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.

The Connection Between GABA & Sleep Disturbances

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Wednesday, 20 June

ThinkstockPhotos-820818020-098618-edited

Gamma-aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA, is the neurotransmitter known for its affinity for GABA receptors throughout the central nervous system (CNS). It acts to inhibit excitatory processes – whether they be normal or pathological.

It's synthesized from the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in a process that requires vitamin B6 as a cofactor. The delicate balance in the brain between GABA and glutamate is orchestrated by shuttle systems from the Krebs Cycle, the presence of NMDA and GABA receptor modulators, enzyme cofactors, and reuptake mediators.  

Read More

Cortisol Patterns For Graveyard (Shift) Workers

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Tuesday, 31 October

ThinkstockPhotos-152158830.jpg

If you come by ZRT on Halloween you’re likely to be greeted by a witch, vampire, zombie or other nightcrawler. We take our decorations and dressing up seriously around here, and finding people in costume processing your labs or taking your calls is par for the course.

Laughing aside (and let me tell you, some costumes are hilarious) those who live their lives by night – on the graveyard shift – can really struggle.

Two primary challenges for people who work at night are energy and fatigue. This is largely due to the pineal gland and its interaction with light that triggers and enforces our body’s pre-programmed circadian rhythm – which produces high cortisol in the morning and then drops throughout the day until the lowest value at night. For those who work graveyard shift that normal circadian rhythm must be re-established, and for many people it doesn’t happen.

Read More

Herbal Remedies for Sleep Disturbances & the Nervous System

Posted by Dr. Sherry LaBeck on Wednesday, 29 March

ThinkstockPhotos-475843287.jpg

O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

William Shakespeare, Henry IV

A good night's sleep is important to health. During sleep the body is in an anabolic state when energy conservation, tissue repair and growth take over. The body temperature drops, growth hormone is secreted and immune cell production is increased. Thus sleep is essential for a healthy body and a peaceful mind.

Read More

Diurnal Fluctuations in Norepinephrine & Epinephrine as Part of the Healthy Stress Response

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Thursday, 08 December

ThinkstockPhotos-80608949.jpg

Stress has become a synonymous, integral even, accompaniment of life in our fast-paced world. Generally regarded as "distress," our bodies struggle to re-establish physiological integrity at certain times, such as after working long hours, or when we have insufficient exercise, sleep and nutrition. Driven by persistent exposure to stressors, the body begins to lose its dynamic resilience and fails to return the system to a normal baseline healthy state. Derailed and overwhelmed, our susceptibility to stress-related diseases is greatly increased [1].

Read More