Testing Adrenal Function

Adrenal function is hugely related to our energy levels, our quality of sleep and our quality of life in general.  Until now, the only way that I knew how to measure adrenal function was through saliva testing.  While accurate, it is expensive and can take weeks to get results.

But now…we have an in-house lab!

One of the tests available is the Koenisburg Test.  It measures urinary chloride output.  This is an excellent way to get a sense of where adrenal function is at.  Basically this means we can measure how well your body is dealing with your stress.

Stress affects all of my patients.  Some people have a lot of external stressors like work, family obligations and lack of sleep.  Others have more internal stressors like anxiety and worry.  Both kinds of stress affect the body in the same way.

If your adrenal glands are pumping out way too much cortisol, then they are in hyper-functioning mode.

If your adrenal glands are not pumping out much cortisol at all, then they are in hypo-functioning mode.

This distinction is really important as different herbs are needed for hyper-functioning adrenal glands than for hypo-functioning glands.  If you give the herbs for low adrenal function to someone who is still in high adrenal mode, they will feel more agitated and worse than before they took the herbs at all.  If you give someone in low adrenal mode the herbs that a high adrenal function person needs, then they will not see any difference at all.

This is why in-house testing is so lovely.  For $10 we can avoid the experiment and get to the right herbal blend faster.

Want to know what your adrenal glands are doing?  Book your appointment online.

Ovulation test strips

When using LH pee sticks it’s best not to use your first morning urine.

Test between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm for best results.

In order to be sure that you catch your ovulation day, start testing day 10 and continue to day 18.  At least until you know your average ovulation day.  Then you can cut it down by a few days.

To keep costs down, check out http://www.early-pregnancy-tests.com/pacof3ovtess.html

 

Getting blood work done

I just discovered that you can schedule your blood work online with Lifelabs (the lab that I use).

This is great news for us with busy schedules that don’t want to wait for hours!!

https://booking.lifelabs.com/LLBooking/Default.aspx

FYI – Barrie is Ontario Central

Saliva Hormones Help Determine Herbs

One of my patients came in recently feeling sluggish, tired, emotional and with signs of hypothyroidism. Discussing a patient’s case fully is often enough to put me on the right path of treatment but I also find testing to be extremely helpful in determining exactly what is going on.

We decided to order a Thyroid blood test to show her levels. In naturopathic medicine we deal a lot in the grey areas and use a term called subclinical hypothyroidism where it’s not quite at the level of treating with pharmaceutical grade synthroid but may be addressed using herbs, diet and supplements. This is why its important to see the numbers on reports.

Her blood work came out fine. Then we turned to saliva hormone testing. Here is an example of a report we might get back: 

 

Her results came back as low cortisol. This was extremely helpful as some herbs used in adrenal formulas can decrease cortisol even further. I wouldn’t want to prescribe something that normally would be very helpful for most people but in her case, might make things worse.

Testing can sometimes get expensive but it is really helpful for the practitioner to measure what’s going on and then track it in the future to see your progress. Then you can literally see how you are improving.

As my favourite Scottish Reflexologist used to say, “If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”

 

Ask for a copy of your results


I just had an experience with a patient that makes this post seem pertinent. She had her blood work done at the same time as her physical two years ago. When I asked her about the results she said, as most patients say, “they didn’t call me so I guess everything was fine”. We faxed over a release of records to obtain a copy. What we discovered, was that she has been anemic for two years, didn’t know it, and wasn’t being treated for it.

Please understand that I am not ranting about how bad doctors are these days! They are very busy, and have a lot of paper shuffled across their desks everyday. It will happen, by laws of statistics, that something will get missed once in a while.

This post is meant to encourage you to prevent your results from being the ones that get overlooked. Ask for a copy of your results. That way, you know they will be looked at.

Yours in Health,
Kerri Fullerton ND