Glossary of terms

Adrenal fatigue: also known as cortisol imbalance, adrenal fatigue is a condition whereby the adrenal glands are having difficulty compensating for an individual's emotional, physical and environmental stressors.

Andropause: also known as male menopause, andropause is the gradual age-related decline in male hormones (largely testosterone).

Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT): refers to compounds that are designed to match exactly the molecular structure of human hormones.

Conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT): refers to the type of synthetic hormones that are currently the standard of care.

DHEA: a hormone that balances cortisol. As cortisol becomes imbalanced often DHEA does so as well. In cases where DHEA is deplete, replacement may be used to support the adrenal glands in their recovery. For women, DHEA replacement should always be in the 7-keto DHEA form to avoid the needless breakdown into testosterone-this may create other unnecessary imbalances.

Cortisol: a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is helpful in combatting stress- be it emotional, physical or environmental.Circulating cortisol can be low in salivary and urine testing suggesting advanced adrenal fatigue. However, urine testing allows us to look at the by products of cortisol breakdown and distinguish between two cortisol conditions. Simple underproduction of cortisol by the adrenals will of course show up in testing as low cortisol. It is possible however that the adrenals are overproducing cortisol but it is being metabolized so rapidly that levels appear to be low. These are two very distinct issues and therefore require different treatment and management.

Hormones: chemicals released by cells or glands in your body and that act at distant tissue sites.

Hypothyroidism: a condition whereby the thyroid gland under functions and does not make enough thyroid hormone.

Menopause: is the cessation of menstruation for a year that on average is experienced around the age of 51.

Perimenopause: is defined as the period of time leading up to menopause that can be characterized by irregular menstruation and symptoms that are generally attributed to the menopause.

Salivary testing: specialized testing that allows accurate evaluation of hormones at the tissue level where hormones act.

Iodine deficiency is a common North American problem. Iodine is the building block for the enzymes that drive our thyroid hormone production. Most hypothyroid conditions will be complicated by Iodine deficiency. Appropriate testing using a loading test and testing percentage excretion in urine is the best way of documenting a deficiency and to what degree, so that replacement is with an appropriate dose. Replacement is simple with supplementation according to your degree of deficiency. It is important to note that replacement in any other form other than what is recommended at IHH may result in over replacement and can cause an inflammation of the thyroid gland called thyroiditis.

Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. Proteins make many things in our body including brain neurotransmitters which are responsible for our moods and sleep. Many people who have advanced adrenal fatigue or gastrointestinal issues will also have neurotransmitter deficiencies that can present with mood disruption, sleep disturbances or muscle loss. Specific amino acid deficiencies can be determined in urine testing and replacement amino acids is a prescription that comes in powdered form that you mix into water and have on a daily basis. Your prescription and the duration of replacement will be determined by your practitioner.

Amino acid testing provides considerable information and is an important part of a work up for anyone with symptoms in keeping with advanced adrenal fatigue, mood disruption, sleep or digestive issues. Not only does it provide information about specific amino acid deficiencies but also maldigestion/malabsorption, dysbiosis (an imbalance between the good and the bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract), and impaired detoxification.

Antioxidants are extremely important compounds in our bodies that we use to combat free radicals. In this day and age each of our cells and DNA are taking an astonishing 20,000 free radical hits per day! This is what does damage to our cells and DNA and sets us up for cancers, cardiovascular disease and eye disease amongst other conditions. You can imagine that when the body is trying to heal, whether it be from adrenal fatigue, from surgery or from a cold, that a good front line of defense against these daily insults is essential so that the body can focus its efforts on healing the bigger issues at hand. Antioxidants are largely obtained from fruits an vegetables and therefore adequate intake is important. Unfortunately, much of our fruits and vegetables these days are nutrient deplete and often many of you will also have maldigestion and malabsorption issues that limit bioavailability. It is for this reason that it may be recommended to many of you, based on your antioxidant status (as measured on the biophotonic scanner) that you supplement with an antioxidant that your body can readily absorb (your practitioner will identify for you the best approach). This is a foundation step for any healing.

