The ZRT Laboratory Blog

The ZRT Blog is an extensive resource for patients and health care providers searching for health and hormone testing information. Here, you can read about ZRT’s cutting edge research, advances in testing, wellness advice, and health industry highlights.



Dr. Allison Smith

Allison Smith, ND is a Clinical Consultant at ZRT Laboratory.


Recent Posts

Norway, for the win!

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Friday, 23 February

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Amidst all the hullabaloo about norovirus in the Olympic village, doping in the Russian curling community, and wipeouts of truly epic proportions, the 2018 Games have certainly elevated the entertainment quotient. Norway quietly tops the list for Olympic medals in Pyeongchang this year and as a team, has steadily stepped up their game every 4 years since 2010 which for me raises the question: What can we learn from the Norwegians? 

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Evidence Shows Placentophagy (Placenta Encapsulation) Works

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Thursday, 28 December

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The practice of placentophagy – a woman consuming her placenta after she gives birth – is a bit of a hot topic these days. For those of you not familiar with the practice, if you're imagining the Dothraki queen devouring the giant, bleeding heart of a horse with her bare hands, you're probably not alone. In reality, there's much less of a "yuck" factor associated with the process when consuming an encapsulated placenta, which entails heating, dehydrating, pulverizing and then placing the resulting placenta powder into capsules. The result looks more like a vitamin supplement than a bleeding heart.

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Shorter Days: A SAD Pattern

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Friday, 03 November

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It feels like winter is officially looming now that we’ve all turned our clocks back and the days are getting shorter. In the Pacific Northwest, this also brings darkness and rain for many months and for some of us, it brings seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Whether or not symptoms of SAD eclipse your normal disposition, there’s a good chance the sun's vacation this time of year will affect four key areas of your health.

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Avoiding 3 Common Interpretation Pitfalls for Salivary Cortisol Tests

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Tuesday, 08 August

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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.

To avoid unnecessary work-ups, there are a few areas to consider when interpreting a salivary cortisol test – Contamination, Suppression, and Comorbidities.

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