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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A Dynamic Duo: When to Test Neurotransmitters with Sex Hormones

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Thursday, 06 April

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The nervous system and its communication with peripheral organs is under the continuous dynamic influence of hormones, neuroactive steroids, and neurotransmitters. This is why the underlying pathology of mood disorders can often be varied and complex.

The hormonal piece is critical to our understanding of the imbalances when it comes to the complete neurotransmitter assessment. Hormones regulate key processes pertaining to neurotransmitter biosynthesis, signaling, and degradation. It is important to recognize that disturbances in the relationships between hormones and neurotransmitters can shape normal physiology toward a maladaptive state leading to suboptimal psychological wellbeing.

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Endocrine-Disruptors: What They Are & How To Avoid Them

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 17 February

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As a hormone testing lab, ZRT understands the importance of a well-balanced endocrine system in maintaining overall health.

Hormone balance is achieved through multiple feedback mechanisms, and when any part of the system is thrown out of whack by forces beyond its control, there is a knock-on effect on the rest of the body systems that are under endocrine control.

Such forces can include extreme or chronic stress, or exposure to environmental toxins that enter the body through the air we breathe or in our diets. Substances in the environment that upset the endocrine system are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs.

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