Biophotonic scanner: Award winning technology that non-invasively measures the carotenoid content in your skin. Carotenoids are your mother antioxidants and when measured with the biophotonic scanner correlate closely with your antioxidant status if it were determined by blood sample. Your score will give you an idea how well equipped your body is a combatting the daily free radical insults each of us are exposed to on a large scale. Your practitioner will make recommendations on how to improve your status as this is necessary for setting the stage for any healing your body needs to do.

Candida species are more commonly referred to as yeast. Although vaginal yeast infections are certainly a good indicator of a systemic yeast infection, it is by no means essential for the diagnosis and can present in males as well. In fact, most yeast problems originate in the gastrointestinal tract. Candida may present with subtle symptoms that go unnoticed or may be mistaken for other conditions. Candida is a very common problem and is often found as a major contributor to advanced adrenal fatigue. If you have fatigue, bloating, chronic sinusitis, a white coating on your tongue, or vaginal yeast infections than a stool culture for yeast and parasitology is warranted. Your practitioner will identify any less obvious presentations and will suggest stool culture as needed.

Heavy metal toxins are becoming an increasingly bigger problem in this day and age. Mercury, lead and cadmium are the top three heavy metal toxins that our patient population struggles with. Mercury is most commonly found in seafood and dental amalgams and warrants investigation if there is any suggestion of Candida, as well as any significant neurological symptoms. It is very difficult to treat Candida effectively without addressing a mercury issue. Heavy metal testing is best done with a provoking agent (capsule form) followed by urine collection. Heavy metal chelation is a treatment that uses basic chemical compounds to bind heavy metals and eliminate them from the body. This approach is necessary for those with heavy metal burden as the body is not efficient at eliminating some of these toxins but rather accumulates them in fat cells. Interesting fact-our brain is largely fat!

Candida protocol: Yeast overgrowth can be a challenge to eliminate and a multi-pronged approach is often necessary to have the desired impact. Your specific medical profile will dictate the approach used, however there are a few basics that apply to anyone struggling with yeast. This would include: dietary restrictions (typically 30 days), herbal supplementation and mercury level determination. Additional treatments will be prescribed to you by your practitioner as needed.

Epi-genetics is the study of the impact environmental stressors have on our DNA. The genes that we are born with are the genes that we will die with. However, their genetic expression does change over time as we are exposed to stress, environmental toxins, aging etc., genes that were turned on when we were younger can get turned off as we age or vice versa genes that were meant to be off get turned on. Scientists have now mapped out 25,000 genes and have discovered "youth gene clusters" for weight management, hair and our mitochondria. Mitochondria are the organelles in our cells that are responsible for all of our body's energy production. These mitochondria age too! The discovery of these "youth gene clusters" has permitted scientists the discovery of natural products that can revert genetic expression to a more youthful state. You can see why this is an important foundation step particularly if you struggle with weight, fatigue or hair loss. Reverting to a more youthful genetic expression is intended to have long lasting effects- it took a lifetime to get this point, resetting genetic expression....

Hair loss/thinning Scientists have discovered the youth cluster genes for hair loss and the means by which they can be reverted to a more youthful genetic expression. In addition, hair loss is often multifactorial including many hormones. At the IHH we come at hair loss from all angles.

4R gastrointestinal program: an approach that treats all necessary angles to heal the gastrointestinal tract as this system is fundamentally important to overall healing. If you had one system you could treat to have the greatest impact on the greatest number of symptoms... It would be the gastrointestinal tract.

  1. Remove offending agents most commonly food allergens, but also yeast and parasites
  2. Repopulate the gi tract so there is balanced growth of healthy bacteria-probiotics
  3. Replace deficiencies like hydrochloric acid, pancreatic enzymes
  4. Repair the gut with supplements and rest (fasting from sundown to sun up)

Adrenal extracts: compounds derived from a bovine source that are meant to support the adrenals in their recovery. Only used in cases where there is true under production of cortisol.

