower levels of morning cortisol levels, there are natural ways to help increase morning cortisol. Some of which may include:

  1. Early morning sunlight exposure- Sunlight sends your pituitary gland a wake-up signal. By sending this signal to your pituitary gland, your pituitary gland releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol and serotonin are released by the pituitary gland and melatonin is reduced, giving you a burst of energy in the morning.  
  2. Eat more carbohydrates! While it seems that reducing carbohydrates can help support weight loss, this may not be true for everyone. Studies have shown that eating more carbohydrates, specifically closer to dinner or bedtime helped improve sleep quality and morning cortisol levels. The type of carbohydrates does matter though- you should focus on complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, nuts, and beans. Some examples include:
  1. Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake. Drinking caffeine can interfere with your normal morning production of cortisol. Drinking caffeine (such as coffee) or alcohol can cause a crash in your energy, putting more strain on your adrenal glands.
  2. Blood sugar regulation! Did you know that your cortisol levels and blood sugar are related? By keeping your blood sugar regulated throughout the day, you assure that your adrenal glands aren't being taxed. Fasting or skipping meals may add extra stress to your adrenal glands, negatively affecting your cortisol levels. You can regulate your blood sugar by making sure your meals consist of a healthy source of protein, healthy fat, and fiber.
  3. Get moving! Strenuous exercise can negatively impact your adrenal glands, especially if they are already producing an insufficient amount of cortisol. However, daily movement including walking, yoga, pilates, and stretching can help normalize your cortisol levels.
  4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. By going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time in the morning, you are helping regulate your body's circadian rhythm. This may require some sleep hygiene practices- including dimming your lights two hours before bedtime, avoiding electronics before bed, and sleeping in a cool environment.
  5. Stress management. If you're finding yourself unable to manage daily stressors, you may want to find a way to reduce your day-to-day stress. Some of these tools may include meditation, breathing exercises, daily journaling, or light movement.
  6. Herbal support. There are many natural herbs that have been shown to support adrenals and healthy cortisol levels. Speak to your Doctor about what herbs might be best for you!
Tips to Balance Your Cortisol levels with a healthy diet

Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting over 18% of the U.S. adult population?

While anxiety disorder is generally considered a diagnosis, what if it is actually a symptom of an underlying condition?

There can be many causes of anxiety, and while medications may be necessary in some cases, they may be masking the root cause of your anxiety. Some causes of anxiety may include:

There are many benefits to treating the potential underlying cause of your anxiety. Not only can you avoid being on medication for the rest of your life, but you may also be able to avoid symptoms and risks associated with some of these other conditions. 

What is parathyroid?

Your parathyroids are 4 pea-sized, oval-shaped glands that sit next to your thyroid gland. 

How Parathyroid Disease Can Affect Your Mental Health

What do your parathyroid glands do?

Your parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH) that tightly regulates the amount of calcium in your bloodstream.

Specific areas in your body, like your kidneys, small intestine, and bones respond to PTH released by the parathyroid glands by increasing the calcium levels in your blood.

Why is calcium so important?

Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals that provides many vital functions in your body. Calcium is necessary for the strength of your bones and teeth, cardiovascular health, muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve function.

A majority of your calcium is stored in your bones but about 1% is found in your blood, muscle and other tissues. Your body tightly regulates the calcium in your body, specifically the amount of calcium floating around in your blood.

What else regulates your calcium?

Your PTH and calcitonin regulate your calcium. PTH, also known as Parathyroid Hormone, is a hormone that your parathyroid glands produce and release to help control the amount of calcium circulating in your blood.

PTH stimulates the release of calcium into the blood and also helps control the levels of both Vitamin D and phosphorus. When PTH levels are elevated, it can cause your serum calcium levels to rise. 

Calcitonin, on the other hand, is a hormone that is made by and released by parafollicular cells located in your thyroid gland.

Calcitonin helps regulate the calcium levels in your blood, preventing the calcium in your blood from getting too high. It does so by blocking the activity of osteoclasts, which are cells that are responsible for breaking down your bones.

Preventing bone breakdown helps reduce the amount of calcium that gets released into the bloodstream.

What is hyperparathyroidism?:

Hyperparathyroidism is when your parathyroid glands create too much parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the bloodstream. There are two types of hyperparathyroidism- primary and secondary, indicating different etiologies. In primary hyperparathyroidism, your parathyroid gland.

What is hyperparathyroidism?

Two types of hyperparathyroidism exist. In primary hyperparathyroidism, an enlargement of one or more of the parathyroid glands causes overproduction of the hormone.

This causes high calcium levels in the blood, which can cause a variety of health problems. Surgery is the most common treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism.

Secondary hyperparathyroidism occurs due to another disease that first causes low calcium levels in the body. Over time, increased parathyroid hormone levels occur.

Your Thyroid might be contributing to your anxiety

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition that causes some patches of your skin to lose color. This condition can not only cause some of your skin to lose its color but can actually also cause hair loss in certain areas of your body.

There are several causes of Vitiligo, however, it is considered to be an autoimmune condition where your melanocytes are destroyed.

In patients with vitiligo, their immune system creates antibodies that destroy melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells in your skin and eyes that produce melanin.

Melanin is a pigment that is produced by melanocytes that is responsible for giving color to your skin, hair, and eyes.

Vitiligo occurs in about 1% or slightly more of the population throughout the world. While vitiligo is generally considered autoimmune in origin, there may be several other outstanding factors that could be the culprit.

Some of these factors include genetics, stress (emotional and physical), neurogenic or self-destruction. In fact, alot of vitiligo cases are familial.

For the most part, vitiligo is a condition that primarily affects the skin, however, this may predispose individuals with vitiligo to other conditions.

Individuals with vitiligo may be at an increased risk for the following:

How is vitiligo diagnosed?

While vitiligo is generally diagnosed clinically as the white patches can be visibly seen, a Wood's lamp may be used which will allow the healthcare provider to assess the skin under a UV light.

What's the connection between Hashimoto's and Vitiligo?

There have been several hypotheses on why the co-mobidity between Vitiligo and Hashimotos is so high.

As we know, in both diseases, there is oxidative stress in both, as well as an autoimmune attack of melanocytes (vitiligo) and thyrocytes (Hashimoto's thyroiditis). 

The connection that your thyroid has with vitiligo

But why are these two diseases so connected?

Interestingly, thyroxine, the target molecule produced in the thyroid, and melanin, the target molecule produced in the skin are both derived from a specific molecule called tyrosine.

Because both conditions, like most autoimmune conditions, are associated with the activation of oxidative stress, the effect it has on tyrosine may account for the destruction of both melanocytes and thrycotes.

