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.

Re-assessing the Notion of "Pregnenolone Steal"

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Wednesday, 21 June

ThinkstockPhotos-687447022-pregnenolone-.jpgWhen 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 basically states that since all steroid hormones use pregnenolone (derived from cholesterol) as a precursor, the elevated secretion of cortisol caused by acute or chronic stress will inevitably result in less available pregnenolone to serve as a precursor for the production of DHEA and other down-stream hormones.

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

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Tuesday, 25 April

hPA.Axis_lores_crop.jpgSometimes, 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).

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How to Address Low Libido in Peri-Menopausal Patients

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 24 February

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Providers routinely call ZRT for support in addressing low libido for their patients during the menopausal transition.

Busy lifestyles, everyday stress, not enough or poor quality sleep and many other factors can all contribute to putting sex at the bottom of the to-do list, well after laundry, scrubbing the floor, and taking the dog to the vet.

Low libido is a multidimensional issue that can have a little bit of everything infused into its mosaic. It's not uncommon that the symptom of low libido is accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and perhaps even mild depression. Helping patients with waning libido is attainable, and one just needs to know where to look. There are a number of factors that appear to be intimately linked to libido that can be divided into three broad categories – endocrine, lifestyle, and physical.

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How Stress Caused My Cancer

Posted by Dr. Robert Zembroski on Thursday, 12 January

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After beating cancer, Dr. Zembroski (above) strives to prevent chronic disease in his patients. Hear his story.

"You have a 5-inch tumor in your chest" were the words spoken from a friend and radiologist as we both stared bewildered at my chest X-ray, following a host of side effects I'd been having for weeks.

As I looked at the X-ray film in amazement, my thoughts quickly changed to frustration and anger as I realized my behaviors and actions played a pivotal role in creating my disease—non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. 

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