Thursday, August 16, 2012

Insulin Resistance - Are you at Risk?

What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone, produced by the pancreas, which controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance refers to the condition where your physiological insulin is no longer effective in lowering blood sugar levels in your body.  The result is an increase in blood glucose levels and this can lead to a number of adverse health conditions.

What conditions can it lead to?
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
What are the risk factors?
  •  Obesity - especially around the upper/middle part of the body
  •  Lack of exercise
  • Genetics
  •  Aging
What can you do to prevent developing Insulin Resistance?
  • Exercise regularly - 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes is ideal
  • Eat a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, lean meats and complex carbodydrates 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Saliva Hormone Testing

What is the benefit of saliva hormone testing?

Testing hormones through the saliva is an easy, non-invasive way of assessing hormone levels.  For certain hormones, it has been shown to be a more accurate method of addressing hormone imbalance.

Who would benefit from hormone testing?
  • Anyone who has experienced chronic, long term stress or short periods of intense stress
  • Women who suffer from irregular periods
  • Women who experience PMS
  • Peri or post menopausal women who are concerned with an estrogen/progesterone imbalance
  • Men and women who are concerned with changing hormone levels as a result of age
  • Anyone experiencing the following symptoms:  weight problems, insomnia, fatigue, acne, blood sugar imbalance and decrease immune function

Which hormones can be tested?
  • Estrogen – is the main female hormone and if imbalanced it can contribute to menstrual disruption in cycling women, unpleasant symptoms for menopausal women and possibly cause certain female cancers.
  • Progesterone – is required to balance estrogen levels
  • Testosterone – is a hormone that is essential for both men and women
  • DHEA – is needed for energy production and blood sugar balance and is required to produce other hormones such as testosterone.
  • Cortisol – this hormone level changes throughout the day and it is necessary for stress management, blood sugar metabolism, energy production and anti-inflammatory effects.

What is the process?
If you are doing the complete hormone assessment and you are a cycling female, then the test needs to be done at a certain time of the month.  Your naturopath can discuss with you when the right time would be.  Otherwise, the saliva collection is done any day, and 4 saliva tests are required – first thing in the morning, mid day, mid afternoon and evening.