As mentioned earlier, there is also a genetic component that may be responsible for the destruction of melanocytes.

Similarly with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, there is both an autoimmune and a genetic component. There have been 37 susceptible genes that have been identified in Vitiligo and more than 15 genes that have been identified in autoimmune thyroid disease.

When assessing the susceptible genes amongst both conditions, there were 9 potential specific genes that were involved in both vitiligo and autoimmune thyroid disease. More specifically, TYR, Tg, and TSHR were gene associations found in both conditions.

Another gene, PTPN22 gene, which is responsible for encoding a lymphoid-specific phosphatase, was also seen in patients who had both autoimmune thyroid disease and vitiligo.

Also, AIS1, an autoimmunity susceptibility locus, was found to be the most probable reason for the comorbidity between Hashimoto's thyroiditis and vitiligo.

Interestingly, melanocyte-specific antigens were observed in patients who had Hashimoto's thyroiditis versus patients who did not have thyroid disease.

In patients with healthy thyroid function and in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis who did not have vitiligo, NKI/beteb, Pmel17, TRP-1, HMB-45, and S100 were negative whereasTRP-2, LAMP and CD69 were positive.

The TYR gene was only detected in the thyroid of patients with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, and levels of LAMP and CD69 were higher in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis versus patients with normal thyroid function.

Studies are showing that assessing melanocyte antigens in the thyroid of patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis may give more indication of vitiligo in association with Hashimoto's.

By assessing different skin cells and their ability to express certain thyroid antigens like TSHR, thyroglobulin, and TPO, researchers are able to connect the effect that immune system activation can have on the thyroid and skin cells. 

Symptoms of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis include:

Does this mean I will get Hashimotos if I have vitiligo?

No, not necessarily. While research does show that there is a high co-mobility between Hashimoto's thyroiditis and vitiligo, it doesn’t mean that you will have both diseases. Instead, it means that you have a higher likelihood of developing Hashimoto's thyroiditis if you already have vitiligo.

It should also be noticed that the risk of developing a thyroid condition in patients with vitiligo increases with age. For this reason, it is important that you ask your healthcare provider to always check your thyroid status through lab work and imaging.

You can also practice healthy lifestyle measures to support healthy thyroid function. This includes making sure you don't intake excess iodine through food or skincare.

As we know, stress, both physical and emotional, can exacerbate autoimmune conditions so finding ways to manage stress can help prevent the onset of certain autoimmune conditions.

Reducing environmental toxins can also help lower your toxic burden, thus lowering your chances of developing autoimmune conditions.

Low Thyroid Signs: The connection between Hashimoto's and Vitiligo

Curious whether there is a relationship between thyroid function and covid 19 infection? Recent research suggests that the inflammation caused by the sars coronavirus may have an impact on the thyroid by inducing inflammation, resulting in hypo or hyperthyroidism or even autoimmune thyroiditis.

As we've seen, coronavirus infection has a different effect on individuals with symptoms ranging from quite mild to very severe.

We've seen that COVID-19 infection can cause what's known as a cytokine storm, which is a hypersensitive immune reaction causing widespread inflammation through the body.

This hypersensitive immune reaction can in turn cause the immune system to wreak havoc on the thyroid, causing antibodies to attack the thyroid gland. 

What is autoimmune thyroiditis?

Autoimmune thyroiditis occurs when your immune system attacks your thyroid cells. Your body begins to create antibodies that attack your thyroid gland. The types of autoimmune thyroid conditions include:

While there isn't one cause of autoimmune thyroid conditions are unknown, there are several causative factors including:

COVID and Thyroid Disease- what does the research show:

There have been several studies looking at why we're seeing that the thyroid specifically is being so affected in those who had a recent SARS-Cov-2 infection.

As we know, SARS-CoV-2 infects human tissues by entering cells through the ACE2 or angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor.

While we may associate the ACE2 receptor with our lungs, it is actually expressed in several other organs including the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, pancreas, testes, and ovaries.

For this reason, these other organs may be a target of the ACE2 receptor as well, which could cause an aggravation of already existing endocrine abnormalities or cause new ones.

It should also be noted that because of this connection, individuals with endocrine diseases may have a more severe response to a covid-19 infection.

More specifically, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors were shown to have a positive association with the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). 

A recent study, compared 93 patients who were admitted to the ICU for a COVID-19 infection with 101 patients also admitted to the ICU for reasons other than COVID-19.

The study looked at thyroid function tests in both groups and excluded patients who already had a pre-existing thyroid disease. The study suggested that there was no statistical significance that would suggest thyroid disease predisposed individuals to infection with COVID-19. 

In this medical review, thyroid markers including TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 were measured. Interleukin-6, an inflammation marker, was also measured to assess the inflammatory response in patients.

After assessing 287 patients, the study concluded that there was a relationship between thyroid conditions, hyperthyroidism specifically, and COVID-19.

Interestingly, the inflammatory marker, cytokine IL6 was increased in patients whose TSH values were suppressed, indicating a hyperthyroid state.

While there have not been enough studies looking at the relationship between thyroid and COVID-19, the current research is showing that COVID-19 could be causing an overactive immune system that could be responsible for hyperthyroidism.

So what do you do?

As we know, COVID-19 infection can have an effect on multiple organ systems. It is prudent to follow up with your physician so that they can order any indicated labs or imaging. 

thyroid imaging to see patients thyroid function

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may want to let your physician know so that they can assess your thyroid function.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism:

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

You can also request that your Physician assesses for autoimmune thyroid conditions, like Hashimoto's or Graves Disease.

They can do so by ordering a Thyroid Ultrasound and other blood markers, including thyroglobulin antibody, thyroid peroxidase antibody, and thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin. 

What happens if you are diagnosed with a thyroid condition?:

Based on your lab and imaging results, your Physician may need to initiate therapy. If you have hypothyroidism, your Physician will likely put you on thyroid replacement therapy.

If you have hyperthyroidism, your Physician will place you on anti-thyroid medication, like Methimazole. Therapy may differ depending on your results.

It should also be noted that with careful monitoring and therapy, it is possible to reverse some of these thyroid conditions.

While medication may be necessary at first, it doesn't mean that you will have to be on medication for the rest of your life.

It is important to find a Physician who will help you find ways to manage your thyroid properly and they can do so by assessing and investigating the root cause of your thyroid condition.

Covid 19 and Hyperthyroidism
Here is what happens when you get the coronavirus

There has been quite a bit of debate as to whether rice bran oil is good for you or not. The short answer is: in moderation. While rice bran oil has several benefits, its other properties may be a reason for concern if consumed in excess.

