Glossary of Terms

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

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.

Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. Proteins make many things in our body including brain neurotransmitters which are responsible for stable moods and solid 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. 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. Customized replacement amino acids are prescribed and come in powdered form to be mixed with water and taken on a daily basis. Your prescription and the duration of replacement will be determined by your practitioner.

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

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, eye disease and premature aging, 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 and vegetables and therefore adequate intake is important. Unfortunately, many of the available fruits and vegetables these days are nutrient deplete and patients commonly have maldigestion and malabsorption issues that limit bio-availability. It is for this reason that it may be recommended, based on antioxidant status (as measured on the bio-photonic 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.

Bio-identical hormone therapy (BHRT) refers to compounds that are designed to match exactly the molecular structure, and therefore the function of human hormones. If a significant sex hormone deficiency is objectively identified and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is recommended by your IHH certified practitioner, a customized prescription will be created for you to have filled by a compounding pharmacy.

Bio-photonic scanner: Award winning technology that non-invasively measures the carotenoid content in your skin. Carotenoids are your mother antioxidants and when measured with the bio-photonic 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 at 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.

Cancer is a growing epidemic that reflects the state of our environment as well as the toxic stressors that no other generation before us has experienced. Hormonally compromised bodies are susceptible to cancers. Achieving hormonal balance and repleting deficient vitamin and nutrient stores can be beneficial in cancer prevention, and also in the management of side effects of cancer treatments.

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 overgrowth may present with subtle symptoms that go unnoticed or may be mistaken for other conditions. Candida overgrowth 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.

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.

CO2 Fractional Laser Therapy is technology that has been used for decades for facial skin rejuvenation and works on the principle of ‘helping the body to heal itself’. Not surprisingly it has the same results for vaginal tissues! CO2 fractional laser is quick, painless, safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of urogenital atrophy including vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary urgency, frequency and recurrent bladder infections.

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 adrenal glands will of course show up in testing as low cortisol. It is possible however that the adrenal glands are producing normal or high levels of cortisol, but it is being metabolized so rapidly that levels appear to be low. These are two very distinct issues and therefore require a different treatment approach.

DHEA: A hormone that balances cortisol. As cortisol becomes imbalanced often DHEA does so as well. In cases where DHEA is depleted, replacement may be used to support the adrenal glands in their recovery.

Dried urine spot testing is the most comprehensive and reliable means of assessing cortisol and sex hormones whether it is used for baseline testing or assessment of hormone levels on bio-identical hormones.

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.

Essential Oil Therapy can be used to support treatments for various conditions. Extracted from various components of plants essential oils can be very powerful, effective and quick-acting.

Food Therapy is fundamental to any holistic treatment program as food is the main source of nourishment that we should rely on for optimal health.

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 administered 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.

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 hormone imbalances. At IHH we investigate hair loss from all angles.

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 overgrowth, as well as any significant neurological symptoms. It is very difficult to treat Candida overgrowth effectively without addressing a mercury toxicity 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!

Herbal Therapy is used when hormonal imbalances or vitamin and nutrient deficiencies are so severe that healthy food alone is not sufficient to replete body stores. Good quality herbal supplements that take into account the appropriate route of administration are key components in any hormonal health protocol. Dr. Prouse MD, FRCSC has formulated 22 products with Health Canada approval that are designed specifically for the hormonally challenged individual. Careful attention has been placed on the formulations, the quality of materials, and the delivery systems of each and every product chosen for IHH’s patient population.

Holistic weight management addresses the many physiological and external hurdles that contribute to challenges with weight management, including how the mind-body-spirit connection intersects in healthy weight management.

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

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) refers to the conventional type of synthetic hormones that are currently the standard of care. These chemical compounds do not match our own endogenous hormones. Fortunately, there is a growing number of pharmaceutical grade, bio-identical hormones available as an alternative.

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

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 three-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 five 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!

Integrative Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease using a systems-oriented approach and engages both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership that addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Integrative Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.

Intravenous (IV) vitamin & nutrient 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 administered by IV without side effects and are 100% bio-available.

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 dose 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 iodine 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.

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.

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

Microcurrent Point Stimulation Therapy is cutting edge technology that has married the principles of conventional neurology with traditional Chinese medicine and is used for many conditions, including acute and chronic pain management. Health Canada approved for patient use at home, this very effective instrument provides drug-free, all natural pain relief and should be a part of every medicine cabinet!

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 depleted. 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.

Peri-menopause 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 menopause.

Photobiomodulation Therapy is a combination of light, vibratory and heat energy that is emitted by an intra-vaginal device that is Health Canada approved for patient use in the comfort of their homes. The device, called vSculpt Pro®, has proven to be very effective for the treatment of urogenital atrophy symptoms including vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence.

Urogenital Restoration is the rejuvenation of the pelvic floor muscles and tissues of the vagina and bladder to a more youthful state by means of various forms of energy including light, heat and vibratory (CO2 fractional laser therapy, biophotomodulation), as well as bio-identical hormones.

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