Getting to the Heart of Estrogen with Sherry LaBeckThe American Heart Association has designated the month of February as American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease and the healthy choices we can make to prevent it. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. And while some risk factors are out of our control, such as family history, genetics, and aging, most of the risk factors for developing heart or cardiovascular disease are more often than not within our control. For example, lifestyle habits and behaviors such as smoking cessation, physical activity, healthy food selection, and how we cope with mental and emotional stressors, like feeling angry, can be modified.


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Tags: Estrogen, Heart Health, Cardiovascular Disease



During the cold, rainy month of January, at least where we live in Portland, Oregon, it’s fitting to address thyroid health. As Goldilocks said of her porridge, this one’s too cold, this one’s too hot, and this one’s just right. If your body isn’t making the right amount of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), you’re likely to find yourself on either side of “just right”.  

Most people who suffer from thyroid issues fall into the “too cold” category of body temperature dysregulation and just don’t make enough thyroid hormones T4 and T3, referred to as hypothyroidism. T3 action in the mitochondria increases metabolism and is responsible for heat production. Mitochondria are the power-houses or furnaces of the cell responsible for creation of energy in the form of ATP...


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Tags: Thyroid Health, Selenium



When getting to the root of health issues by accurate laboratory testing of hormones and other analytes, it’s important to distinguish theories from facts and make sure that our interpretation of the science is valid and corresponds with what is seen clinically. This month, let’s take a critical look at a hormone sometimes referred to as the “hibernation hormone”, reverse T3 (rT3), and how it fits into the picture of thyroid function.


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Tags: Thyroid Health, Dried Urine Testing, Hormone Testing



Theories abound on the origins of most major diseases, and many share one factor in common: inflammation. The biological consequences of inflammation are at the root of virtually every human malady from the common cold to cancer, allergies to arthritis, and headaches to heart disease. Yet inflammation is a natural, self-protective response of the body with the best of intentions. Just as the cells that make up our organs and tissues can be damaged by incessant inflammation, so too the cells that construct our brain experience its impact. Accelerated activity in the brain renders neurons even more vulnerable to inflammatory injury. Networks of neurons shape the nature and stability of our thoughts, moods, and behaviors; physical injury to these neurons has far greater implications for our health and well-being.


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Tags: Alzheimer's, Brain Health



Alzheimer’s A Biological Model of Prevention – Finally!

The Alzheimer’s Association states that “the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age”, leading many to presume that a diagnosis is inescapable. Despite decades of earnest effort, medical science seems no closer to clear answers for treating, much less preventing this cruel disease. While modern society has benefited greatly from the discovery of lithium in terms of technology, this remarkable mineral holds even greater potential for serving humanity. Early mental health pioneers realized that lithium possesses an amazing influence on brain function, initially revealed by its powerful effects to stabilize moods in psychiatric patients.


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Tags: Alzheimer's, Brain Health, Heavy Metals



Lead is everywhere. It was commonly used in paint, gasoline, plumbing pipes, jewelry, bullets, fishing weights, glazes, and cosmetics. Some regulations are now in place to eliminate lead’s incorporation into these products, but in many cases, it is still being used. There is no doubt that we are exposed to lead every day, but with knowledge of where that lead is coming from, better decisions can be made that will influence our long term health and well-being.


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Tags: Heavy Metals, Lead



Alzheimer’s A Biological Model of Prevention – Finally!News media are replete with alarming statistics about the current and future incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease. A recent CBS headline announced the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control predicting already troubling rates will “soar” in coming decades, with the number of cases potentially doubling by 2060 to almost 14 million Americans. With its impact going significantly beyond a personal toll to create devastating burdens on the family and the economy, Alzheimer’s Disease has become a disturbing public health phenomenon. What is most frightening is that despite billions of dollars spent annually on Alzheimer’s research, we don’t seem to be any closer to pinpointing a cause or finding a cure. 


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Tags: Alzheimer's, Brain Health



Birth ControlI watch a bit of television now and again, and repeatedly see a commercial for a birth control pill. It looks quite glamorous to be taking it. Granted, at the tail end of the commercial it states many of the bad things contraceptive pills are widely recognized to cause. But the real impact of what birth control pills do to female bodies is never discussed and what is discussed is completely glossed over. 


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Tags: Hormone Balance, Estrogen