Rice bran oil is often used in cooking but has also been found useful for your skin and hair. Its also commonly found in cosmetics as its high in Vitamin E, making it quite moisturizing.

Rice bran oil is often used in cooking, as it doesn't have a pronounced taste and has a very high smoke point making it a good oil to use in frying. This comes with a caveat, however, because in general, the more refined an oil is, the higher its smoke point.

Other refined oils with high smoke points include vegetable oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, corn oil, and margarine. Generally, refined oils, including rice bran oil are high in omega-6 fatty acids, making them inflammatory. 

About rice bran oil:

Rice bran oil is the oil that is extracted from the rice husk, also known as chaff, and germ which is the hard outer brown layer of rice. 

The oil is removed from the chaff and germ and then refined to make rice bran oil. It has a smoke point of 232 C, making it ideal for frying and stir-frying.

Rice bran oil is commonly used in Asian countries for its cooking versatility.

What is the difference between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids?:

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, healthy, unsaturated fats that can often be found in food. The three types of omega-3 fatty acids include:

Research shows that omega-3 fats play an essential role in nerve, brain and eye development. In fact, omega-3 fats have been proven to help lower the risk of heart disease and improve immune system function. Other benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids include:

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include:

Omega-6 fatty acids are also unsaturated fatty acids that can also be found in our diet. Unlike Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory.

That's not to say that omega-6 fatty acids should be avoided, however, it is best to aim for a ratio of 1:4 when it comes to omega-6 to omega-3 ratios. Too many omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to increase inflammation which can put you at risk for many chronic diseases.

healthy meal

Some research has shown that a high intake of omega-6 fatty acids has been linked to increased risk:

This isn't to say that omega-6 fatty acids should be entirely avoided though, as some inflammation is necessary as it can help protect our bodies from injury and infection.

So like most things, a little bit and in moderation may do a body some good. 

The types of Omega-6 fatty acids include:

Foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids may include:

5  health benefits of rice bran oil?:

  1. May help reduce cholesterol
  1. Elevated smoke point
  1. Rich in Vitamin E
skin care lady with soft skin from rice bran oil
  1. Oral Health 

Several different oils can be used for oil pulling, rice bran oil being one of them. Studies have shown that oil pulling with rice bran oil is an effective way of reducing bad breath and preventing tooth decay.

By taking proper care of your oral health, you can inadvertently help improve other conditions including infections, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, skin conditions, and more. 

  1. Rich in monounsaturated fats

Literature suggests that monounsaturated fats are associated with lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes as they can help reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. They may also help stabilize insulin and blood sugar, lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Rice bran oil contains 5 grams of monounsaturated fats per serving (a serving being one tablespoon). It should be noted however that while rice bran oil does contain monounsaturated fats, it does also contain 5 grams of polyunsaturated fat per serving.

A high intake of polyunsaturated fats has been associated with an increased risk for inflammation, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, and asthma.

What are other good alternative oils to use?: 

As mentioned, rice bran oil can provide some health benefits, however, when used in excess can have detrimental health consequences.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of other, more healthful alternatives that you can use in your cooking including:

Be sure to assess the smoke point of these oils to see which are best to cook with versus which are better to merely use raw. You can also request that your healthcare practitioner run an OmegaCheck Panel to assess your Omega 3/6 Ratio. 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808858/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27311126/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976416/#:~:text=Vitamin%20E%20is%20an%20important,as%20a%20free%2Dradical%20scavenger.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819075/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27966509/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5654187/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12052487/

Are You Struggling with Acne?

Struggling with acne can have a significant impact on your quality of life. It can be frustrating to feel like you're doing all you can, whether it be facials, laser treatments, serums, or moisturizers.

And nothing gives. Well not only is your skin your largest organ, but it also may be giving you signs that something is going on internally. You see, we often go directly to the sign or the symptom we're experiencing, but what if there is a deeper, root cause that could be the culprit?

There can be a slew of conditions that cause acne.

Some of which may include:

What is H.Pylori?

H.Pylori, also known as Helicobacter pylori, is a bacteria that infects the lining of your stomach. It is a spiral-shaped microaerophilic gram-negative flagellated organism.

This bacteria enters your body and resides in your digestive tract. If left untreated H, Pylori can cause ulcers in your stomach and the small intestine, gastrointestinal reflux disease, inflammation of the stomach (also known as gastritis) and may even put you at risk for developing stomach cancer.

While this may seem frightening, research shows that only about 1-3% of infected individuals may develop stomach cancer from untreated h.pylori and less than 0.1% develop lymphoma. 

How prevalent is H.Pylori?

H.Pylori actually affects more than half of the world's population. While this may seem like a large statistic, a majority of individuals do not develop ulcers or experience many symptoms.

In fact, less than 20% of all infected patients with H.pylori actually develop an infection and less than 10% of infected patients develop peptic ulcer disease.

With that being said, research shows that H.Pylori may manifest as atypical symptoms. Some common symptoms of H.Pylori include:

Other symptoms that one should consider include:

How is acne related to H.Pylori?

There have been several hypotheses regarding the effect H.Pylori infection has on acne. H.pylori has an effect on inducing oxygen metabolites which leads to inflammation of the gastric lining and has been shown to induce inflammation and changes in the skin. 

H.pylori has also been associated with seborrhea, which plays a role in promoting inflammatory acne. A third hypothesis that may be the cause is the influence that H.Pylori has on promoting lipase enzyme secretion.

Boy has acne from H.Pylori

Lipase is an enzyme that allows your body to break down fats. Increased lipase secretion has been associated with an increased incidence of acne.

What is the relationship between H.Pylori and acne?

A study was conducted in 2020 analyzing the relationship between H.Pylori and severe acne vulgaris. This was a cross-sectional study that looked at 100 participants with acne vulgaris and looked at fecal H.pylori antigen, in addition to H.pylori blood antibodies. 

The participants were divided based on mild, moderate, and severe acne. When looking at fecal H.pylori infection, the group with severe acne vulgaris had significantly higher levels of fecal H.Pylori antigen and serum H.pylori antigen than the control group and participants with mild and moderate acne vulgaris. 

More specifically, this study found that of all the participants with acne vulgaris, 59% of participants had a positive fecal H.pylori antigen. Around the same percentage of healthy participants had also had a detected positive fecal H.pylori antigen.

However, upon quantifying the level of fecal H.pylori antigens amongst both groups, the levels were much higher in the participants struggling with acne vulgaris.

In fact, when comparing the mild, moderate and severe acne vulgaris groups, the participants with severe acne vulgaris had the highest levels of h.pylori.

