Monthly Archives: May 2013

Genetic testing for your best drug



Would you like to know before you took a new sleeping pill if it would not work reliably or give you a hangover in the morning?  What about if your pain medication you were about to take would have very little effect or cause many of the listed side effects.  It would be great to have a list of medications to give your physician for various medical conditions.  Many patients on psychotropics have be blamed for non compliance when the actual reason for their medications failing is that they simply metabolize their drugs differently than someone else that has success on the same drug.  For example the drug clopidogrel may not have the desired effect in up to 30% of individuals to protect against stroke and heart attack.  If your medication is giving variable results or you are experiencing more side effects than you feel you should, we can determine the family of medications that you should steer clear of or move towards in your therapy.

With the proper test, we can now help you with this information.  It is possible to determine if you are a fast or slow metabolizer and if a given medication is the best fit for you or should never be taken by you.  With the help of Molecular Testing Labs, we can coordinate this type of test for you.  Ask us how.


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Control Your Cortisol



Many patients come into my pharmacy that need help with their adrenal glands.  By the time they arrive, they have had several, several years of adrenal abuse.  They have a stressful job, an abusive relationship, busy family life, hard upbringing; and in the last 10 years have had a combination of a surgery, a car accident, a divorce, death of a loved one, chronic illness/inflammation, a few moves and lots of travelling.  This may seem like a hard way to live, but some of these people had no idea of the long term effects stress have had on them.  Some of them know now how this type of life feels.

Most of these people will test low for salivary cortisol levels.  A number of years back, they would have shown higher – all the time.  The body can only maintain this output from the adrenals for so long.  The output will drop off after a while, and salivary DHEA will increase in a last ditch attempt to prop up this hormonal drop.  With this drop in cortisol, a drop in thyroid function occurs and the patient and physician can be led into a feeling that the thyroid is the culprit.  The thyroid cannot be fixed until the adrenal function returns.  In fact, the rest of the hormones are having a problem delivering their full potential until this is fixed.

The truth is, you will not normally be treating this problem with a prescription.  You will be treating this with over the counter supplements.  Hopefully with the help of a knowledgeable healthcare professional trained in hypoadrenalism.

Your will recognize many of these supplements.  Some may be the right one for you.  Some will have no benefit at all for you.  It is important to pick the right one.

Phosphatidylserine is great for immediately lowering cortisol if needed.  It is great for lowering bedtime cortisol so you can sleep

Vitamin C, Magnesium, Thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and zinc are common ingredients found in some adrenal supplements

Licorice (glycyrrhizin) shows us time and again it’s ability to increase cortisol.

Ashwagandha  (Indian Ginseng) has been used in Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine for centuries.  It is an adaptogen that helps regardless is the high or low nature of the adrenals.  Other natural ingredients include rehmannia, schizandra, jujube, dong quai, polygala, holy basil, bacopa, cordyceps, astragalus and rhodiola.  It is important to know which of these ingredients to use when.  Other  ingredients include Kava Kava, melatonin, valerian, gotu kola, St.John’s Wort, 5-htp and SAM-e, magnolia bark, theanine, phytosterols, tyrosine and GABA.

Long term stress causes inflammation, weight gain and is detrimental to cardiac/circulatory health and ages all tissues prematurely.  It took years to get to this and it does not cure overnight.  It takes months of therapy with the right supplements to right your adrenal health and needs to be combined with the right diet, exercise and removal of stress from your life.

Ask us how!



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Fix your Thyroid

Classic low thyroid symptoms include,

cold hands/feet, shaky hands, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, weight gain, depression, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain, muscle pain rough skin, thin hair and lateral eyebrows, hoarseness, brain fog, hypertension, edema at ankles or around eyes, heat or cold intolerance and constipation.

As some of these symptoms overlap adrenal issues and because the thyroid is difficult to fix with low adrenals, these glands should be evaluated in their function while fixing low thyroid.  When we look at low thyroid, often the tests that are focused on are TSH and free T4.  Just as decreased insulin resistance leads to diabetes and may show completely normal blood glucose, so does hypothyroidism show with normal TSH and T4 values.  The active form of the thyroid hormone, T3, is often overlooked.  Even more overlooked is reverse T3, which is produced in extra amounts in times of stress.  Reverse T3 has the issue of binding to the T3 receptor but has no physiologic activity – certainly a problem when your tests show normal levels of everything else.

T4 – T3 conversion is hampered by this stress (also inflammation, smoking, cancer, mental/physical stress).  Certain medications can also contribute to this problem, as can deficiencies in certain elements like selenium and iodine.  OTC supplements can help with this conversion.   Low T3 and high reverse T3 have been shown to give unfavorable outcomes in heart disease.  Atrial fibrillation was more common in these patients and overall mortality was higher.

Ask us about supplementing T3 with your T4.  Not all patients require T3 but the majority do.  We can help guide you and your physician in exploring this route of therapy.



R.Rothenberg, Kris Hart, Roger Rothenberg, Hormone Optimization in Preventive/Regenerative Medicine second edition.  California Healthspan Institute

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