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

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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How Exercise Can Turn the Tide in ADHD

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Thursday, 13 April

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“Our sons were both diagnosed with ADHD by kindergarten. More than just dealing with the disciplinary and academic issues at school, my husband and I struggled to maintain a productive and nurturing household with the kids having regular meltdowns and outbursts. Our ability to connect with them became compromised. We were at our wits’ end considering medications and home school. We agonized over the long-term repercussions of both of those choices. We turned inward and analyzed our habits and routines. One thing we noticed with both the boys was that a strict routine in the mornings and in the evenings seemed to help and that physical interventions (rather than reasoning or time-outs) worked best to correct behavioral problems – getting them outside, running them around, engaging them in a physical activity. There were particularly frenetic times when we would take them to the track at the local middle school and have them run laps. The more we intervened in that way, the fewer the outbursts and behavior issues and ironically, the better they’d sleep; but we were concerned that they would start seeing exercise as a punishment and decided to take a different approach. 

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5 Steps to a Healthier Brain in 2017

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Tuesday, 31 January

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We're in a new year now and it seems like everyone's weighing in on the 5 or 10 or 20 things you and I should be doing to improve our health and wellness this year.

It is January, after all, and it’s time to start setting priorities. There are tons of great ideas out there! Here are my top 5 for 2017.

If you want to improve brain health, you need to make sure it gets enough oxygen, nutrition, and anti-oxidant support so that’s the unifying theme. I have a feeling if everyone did these, in 20 years we’d have fewer cases of psychological dysfunction and of neurodegenerative disease. 

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