When comparing the participants with mild and moderate acne against healthy individuals, there was not a significant difference in the amount of fecal h.pylori antigen.

Interestingly enough, when compared to the patients with no acne, mild or moderate acne vulgaris, the participants who had severe acne vulgaris had significantly higher levels of both H.Pylori antigen and antibodies.

How do you get H.Pylori? 

H.Pylori is extremely contagious and can be spread from person to person through saliva and feces. H.Pylori can be spread through kissing, sharing food and drinks, and not properly washing your hands.

If you suspect someone in your family, significant other, or close friends have H.Pylori, you may consider getting tested.

How do you diagnose H.Pylori?

While there are several ways to check for H.Pylori, the gold standard is a Urea Breath Test. For accuracy, there are several rules when testing for H.Pylori.

On the day of your breath test, you will breathe into a bag. After that, you will be given a drink that contains tagged carbon molecules.

After consuming the drink, you will breathe into another bag. If you do have an H. pylori infection, carbon will be released when the solution is broken down in your stomach. Your body will absorb the carbon and expel it when you exhale.

How do you treat H.Pylori?

H.Pylori Treatment typically involves triple or quadruple therapy. Triple therapy most often involves a protein pump inhibitor plus 2 different antibiotics for 14 days. It is often advised to re-test again after 4-6 weeks.

It should be noted that reinfection of H.Pylori is possible. For this reason, it is recommended to have your loved ones checked so you avoid reinfection.

Is there a natural approach to treating H.Pylori?

Yes, there are several herbs and supplements that have been shown to be effective in eradicating H.Pylori. However, it should be noted that herbal treatment may not be strong enough to get rid of

H.Pylori. Your Doctor should be able to present you with the different treatment options and together you can decide which approach you would like to take.

How Does COVID Impact Thyroid Function?

Because re-testing is often recommended, you can try a natural approach and if it doesn't work, then resort to antibiotic and PPI therapy. 

So what do I do with this information?

Education is power. While putting a bandage on a problem seems like the easier fix, it won't help get to the root cause of the problem which can make it persist without many resolutions.

There can be many causes of acne which may be simply dermatological in origin, however, that may not always be the case.

Not only will getting to the root cause of your acne help it resolve, but it will also take care of or prevent other potential symptoms and risks associated with the condition.

The truth about Soy

Are you confused about soy? There is a lot of medical information all around us and it can be conflicting. Some sources say it's good for you, some say otherwise.

Making healthy decisions can be challenging when there is conflicting information on the web.

While soy is known to have estrogen-like effects, human studies don't support that the estrogenic effects of soy increase the risk of cancer, but in fact, may decrease it.

The question comes down to quality. In the United States, 85% of soybeans are genetically modified. If you're able to source good soy products, it's best to find Organic, Non-GMO soybeans.

Not only are non-GMO soybeans richer in nutrients and free of glyphosate and agrochemicals, but they are also better for our environment. 

What are soy nuts?

Soy nuts are dried and roasted soybeans that can resemble roasted peanuts. Soybeans are a type of legume that have a vast nutritional profile.

Soybeans are naturally high in protein, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C, and low in saturated fat.

soy nuts

Soybeans are also a good source of fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium and make for a great snack. Other great sources of soy include edamame, tofu, miso, and tempeh.

What are the benefits of soy nuts?

  1. Can lower cholesterol and help lower the risk of heart disease

Soy nuts are rich in fiber, protein, and alpha-lipoic acid, which can contribute to its cholesterol-reducing effect.

Fiber helps bind to cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduce its absorption by helping it be excreted in the bile. Alpha-lipoic acid, also known as ALA, has been shown to decrease total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol which is considered to be the bad cholesterol.

By reducing your cholesterol, you're able to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Soy nuts are also a great source of protein and because they're low in saturated fat, they make a good substitute for animal proteins that can generally have higher fat content.

2. May reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer

Soy isoflavones can bind to estrogen receptors in the body and cause either weak estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity. There have been many studies linking a reduced risk of breast cancer with an increased intake of soy.

It should be noted, however, that many of these studies were done in Asian countries, where soy products may be less processed than they are in the United States.

This is where quality matters. Soybean contains lunasin, a bioactive peptide, which has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in males. 

3. Manage obesity/weight management

Soy nuts naturally contain both fiber and protein which can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling fuller longer. This combination has been shown to aid in weight loss. Clinical research has also shown that 40-160 mg of soy isoflavones per day can aid in weight loss. 

4. Reduce symptoms of menopause 

Soy isoflavones are estrogen mimickers, meaning they biologically behave the same as estrogen. During menopause, estrogen levels drop significantly, which can lead to menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, and vaginal dryness. Studies have shown that women supplementing with soy isoflavones experienced less significant menopausal symptoms compared to those not consuming soy isoflavones. 

5. Reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Dietary intake of soy has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar and lead to a decreased risk of glucose intolerance. The combination of fiber and protein naturally present in soy helps stabilize blood sugar. There are several studies that indicate the positive effect soy intake has on glycemic control and weight management. 

Lady enjoying the 7 benefits of soy nuts

6. Anti-Cancer Properties

The isoflavones in soy have been proven to prevent cancer. A major isoflavone found in soy, genistein, has been shown to have antineoplastic effects, more specifically in ovarian cancer. Genistein has also more generally shown to be involved in cell regulation and cell death, which may aid in the prevention of certain cancers.

7. Osteoporosi

Soy nuts contain isoflavones which have been shown to increase bone strength, helping decrease the risk of fractures. Soy isoflavones help increase bone mineral density which can be very helpful in menopausal and post-menopausal women struggling with osteopenia or osteoporosis.

So now what?

Soy products, when consumed in their natural, least processed form have been shown to have significant health benefits. However, always consult with your healthcare provider if you are unsure if consuming soy products is right for you.

Do you spend enough time outdoors? As you may be aware, there are many health benefits to spending time in nature. In fact, there are certain rituals that you can do while outdoors to promote healing.

Some of these rituals include but are not limited to Sungazing, grounding (also known as earthing), forest bathing, and chi gong.

What are the benefits to spending time outdoors:

There have been numerous studies suggesting the health benefits of spending time outdoors in nature. Some of these benefits include:

little boy playing on the beach in the sun stacking a cairn

While simply spending time in nature has proven health benefits, you can further enhance these benefits by including some of these rituals into your daily routine. While some of these practices may seem simple, they have been utilized by many ancient civilizations for hundreds of years.

What is sungazing?