Functional hypothyroidism is different than the classic diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is underproduction of thyroid hormone. Functional hypothyroidism may or may not include normal thyroid hormone levels, but is fundamentally a problem with thyroid hormone binding to its receptor. This impairment in binding is because of cortisol disruption. The problem isn't really a thyroid problem but rather a cortisol issue. Functional hypothyroidism presents with low body temperature. A temperature protocol is administer to all IHH patients and so if there is a problem it will be picked up. Generally, most cases will respond to treating the adrenals (cortisol) alone. In more stubborn cases a bio energetic approach is used.

Bioenegetic medicine uses the principles of traditional Chinese Medicine. Everything on the planet has a vibrational frequency whether it be a food, a hormone or an emotion. Because we ourselves are energetic beings (central nervous system, our hearts and our cells all work on electrical energy) any of us can be blocked to any vibrational frequency. Bio energetic medicine works to release energetic blockages using biofeedback, acupuncture, and acupressure.

IgG food reactions also known as delayed hypersensitivity reactions are a common cause of drain on the adrenal glands resulting in cortisol disruption. We often don't even know that we have these sensitivities. The reason is 3-fold. The nature of the reaction is such that there is a 48-72 hour delay before onset of a reaction; we often don't recognize the symptoms of a sensitivity response (may present with bloating, hair loss, acne, fatigue, weight issues etc); and the 5 most common food allergens are in our daily North American diet and so we see our baseline functioning with these potential food allergens in our regular diet. IgG sensitivities are best determined in blood spot, however an elimination diet is possible to make the same determination. An elimination diet takes months and involves journaling carefully with reintroduction of foods. If you have advanced adrenal fatigue you will want to know what foods you consume that are causing a drain on your adrenals...most people are surprised!

Leaky gut or intestinal hyperpermeability is a common ailment strongly associated with advanced adrenal fatigue. The cells that line the gastrointestinal tract are meant to be tightly fixed together to keep food within the gi tract. With stress however, these cells start to pull apart and allow food particles to escape and enter the body's general circulation where they are not meant to be. Our bodies will recognize these food particles as being foreign and will mount an IgG reaction which calls on cortisol as part of the process. A leaky gut is not only associated with malabsorption but also multiple food sensitivities.

Nutrient deficiencies: our bodily systems require a lot of nutrients to drive them. When our systems are on overload, or when our gastrointestinal tract is having difficulty with digestion and absorption nutrients may become deplete. In our patient population it is not uncommon to see deficiencies in vitamins such as C, B and D, as well as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. These and many more nutrients are routinely checked at IHH and you will be guided by your practitioner for replacement.

Intravenous (IV) therapy is a very effective, efficient and practical way of replacing vitamins and nutrients and supporting the adrenals and thyroid. The advantage of IV administration over oral or pill form is that with IV use one bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. The gut is often unable to breakdown and absorb optimally what is provided by mouth particularly with advanced adrenal fatigue. However, even with the healthiest gi tract we are still limited by the amount that can be given before side effects ensue. Considerably higher doses of vitamins can be administer by IV without side effects and are 100% bio available.

Pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy (PEMF) is cutting edge technology used effectively, for pain, inflammation, bone loss and depression. Used in pain and mood clinics around the world the technology and its application is very simple. It is a mat that releases pulsed electromagnetic frequencies that match the Earth's. NASA discovered and patented this technology when they realized they could treat effectively the pain, inflammation, depression and bone loss that happened for many astronauts when they were away from the healing properties of the Earth's electromagnetic frequencies. In this day and age even though we are on Earth we have largely been removed from the healing electromagnetic frequencies, as we sit in our homes, our offices, our cars- with little direct communication with the Earth. In addition we are being bombarded with "electro-smog" the harmful electromagnetic frequencies emitted from cell phones, computers, power lines etc., Our bodies have become imbalanced electromagnetically. This technology may have been recommended to you in conjunction with an appointment with our pain specialist who uses this technology as well as others.

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