Blog — Hormone Balance

The Connection Between Sleep Disturbances and Low Vitamin D

Posted by Ben White on

By Dr Kate Placzek, ZRT Laboratory We love talking about the sun! We grumble about it being hidden away behind heavy rain clouds for months at a time in the winter; we delight in the first breakthrough rays in the spring, realizing our pagan longing for it, watching, as if for the first time, as everything around us wakes up from a deep slumber; we marvel at its delightful, almost intoxicating warmth in the early summer; and yes, we find it irritating when the temperature goes a dash over 80 degrees, or if stays too hot for too long into...

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SHBG – A Modulator to be Modulated

Posted by Ben White on

BY Dr. Allison Smith ZRT Laboratory SHBG, or Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, controls testosterone effect in both men and women by modulating changes in sex steroid levels. When SHBG goes up, free testosterone goes down. I like to think of SHBG as a sponge that soaks up androgens and to some degree estrogens as well. Since it binds so specifically and tightly to testosterone, it makes up part of the equation that equals androgen excess or androgen deficiency. Knowing how to manipulate SHBG can be a useful tool in a number of scenarios. Role: Bind to and carry testosterone (and less strongly...

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Topical Testosterone & the U-Shaped Curve

Posted by Ben White on

By Dr Allison Smith, ZRT Laboratory The testicles of a man in his 20s are known to contribute about 5-10mg of testosterone per 24-hour day and levels of total testosterone in the venous blood with that amount are observed to yield roughly 300-1200 ng/dL in the morning at the diurnal peak. Testosterone, whether endogenous or given exogenously, negatively feeds back on the hypothalamus, limiting GnRH and thus LH and FSH from the pituitary. A man taking supraphysiological doses of testosterone can expect to have very low or undetectable levels of LH and FSH in the serum. What happens when the...

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Of Seahorses & Menopause

Posted by Ben White on

Many women going through menopause start to see changes in their ability to remember things. Women can find this very worrying; such symptoms are not unlike early signs of dementia, or even Alzheimer’s Disease. However, age-related memory impairment is quite common and can be explained in part by hormonal changes, in particular loss of estrogen, and it involves a small part of the brain that resembles a seahorse.  The Hippocampus The name “hippocampus” is actually the Latin word for seahorse.  Image: László Seres The hippocampus is located in the temporal lobe of the brain and is a component of the limbic system. Although...

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress

Posted by Ben White on

When we talk about “stress,” or allostatic load, in terms of the perception of an event, we must realize that these “events” must first be translated into neurochemical signals before they trigger the HPA axis. Therefore, the sensitivity and outcome of translating these events (whether they are ongoing events, memories of past events, or stressful anticipation of unrealized events), is highly dependent upon signaling from other neurotransmitters. In fact, the signaling neurotransmitters that manage mood and affect often overlap with measures of HPA axis activation, and cannot be easily distinguished in some subjects. [1] While the detailed influence of neurotransmitters, such...

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