Sungazing is a form of meditation where you stare directly into the sun. Other terms for sun gazing may be solar healing or sun staring. There have been many noted health benefits of sungazing.

Sungazing was practiced by many ancient cultures including the Aztecs, Native American tribes and is common in some QiGong traditions.

What are the benefits of sun gazing?

How do you sun gaze?

First and foremost, you want to make sure you do this during a safe hour when the sun is not as strong. This is typically done the best one-half hour after or one-half hour before sunset when UV rays are at a minimum.

If you're just starting to sun gaze, it is suggested to start for a short period of time (10-30 seconds) and slowly work your way up to a few minutes per day. This should help ensure that you don't damage your eyes when staring directly into the sun.

It is recommended that you don't wear sunglasses, contacts or any type of glasses when sun gazing. If you are able, it is best to do this while you are outdoors, while contacting your bare feet to the ground. This process is called grounding (or earthing).

This can help you better connect to the earth and can further enhance stress relief, improve blood flow, sleep and reduce inflammation. It should be warned, however, that many medical experts advise against staring directly into the sun at any time of day, so proceed with caution.

Is sun gazing safe?

If done correctly, sun gazing may be safe and provide several health benefits. This comes with caution though, as staring directly into the sun can put you at risk for permanent eye damage.

Some Doctors say that no matter the time of day, staring into the sun can be dangerous and may cause permanent retinal damage. In fact, some experts recommend protecting your eyes when exposed to the sun to assure you don't experience any potential loss of vision or damage to your eyes.

While generally, the agreement amongst medical professionals is that sungazing is not safe, others have utilized this practice for centuries and found great health benefits.

Other medical experts stated that if sun gazing is practiced during sunrise or sunset when the UV index is low, sun-gazing should generally be safe.

So in conclusion. It is important to be aware of the potential dangers of sun gazing and proceed with caution. Sun exposure has many benefits but like anything else. Too much of a good thing isn't always good.

For this reason, if you do decide to try sun gazing, it's important to do it for an appropriate amount of time and during the advised time of day. If this is a practice you would like to engage in, you should follow up with your ophthalmologist to assure no damage is being done to your eyes.

If you begin to notice any vision changes or eye pain, it is advised to check in with your physician immediately.

Optic Nerve and Sunlight:

a green eye to illustrate optics that can get damaged from sungazing

The optic nerve is the second cranial nerve (CNII) that is responsible for sending visual cues from your eyes to your brain. This nerve is actually a bundle that contains over a million nerve fibers. The optic nerve has several main functions including:

When light enters our eyes, it is refracted and focused to a specific point located on the retina, specifically, the macula. The macula is located at the back of the eye and responsible for our central vision which we use when driving or reading for example. 

It has been thought that the light from the sun connects to our optic nerve, which connects our eyes to our brain. This connection is thought to promote health benefits. It should be warned, however, that damage to the optic nerve can cause vision loss.

Some tests that your eye doctor may perform to assess your optic nerve function include visual acuity, color perception, visual field test, visual reflexes, and fundoscopy exam.

What are the potential dangers of sun gazing?:

While it is clear that light is necessary for vision, there are certain types of light that can be damaging to the eye. Ultraviolet light, specifically, has been shown to have the potential to cause a significant amount of damage to the eye. Some of these dangers may include:

Now that I know the benefits and potential dangers of sungazing. What do I do?

Awareness and education are essential. We have provided you with the information you need to make an educated decision for yourself.

Generally, getting outside and exposing yourself to sunlight is beneficial. Wearing the proper protection (ie sunscreen, sunglasses, or a hat) if you are outdoors for a long period of time can help prevent sunburns and cancer risk, however, getting sun exposure during safe times (less UV index) can provide many spiritual, emotional and physical health benefits.

If you have any questions, always speak to your physician before.

This information should not be taken as medical advice but merely an assessment of the research that exists on sun gazing.

What is Iodine?

Iodine is a mineral that is naturally occurring in foods that come from the ocean such as oysters and seaweed. Since it is a nutritionally essential element, some people have a hard time acquiring basic needs.

This is why iodine has been added to salt in many countries around the world in order to help minimize the chances of developing thyroid disease.

Iodine deficiency has been a popular public health topic over several years and great efforts around the globe have been made to fortify salt with iodine in order to minimize the health consequences seen with deficiency. 

These days, iodine deficiency is less common and most people have access to iodine in their diets. In fact, iodine excess is more likely due to the quality of foods and access to foods such as dairy products, bread, ocean foods such as fish, seaweed, kelp, and egg yolks. 

Why is iodine even important to humans? 

Iodine is an essential mineral required for thyroid hormone production. Too much iodine and too little iodine can cause thyroid disease.

The thyroid gland requires iodine in order to make thyroid hormones such as thyroxine, commonly known as T4. Too much iodine and too little iodine can cause thyroid disease and goiters.

A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency can cause impaired growth and brain defects known as cretinism. Iodine excess can also cause goiter.

iodized salt

How much Iodine is necessary? 

The WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations for Iodine are 150mcg daily. The thyroid gland only needs 52mcg daily to produce T4. This amount can generally be met by consuming a nutritionally balanced diet. Consuming less than 50mcg is known to cause an iodine deficiency.

Where it becomes challenging to stay within the recommended reference range is for people who are taking thyroid medication.

Thyroid medication also contains iodine. In addition, some multivitamins and other supplements contain high levels of Iodine which can actually cause more disruption and dysfunction of thyroid production.

It is important to stay within the recommended range so that the thyroid does not get impaired. (See Hypo and Hyperthyroidism)

How do you test for Iodine in the body?

Iodine testing in the blood is not a very accurate way of determining iodine levels in the thyroid. The best way to probably test for this is to calculate it from the urine and to actually see what the body is excreting, also taking into account kidney function.

These days, we have great iodine: creatinine ratio calculators that can provide a good range of iodine levels in the body and these tools can help providers educate patients on their levels and help them make adjustments to get levels in an optimal range. 

How Does the Thyroid Make Thyroid Hormones from Iodine?

Actually, it is important to understand the distinction between iodine and iodide. Iodine is the element that is seen in chemistry, under the periodic table of elements known as a halogen, atomic number 53.

Iodide is the salt form of this element and this is why we ingest it into our bodies.

The thyroid gland actually converts iodide into iodine through a series of reactions that take place in the endocrine gland.

Inside the thyroid cells, there is a protein called thyroglobulin and when four iodine molecules are attached to it, it becomes the thyroid hormone thyroxine, known as T4. The T4 hormone is then further conjugated into another thyroid hormone known as liothyronine, known as T3.

T3 is known to be the active thyroid hormone. T4 is known to be the storage/inactive thyroid hormone.

