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.

Elements Testing – Why Sample Type Matters!

Posted by Ted Zava on Tuesday, 03 May

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Urine, serum, plasma, whole blood, red blood cells, feces, hair, fingernails…the list goes on.

How do you decide what biological sample(s) to use for element analysis? Can results be compared to scientific literature or do they have clinical significance? Is it possible for values to be elevated or low in one sample type and normal in another? Do test results indicate recent intake, body burden, acute toxicity, chronic toxicity, deficiency, or homeostatic regulation?

These are just some of the questions facing a testing laboratory when they want to develop and validate essential and toxic element profiles that will provide clinically meaningful results.

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Celebrating ZRT's Hormone Laboratory Professionals

Posted by Dr. Sherry LaBeck on Friday, 29 April

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It may come as a surprise to most people that each year, the last full week of April is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating laboratory professionals.

This year Medical Laboratory Professionals Week falls on April 24-30. Setting aside one week a year to acknowledge these experts is a perfect opportunity to increase public awareness of, and appreciation for, clinical laboratory personnel. 

Just who are these hormone laboratory professionals? They are the skilled individuals whose expertise is vital to laboratory testing. At ZRT, state-of-the-art testing equipment is the norm and each instrument has an experienced specialist or team of specialists at the controls.

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How Reference Ranges Determine a "Normal" Lab Test Result

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 13 November

normal.chalkboard.jpgCLIA-certified testing laboratories such as ZRT are required to provide reference ranges as an aid to interpretation of test results.

Ideally, reference ranges provide the expected range of values for a healthy population. When methodology and equipment is identical for testing a particular analyte among different laboratories, reference ranges for that analyte should be the same.

However, when methodologies or equipment for the same test differ somewhat from lab to lab, each lab must provide its own reference range established with its own methods. These ranges are usually very close, but may differ slightly depending on method. An example would be testing testosterone in blood or saliva by extraction and LC-mass spectrometry vs. direct testing by immunoassay.

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Cortisol Testing in Saliva, Blood & Urine

Posted by Dr. David Zava on Friday, 29 May

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Practice Takeaway: Providers should be aware that three different body fluids – saliva, blood or urine – can be used to assess adrenal gland function, and should know each method’s advantages and disadvantages, when deciding how to test patients.

Inadequate or excessive production or disrupted circadian patterns of cortisol synthesis by the adrenal glands in response to stressors can eventually lead to imbalances in blood glucose levels, impaired immune response, as well as a host of different hormonal imbalances, all of which are associated with multiple adverse conditions and symptoms.   

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