MicroNutrient & Adrenal FatigueAre you ready to achieve optimal health and reduce your risk of chronic diseases?
The foundation of all our wellness programs at Houston Medical Wellness Clinic is discovering what each individual patient needs to enhance their quality of health. Advanced diagnostic testing is the critical tool that allows our medical team to customize a program for your success. Below is an explanation of the tests we commonly do and why they are so important in evaluating your health. Proper testing allows for correct treatment which appropriately aids in patients reaching their maximum health.
Micronutrients are very important to live and grow, however we are unable to produce them in our body naturally. The human body needs very small quantities of them to survive but if the body does not get the amounts needed, serious health problems can result. Therefore, we must get them from the outside world. Micronutrients are commonly referred to as “vitamins and minerals”. They are necessary for maintaining good health including bone growth to brain function, repairing muscle tissue post-workout and the delay in muscle fatigue during workouts.
Micronutrient testing is a blood evaluation that detects low levels of specific micronutrients at the cellular level. Spectra Cell’s micronutrient testing measures 33 vitamins and minerals in your body. This testing also measures functional, long-term levels within the cell, which means it evaluates how well your body actually utilizes each nutrient. New research shows a link between certain vitamin deficiencies and the development of various serious health issues.
We recommend this diagnostic tool to all patients who want to reverse the effects of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. It is also an important element in enhancing athletic performance, decreasing injury, minimizing risk factors for illness and managing chronic disease. Even with a flawless diet, deficiencies often exist. For example, higher levels of folate and vitamin B12 are needed to repair damaged cells as well as to synthesize new ones, especially red blood cells. Mineral depletion is common after strenuous activity. The amino acid glutamine is created in skeletal muscles. Evidence suggests that while moderate exercise is associated with improved glutamine function, extensive training programs induce glutamine deficiency, resulting in decreased immunity. Other factors that impact your nutritional status can include prescription medications, smoking, heavy consumption of alcohol, extreme exercise, pregnancy and nursing.
Nutrients affect hormone levels as well. Studies show that during intensive weight training, supplements that contained a form of the amino acid serine (phosphatidylserine) decreased post-exercise cortisol levels, reduced muscle soreness, and minimized psychological depression that often accompanies over training.
Getting enough micronutrients in your diet is not hard. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables is very important. The more colorful the diet the better, such like red cherries, purple grapes, yellow bananas and orange carrots.
The latest science indicates that micronutrient deficiencies can play a significant role in the following conditions:
• Metabolic Syndrome
• Diabetic Health
• Obesity and Bariatric Surgery
• ADHD and Autism
• Celiac Disease
• Heart Disease
• Women’s Health
• Fetal Development
Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ or LPP™
The Lipoprotein Particle Profile test looks at traditional cholesterol numbers as well as all the factors listed below and is a more precise indicator of heart attack risk than HDL/LDL ratios. This life-saving test can determine if you are one of the 50% of people at significant risk for heart attack despite normal cholesterol and a healthy lifestyle.
This advanced cholesterol testing measures both the density and number of lipoprotein particles as well as inflammatory markers. So, how is this different than traditional cholesterol testing and what is the correlation with heart disease?
• Inflammation: this is the body’s response to harmful substances. In the case of heart disease, inflammatory reactions within atherosclerotic plaques can induce clot formation. When the lining of the artery is damaged, white blood cells flock to the site, resulting in inflammation. Inflammation not only further damages the artery walls, leaving them stiffer and more prone to plaque buildup, but it also makes any plaque that’s already there more fragile and more likely to burst.
• Small, Dense LDL particles: LDL is known as the bad cholesterol because it transports cholesterol particles to the site of inflammation. This is not a problem unless the LDL particles are small and dense because these particles are likely to get oxidized (damaged) and penetrate the arterial lining.
• Low level of HDL particles: HDL is known as the good cholesterol because it transports cholesterol to the liver for dumping. Low levels show that excess cholesterol is not being cleared out well by the liver. A measurement of something called HDL2b is important because it shows how well the excess is actually being cleared from the body.
• Lp(a): These are small, dense LDL particles that are easily oxidized. Lp(a) can increase the risk of blood clots.
The LPP test looks at traditional cholesterol numbers as well as all the factors listed above and is a more precise indicator of heart attack risk than HDL/LDL ratios. This life-saving test can determine if you are one of the 50% of people at significant risk for heart attack despite normal cholesterol and a healthy lifestyle.
Telomere DNA Testing
Telomere testing is an exciting new technology for age management. Evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Telomeres are sections of genetic material at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and will ultimately die – a normal biological process. Therapies directed at slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.
Hormones are chemical messengers in our body that affect our brain, heart, bones, muscles, and reproductive organs. Hormones are an essential part of the workings of every cell in the human body. Hormones work best when balanced, however, hormones can become imbalanced, which is why hormone testing is important.
Adrenal fatigue is a combination of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections. Adrenal fatigue is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger. You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of feeling lethargic and tiredness. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use caffeine and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to get themselves through the day.
Adrenal fatigue can have serious affects to your life. In the more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to and to compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue. Your body does its best to make up for under-functioning adrenal glands, but it does so at a price.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is produced when your adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the demands of stress. The adrenal glands mobilize your body’s responses to every kind of stress, whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological, through hormones that regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone, and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress. Whether you have an emotional crisis such as the death of a loved one, a physical crisis such as major surgery, or any type of severe repeated or constant stress in your life, your adrenals have to respond to the stress and maintain homeostasis. If their response is inadequate, you are likely to experience some degree of adrenal fatigue.
During adrenal fatigue your adrenal glands function, but not well enough to maintain optimal homeostasis because their output of regulatory hormones has been diminished. Over-stimulation of your adrenals can be caused either by a very intense single stress, or by chronic or repeated stresses that have a cumulative effect.
Who is susceptible to adrenal fatigue?
Anyone can experience adrenal fatigue at some time in his or her life. An illness, a life crisis, or a continuing difficult situation can drain the adrenal resources of even the healthiest person. However, there are factors that can make you more susceptible to adrenal fatigue. These include certain lifestyles such as a poor diet, substance abuse, too little sleep and rest, or too many pressures, chronic illness or repeated infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia, prolonged situations that you feel trapped or helpless in bad relationships, stressful jobs, poverty, imprisonment, or maternal adrenal fatigue during gestation.
How can I tell if my adrenals are fatigued?
You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if you regularly notice one or more of the following:
- You feel tired for no reason.
- You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed.
- You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
- You crave salty and sweet snacks.
- You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.
Are there health conditions related to adrenal fatigue?
The processes that take place in any chronic disease, from arthritis to cancer, place demands on your adrenal glands. Therefore, it is likely that if you are suffering from a chronic disease and morning fatigue is one of your symptoms, your adrenals may be fatigued to some degree. Also, any time a medical treatment includes the use of corticosteroids, diminished adrenal function is probably present. All corticosteroids are designed to imitate the actions of the adrenal hormone, cortisol, and so the need for them arises primarily when the adrenals are not providing the required amounts of cortisol.