Once these hormones are made inside the thyroid cells, they are shunted out of the thyroid and into the bloodstream where these hormones can exert their effects on tissues.

Thyroid hormones are required in every cell of the body and they play an extremely important role in metabolism, regulation of body temperature, mood, and cardiovascular functions. 

The Thyroid Phenomenons:

The thyroid has amazing machinery that can help regulate the amount of iodine coming in and out of the gland. When too much iodide comes into the body, the body has an effective way of controlling this scenario.

It rejects excess iodide and prevents the thyroid gland from making too many thyroid hormones. This is known as the Wolff-Chaikoff effect. This is a temporary phenomenon that lasts a few days until the body can regulate the number of thyroid hormones again.

When the thyroid gland is exposed to significant amounts of iodine such as when iodine contrast dyes are used in certain types of imaging such as CT scans and angiography, a condition called thyrotoxicosis can develop.

Thyrotoxicosis is when the thyroid has been extremely oversaturated with iodine and it causes the thyroid gland to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormones such as thyroxine (T4)  and liothyronine (T3). This is known as the Jod-Basedow phenomenon.

This uncontrolled level of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream has a serious effect on the heart and can cause palpitations, arrhythmias, and anxiety. It is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention. 

Iodine as an Antiseptic agent

Iodine has been one of the most widely known and used antiseptic agents in the world. It has been used in wound care and management. It has been used as a tincture known as iodoform.

This original application has been modified to a milder form known as povidone-iodine. Its natural element color is violet-black and the less potent povidone-iodine is browner in color.

Iodine is germicidal and has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti spore properties.

It has also been used in burns, acute and chronic wound care. Since iodine can also be absorbed through the skin, it is important to know that certain types of skincare also contain iodine and this can also increase iodine levels in the body and something patients need to be aware of. 

Linda is a integrative health expert that focuses on female hormones. Schedule a free consultation with her!

How to Test Your Body For Toxins? 

There are toxins all around us. In our everyday life, we are exposed to them all the time. There are toxins in our food, water, and even in the air.

While our bodies know how to deal with biologically damaging compounds, we don't have a system responsible for the growing numbers of toxins we intake without even knowing.

When we intake more toxins than our bodies can cope with there may occur big problems. 

Integrative healthcare providers have commonly believed that an overload of toxins can shock your system and cause problems.

What are toxins? 

First of all, what is the right terminology? The word "toxin" is a poison from living things (for example spiders). The right word for the harmful chemicals is "toxicant". 

High concentrations of toxicants can be found in glyphosate. This substance can be found in farm animals because they are fed and irrigated with food and water that contain glyphosate.

That way the toxicants enter our bodies through the food. Some toxicants can be absorbed through your skin, because of the contaminated air, or from some substances that can be found in some self-care products. 

When your body has too many toxins you may feel a bit sick. That is happening because your body is trying to find a way to get rid of the toxins.

When that happens you may have diarrhea or a strong urge to vomit, cough, or sneeze. You may even notice that you sweat more and your body odor smells different (bad). 

When you have a toxic overload that may be a sign that you need to change your lifestyle in a more healthy direction. 

Turmeric which is a common Indian spice has great antioxidant properties, which may enable it to flush out toxins from our body.

What are the risks? 

If you notice some of these symptoms that maybe is a sign that you need detoxification: 

How Does COVID Impact Thyroid Function?
  • Weight gain 
  • Brain fog
  • Nerve tremors 
  • Fatigue

If you don't take any actions after the appearance of the symptoms above there may be serious consequences: 

As you can see there are many symptoms and serious conditions that can arise if you are overloaded with toxicants. 

You better know when and how to test for toxins. 

Toxins and your thyroid

Toxins such as heavy pesticides, metals, BPA, and fluorides impact thyroid function and cause your thyroid nodules to swell!

How To Test For Toxins? 

Should be noted that many of the symptoms are common for many other health problems. You can not guess when you need detoxification.

The most accurate way to find out if you have toxin overloads is to make tests. The two types of tests "are indirect" and "direct tests".

While the indirect test looks for clues that you have toxicants, the direct test checks the level of toxicants in your body.

Not every toxin can be measured easily and that's why the direct test is more precise. 

Urine Tests 

There are two ways to do these tests- with or without provocation. If you choose to do it without provocation the results will show the results from the past few days, while provocation takes longer to get the results.

Mercury Specialization Testing 

Use urine toxic metal testing, after provocation. Keep in mind that this test only checks for mercury. You should be testing every year. 

Serum Blood Tests 

There are many options for blood tests. These are the most used ones because they are easy, cheap and very quick. 

The problem here is that the most dangerous toxicants stay in the serum not long enough and the serum test shows results only from the last few days. This test is better if you want to check the toxicants you intake daily. 

Red Blood Cells Test

This type of test can be used in a combination with the serum test( as a whole blood test). It is the better choice because it shows the number of toxins you have collected in your body for the last three months.

But they don't always show the whole problem. 

Liver Enzyme Tests 

If they are higher than they are supposed to be that can mean there are toxicants.

Organic Acids Tests 

These tests are used for reporting many metabolic byproducts. Usually, they are performed with urine. 

There are many cons here because these tests are a bit unclear. That can complicate all treatment attempts.

Hair Tests 

With these tests, you can measure heavy metals, like: 

  • Aluminum
  • Arsenic
  • Antimony
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Nickel
  • Uranium
  • Strontium

They are cheap and easy to do on your own, but they are not completely accurate and often the quantity of toxicants you find is not the same amount as the toxicants in the body.

Stay away from products that have clay bentonite in them, since they may have lead in them! Also, read this post before buying olive oil, since, some olive oils have impurities in them which can be toxic.

We know turmeric from Indian curry mixtures and like to use this spice in cooking. However, turmeric is not only delicious but also has some health-promoting properties.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric originates from South Asia and has been used as a spice and remedy in India for several thousand years. The yellow root belongs to the ginger family but does not taste as hot as ginger, but is somewhat mildly spicy and slightly bitter.

Turmeric contains various essential oils and polyphenol curcumin. Both ingredients contribute significantly to the health-promoting and healing effects of turmeric.

For example, curcumin has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect - and is said to relieve pain in osteoarthritis. Always check with your pain doctor near you.

Integrative Physicians across the world agree that turmeric is an essential spice in one's diet.

REMINDER.

Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and tastes mildly spicy and slightly bitter. The root contains essential oils and the active ingredient curcumin, which contributes significantly to turmeric being so healthy.

1. Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect

Acute, short-term inflammation helps the body repair damage and protects against dangerous bacteria. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can harm the body.

