Laboratory, Endocrine, & Neurotransmitter Symposium
September 14 - 16, 2018
Gain additional clinical insight and treatment considerations to evaluate some of the most prevalent and challenging conditions that patients present with, including depression, anxiety, altered mental focus and stamina, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, addictions and dependencies, weight management, and chronic disease.
Topic: Overcoming the Barriers to Weight Loss
October 3, 2018
Join Labrix clinical staff and special guests on the first Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM PST. This free, live webinar series will cover a variety of neuroendocrine topics that will enhance your knowledge, with clinically applicable testing and treatment considerations.
Dallas, TX: September 6 - 9, 2018
Labrix will be in Texas for the IMMH conference this weekend. Come chat with our booth representative and learn more about testing with Labrix.
Back to School Means Back to Sleep!
Fall in is the air
Summer is nearly over, alas. The calendar tells us that September 23rd is the first day of fall, but the shorter days and cooler nights are already upon us. While summer can be a difficult time for regenerative sleep due to longer days and shorter nights, fall is the perfect time to reset the diurnal clock by updating sleep habits!
Light = wakefulness
Sunlight has the most powerful influence over the mammalian diurnal clock. The light of morning shuts down melatonin as it descends from peak levels in the darkness of sleep, enabling cortisol levels to rise upon waking. As the days become shorter and access to bright sunlight becomes less available, the use of an artificial light source (such as a full-spectrum light box) can ensure the all-important light signal makes its way to the brain. 15 minutes of a light box while getting ready for work or eating breakfast can make a significant difference in daily energy and help reset the diurnal clock for earlier wakings on dark mornings. Light boxes of 10,000 lux are readily available online, are often small enough for travel, and reasonably priced.
Dim light/darkness = rest
Melatonin’s natural rhythm is the opposite of cortisol, being lowest in the morning and gradually increasing as the day progresses, reaching its peak in the middle of the night during sleep. While natural light is an important aspect of setting the diurnal rhythm and supporting healthy levels of melatonin and cortisol, artificial light has suppressive effects. An important aspect of a healthy diurnal rhythm is the rise of melatonin in dim light (the dim light melatonin onset, DLMO) which takes place in the early evening as the sun begins its descent. Ideally, evening lights in the home are dimmed to mimic the dim light of the sun.
Protect sacred sleep
The blue light spectrum associated with fluorescent light and the light of technology (computers, pads, smartphones, etc) is the most suppressive to melatonin. Using technology and bright lighting throughout DLMO and prior to bed time attenuates the peak of melatonin, thus weakening the strength of the diurnal rhythm. Even with eyes closed during sleep, the retina can still detect light. Consider the use of room-darkening curtains and shades if artificial light, such as street lamps and porch lights, threatens to suppress melatonin levels during sleep. As well, light from electronics in the bedroom, including alarm clocks and cell phones, can contribute to melatonin suppression. A thorough evaluation of potential light influences on sleep throughout the night is time well spent. If all else fails, eye masks are also an option.
Supplementation for success
Melatonin supplementation is yet another consideration for sleep improvement. In addition to its sleep enhancing properties, melatonin is a potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory, and has antitumor and anxiolytic effects. Research suggests that dosing should start as low as possible, somewhere in the .5 - 3 mg range. Immediate release melatonin can be taken 1-2 hours before bedtime to enhance sleep onset, while sustained release melatonin is delivered over a 3-5 hour time frame and can be taken at bedtime to minimize night wakings.
Every family can benefit from a sleep support update this fall. The following tools will help ensure family members are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on school days:
- Obtain natural or full-spectrum light exposure in the morning
- Dim household lights in the evening leading up to bed time
- Minimize electronic use before bed
- Decrease light exposure in the bedroom
- Consider melatonin supplementation
Wondering if diurnal rhythms are ready for the school year? Consider Labrix’ four point cortisol testing and three point melatonin testing. Early detection of imbalance can point to treatment suggestions and ensure a successful start to the year.
Partch CL, Green CB, Takahashi JS. Molecular Architecture of the Mammalian Circadian Clock. Trends Cell Biol. 2014;24(2):90-99.
Pandi-Perumal SR, Trakht I, Spence DW, et al. The roles of melatonin and light in the pathophysiology and treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Nat Clin Pract Neurol. 2008;4(8):436-447.
Chen WW, Zhang X, Huang WJ. Pain control by melatonin: Physiological and pharmacological effects. Exp Ther Med. 2016;12(4):1963-1968.
Reiter RJ, Rosales-Corral S, Tan DX, et al. Melatonin as a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant: one of evolution’s best ideas. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017;74(21):3863-3881.
Li Y, Li S, Zhou Y, et al. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Oncotarget. 2017;8(24):39896-39921.
for Amazon link*
The Anti-Anxiety Diet
by Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE
Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE is a food-as-medicine expert. In her new book The Anti-Anxiety Diet, Ali outlines the 6 Rs to foundationally treat anxiety from the inside out.
- Remove Inflammatory Foods
- Reset Gut Microbiome
- Repair GI Lining
- Restore Micronutrient Status
- Rebound Adrenals
- Rebalance Neurotransmitters
She explains, “Time and time again, I find that my clients feel that stress and anxiety are something they just have to deal with. They are dragged by the bumper of the vehicle of their body and accept the repercussions as normal.”
If your patients are struggling with anxiety and subsequent hormonal imbalance (including HPA axis dysfunction), take a deep dive with Ali Miller and discover the successful 6 R protocol she has discovered to help her client’s anxiety fade away in the rear-view mirror.
To learn more about Ali Miller’s functional approach to the treatment of anxiety, check out her new book, found here www.alimillerrd.com/the-anti-anxiety-diet/.
Disclaimer: All information given about health conditions, treatment, products, and dosages are for educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.