Studies show that chronic inflammation can promote or cause, diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.

How Does COVID Impact Thyroid Function?

The curcumin in turmeric has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and is therefore used to prevent and treat diseases. In some studies, the effectiveness of curcumin is even compared with anti-inflammatory drugs.

However, pure turmeric powder contains just three percent curcumin. The power substance is also poorly absorbed through the intestines and quickly excreted by the body. For this reason, some manufacturers add a black pepper extract (piperine) to their products.

By taking turmeric daily this may help reduce inflammation and stave off clinical hypothyroidism. While studies have shown that turmeric help your thyroids function, if you have swollen thyroid nodules then refer to this post.

REMINDER.

For the body to better absorb curcumin, piperine is added. However, black pepper hardly increases the bio-availability of turmeric/curcumin but may even pose health risks in amounts above 2 milligrams.

How Does COVID Impact Thyroid Function?

2. Turmeric has an antioxidant effect

Oxidative damage is caused by free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals react with organic substances such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA and can cause disease and accelerate aging processes. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals.

Curcumin has not only an anti-inflammatory effect but also a potent antioxidant effect. Due to its chemical structure, curcuminoids can neutralize free radicals, making them harmless.

In addition, curcumin also promotes the activity of the body's antioxidants. Thus, free radicals are fought particularly effectively.

Turmeric is known for it's detoxicational properties!

REMINDER.

Curcumin has a strong antioxidant effect. The active ingredient contained in turmeric can neutralize free radicals and promote the body's antioxidants.

3. Turmeric reduces the risk of brain diseases.

Nerve cells can reconnect with each other. In some regions of the brain, nerve cells can even multiply. The growth factor BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor), the so-called neurotrophic factor, is decisive for this multiplication. BDNF is a type of growth hormone that is active in the brain.

Some brain dysfunction, such as depression or Alzheimer's disease, is associated with decreased levels of BDNF in scientific studies.

REMINDER!

Curcumin strengthens the concentration of the growth factor BDNF in the brain. This promotes the proliferation of nerve cells and reduces diseases and impairments of the brain.

4. Turmeric reduces the risk of heart disease.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Heart disease is very complex and is influenced by many different factors.

It is shown that polyphenol curcumin can reduce the risk of heart disease (and cholesterol levels) due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, and cardiovascular strengthening effects.

Curcumin also strengthens the functioning of the endothelium in the heart. The endothelium is a vascular coating that regulates substances between the blood and the vessels.

Reduced endothelial function affects the regulation of blood pressure and blood clotting and is a significant cause of heart disease. Due to its endothelium-strengthening effect, curcumin in turmeric reduces heart disease risk.

REMINDER.

Curcumin has a positive effect on heart health. Polyphenol has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects and strengthens the functionality of the endothelium.

5. Turmeric to protect against cancer

Currently, research is being conducted to determine how much turmeric can be effectively used in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Curcumin in turmeric may affect the development, growth, and spread of cancer cells.

Studies show that curcumin can inhibit the growth of blood vessels and metastases and contribute to the death of cancer cells.

Some laboratory studies with animals show that curcumin inhibits the development of cancer cells. Although the studies are promising, further research is needed to ensure the efficacy and medical applicability of curcumin against cancer.

REMINDER.

Curcumin can affect changes at the molecular level. Curcumin with this ability may also protect against cancer or even be used to treat cancer.

6. Turmeric soothes the stomach

Turmeric, especially the contained polyphenol curcumin, helps with digestive problems and soothes the stomach. Turmeric promotes fat digestion in the stomach and intestines, preventing bloating and flatulence after high-fat meals.

Turmeric's effectiveness in treating inflammation of the digestive system has been scientifically confirmed.

How Does COVID Impact Thyroid Function?

REMINDER.

In addition, curcumin has a strong antioxidant effect. The active ingredient contained in turmeric can neutralize free radicals and promote the body's antioxidants.

Turmeric, or rather curcumin, strengthens the concentration of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the brain. This promotes the proliferation of nerve cells and reduces diseases and impairments of the brain.

Curcumin also has a positive effect on heart health, as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and strengthens the functioning of the endothelium. It is scientifically proven that turmeric helps with digestive problems and soothes the stomach.

Can turmeric be used for skincare? Check out this article on how turmeric can be used for skincare.

It's safe to say when it comes to natural remedies, turmeric, is one of the leaders. Whereas, natural remedies such as Benodite clay, are riskier.

Looking for out of pocket lab options?

You may be hesitant to schedule an appointment to see a doctor because you are uncertain about the costs of lab tests.

This can be a deterrent to seeking health care due to not having health insurance, or you may have insurance with a high deductible and are unsure about coverage.

There are ways to overcome these obstacles and we offer an out of pocket/cash pay option to get your labs done.

The advantage of this option is that you will not be surprised by a big bill and the cost of labs is transparent. In many cases, these out-of-pocket labs expenses may be used toward a health insurance deductible. 

What options for out of pocket labs do I have?

We work hard at finding lab companies that can keep out-of-pocket expenses affordable so you can get the information you need and get on track with your health.

We provide you with a laboratory order that you pay upfront at your provider's office and you will not be surprised by a big bill in the mail and you do not have to rely on what insurance companies may or may not cover.

How our process for out of pocket labs works

Schedule your new patient appointment online or by calling us at 480-687-0054. Our staff is ready to help you get set up. During your first appointment, the doctor will order the necessary blood work, which usually consists of a comprehensive workup.

We partner with lab companies to keep out-of-pocket expenses affordable and convenient so that you do not have to delay in getting the health information needed to help your health stay on track.

A mobile phlebotomist may be able to come to your home to collect labs. You can arrange this with the lab company that we set you up with.

Do you need your blood drawn?

Are you tired of waiting weeks to get an appointment for lab work? Even when you have an appointment, are you frustrated that you still have to sit in a waiting room for 30-60 mins before you are seen?

This can be challenging, especially since many lab orders require you to be in a fasting state and require you to be there early. We don't want you to be hangry so we offer in-office blood draws for your convenience and for a better patient experience.

Your options for in-office blood draws!

We offer the option to have blood drawn in-office for LabCorp and Sonora Quest, we just require that you bring your insurance card.

We recommend that you verify your insurance coverage prior to your lab draw. You can contact us at 480 687 0054 to schedule an appointment or you can schedule it online in your patient portal.

How we make your in-office blood draw easier

At NES, we make it convenient for you to get lab work done. We partner with many lab companies such as LabCorp, Sonora Quest, and Patient's Choice to help you get labs done and can even do same-day appointments!

We like to make things convenient for you so you can have a one-stop-shop for your lab testing and medical appointments.

You can book a blood draw appointment directly in your patient portal or by calling us at 480-687-0054. If you are using health insurance for lab work, then we request that you provide us with a copy of your insurance card so that we can prepare your specimens to be shipped out to your lab of choice.

Are you struggling with the following?

Are you struggling with hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, dry skin, and moodiness? Do you suffer from low sex drive, hair loss, belly fat, sluggishness, erectile dysfunction, depression, or anxiety?

These are all signs and symptoms of hormonal deficiencies. There can be many reasons why you're experiencing these symptoms.

These symptoms can be intense and it can be hard to find a resolution. These symptoms may be due to per-menopause, menopause, or low testosterone levels.

Did you know that at the age of 30 years, both men and women will start to have testosterone levels decline?

Yes, women also have testosterone levels, but they should be 1/10th of men. 

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy.

How Nes can help you with your hormones

At NES, we work with our patients through educating and empowering them and providing solutions to help them reach optimal health.

We provide bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) options for our patients. Prior to starting BHRT, the doctor will assess your health to see if you are a good candidate for this therapy.

BHRT helps patients feel great again, resolves symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, dryness. It has also a great impact on cognitive, heart, and bone health as well.

It can aid in improving metabolic markers such as glucose and cholesterol levels, although it is not primarily indicated for these conditions as first-line therapy.

The goal is about maximizing benefits, minimizing risks, and helping you achieve an amazing quality of life.

Testosterone replacement can help improve energy, libido, weight, bone density, metabolism, and overall wellbeing.

In men, when testosterone levels decline toward <400, lack of libido occurs, when levels are <350, obesity emerges, and <230, erectile dysfunction is seen.

What to expect from Scottsdale's best hormone doctor!

At your doctor's visit, screening questions, labs and imaging will be required prior to initiating therapy. There are many types of hormone replacement therapy options including creams, capsules, troches, patches, injections, and pellet therapy.

You will work with your doctor to help determine which one is right for you.

We require that you have lab work minimally two times per year to help your doctor analyze your lab results and to make an appropriate decision about your therapy dose and duration.

Not every patient is a candidate for replacement therapy. Those who are NOT candidates include patients with cancer (any kind), untreated sleep apnea, blood disorders, heart disease, desire for fertility, and more.

Do you relate with this?

Do you have a family history of diabetes or struggle with weight gain, extreme hunger, cravings, fatigue, hormone imbalance, hair loss, dark skin patches, and belly fat?

Have you tried diet and exercise but still seen little to no results? Insulin resistance occurs when there is excess glucose in the blood, which reduces the ability of the cells in your muscles, body fat, and liver to absorb that glucose or sugar and utilize it for energy.

Insulin resistance is often prevalent in conditions like PCOS, often causing PCOS symptoms to be worse.  Having insulin resistance can be extremely frustrating, especially when you feel like you're doing everything right.

How NES can help you with your insulin resistance

At NES, we work with our patients through educating and empowering them and providing solutions to help them reach optimal health.

If you want to understand why you're struggling with stubborn weight gain despite all of your efforts, we can help you get to the root cause of your issues and help you finally see results. 

The amazing NES process

At your doctor's appointment, your doctor may decide to order comprehensive blood tests to look for the underlying cause of your insulin resistance.

Some of these lab tests may include fasting glucose, HbA1c, insulin, and other specific tests including testosterone, sex-hormone binding globulin, estrogen, cortisol, and insulin-like growth-facing binding protein.

Other assessments such as daily glucose monitoring and sleep studies may also be ordered to get a better baseline of your insulin resistance. This information is useful in order to generate treatment recommendations for you.

The treatments usually consist of diet and lifestyle recommendations, supplement recommendations, stress management recommendations, medications, possible imaging, referrals to specialists, future lab recommendations, and next steps for follow-up.

Examples of elevated glucose and insulin Levels:

How Does COVID Impact Thyroid Function?

What is hypothyroidism?

The thyroid gland is a small endocrine gland that sits directly under the atom's apple. Structurally, it looks like a butterfly and plays a highly critical role in your body. It controls body temperature, metabolism, energy, and weight.

People can develop thyroid disease for several reasons, such as genetic predisposition, autoimmunity, toxin exposure, nutrient deficiencies, and infections. It is most commonly seen in women, and often it is diagnosed between the ages of 20-40.

Symptoms of thyroid disease include weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, depressed mood, loss of eyebrows, hoarseness of voice, and dry skin. Routine blood work can help identify a thyroid problem, and more comprehensive testing can help you learn if your thyroid gland is working optimally.

A thyroid ultrasound can help you learn about the size of the gland if it contains any nodules (growths on the thyroid gland; can have one or many) and if there are signs of autoimmunity (your immune system attacking the gland).

Generally, a normal thyroid gland should not be felt in your neck. If your neck is swollen or enlarged, it is a good idea to get it checked out!

Learn how to optimize your hormones by understanding what they do in your body. An optimal thyroid gland can help ensure that your body temperature is well regulated has a thriving metabolism where you can quickly lose weight and feel energetic and happy.

How NES can optimize your hormones to treat your hypothyroidism

At NES, we help you learn about these endocrine glands and educate you on how these hormones work in your body. We also help you understand how hormones work together and create a treatment plan that is completely individualized to your needs.

We test for markers that contribute to the underlying cause of thyroid diseases such as nutrient deficiencies (ex. Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin B12/Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D), detailed thyroid markers such as antibodies (ex. TPO antibody, TGB antibody, TSI) and thyroid hormones (ex. T4, T3, fT4, fT3, RT3). 

What our process typically looks like

At your doctor's appointment, your doctor will order a comprehensive thyroid panel. Examples of markers that may be run include TSH, FT3, FT4, Anti-TPO, thyroglobulin, ferritin, zinc, iodine. 

By assessing these markers, your doctor will be better able to determine whether you're a candidate for thyroid medication and evaluate for nutrient deficiencies or excesses that could exacerbate your condition.

This information is helpful in generating treatment recommendations for you.

The treatments will also usually consist of diet and lifestyle recommendations, supplement recommendations, stress management recommendations, medications, possible imaging, referrals to specialists, future lab recommendations, and next steps for follow-up.

Want to know more about hypothyroidism? Read this article!

Dr. Linda Khoshaba is the Leading Integrative Health and Hormone Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has extensive experience working in the field as a Hormone Specialist and Natural Endocrinologist.

7500 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd.
Suite A 109
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Copyright © 2022 Natural Endocrinology Specialists. All Rights Reserved.
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