Part 2: A Journey to Freedom
We introduced you to 24 year-old "Alex" in our Part 1 Story in Jan 2021.
Alex had been struggling with severe symptoms of fatigue, depression, anxiety, and sleep restlessness. These symptoms contributed to Alex losing two well-paying jobs that he loved in less than a year.
Motivated by his persistent symptoms, Alex completed the ZRT Neuro Advanced Profile (with add-ons) in Nov 2020.
His lab reports showed he had 23 out-of-range levels that were directly linked to the serious symptoms he had been feeling for an extended number of years.
In this article we review Alex's progress as he works with a health coach to help bring his levels into balance.
Long-Term Commitment Needed
Twenty-somethings usually don't need to worry too much about their own health and wellness. Yet, Alex began feeling like something was deeply wrong with his emotional state of mind.
Losing his second job as an electrician in less than a year gave him the motivation to consider more options. "I loved those jobs. I hated losing them. I was given the gift of desperation," Alex says.
"I kept forgetting job details and specifications. My brain felt like I was in a fog; my thinking wasn't clear. The foremen just couldn't rely on the quality of my work," says Alex.
"I hadn't used mind or mood altering drugs in over eighteen months." Alex reveals, "I have never known what it feels like to be excited by life. Except once, during a short period of time when I was 13 years old."
It took this level of desperation to encourage Alex to make the decision to take a comprehensive neurotransmitter test panel.
Once he had his test results, he then found a health coach that could interpret the test results. With a health coach helping him, Alex was able to take the first steps in developing a health self-care plan that made sense.
With Alex's approval, Conrad, the health coach, was contacted. Conrad gave specifics about their coaching sessions. Alex continues to see a psychiatrist to ensure the steps he is taking integrate with his overall goals.
Alex gave a copy of his test results and his permission to include the results in this article.
Knowing There is a Problem is the First Step to Changing It
"When a person hasn't shown any improvement after a year or more of any given therapy—it can be defeating," says Conrad Larkin, Alex's health coach.
"When your health hasn't rebounded in that much time, and you have quality of life issues at stake, it is time to look deeper," he says.
"You need to understand, at least, the root causes of your health conditions. Every professional you are seeing should be able to explain it to you, in terms you can understand. If they can't, then it is time to consider another course," says Conrad.
Conrad explains that his coaching style is based on a fundamental belief. "We are inherently wired to heal," he says. "The role of any professional is to remove the harmful and dysfunctional causes, and let the body regenerate and heal itself."
"Beginning with the belief that you can get better is essential to starting the process," he explains. "When a human being is determined—no obstacle can stop them from making progress towards their goals. Human will is a formidable force in healing," he adds.
Though he was resistent to the necessary changes to his habits, Alex rallied when he could see incremental changes beginning within the first few weeks.
What Can We Learn From Taking a Neurotransmitter Test?
Alex represents the large number of people suffering from treatment-resistant mood disorders, like his depression and sleep restlessness.
Traditional selection of the best therapeutic regimen is a time-consuming process of trial and error. Now, with targeted neurotransmitter testing, the individual achieves a diagnostic insight based on precise data identifying specific imbalances in neurotransmitter levels.
A neurotransmitter test is a global assessment of mental and emotional well-being.
When your neurotrasmitters are in balance, your mood is stable, your sleep is refreshing and you're thinking clearly.
Alex's neurotransmitter lab report directly correlated to his complaints.
"Everyday I am anxious and exhausted, but unable to sleep," Alex had said before he took the test.
Alex's 17-page lab report showed that from his ongoing depressed moods, to his memory not being able to remember simple details from conversations, that his neurotransmitters were contributory.
The pictures show two out-of-range metabolites. One of Alex's excitatory neurotransmitters, epinephrine, was too high, while the calming, inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA was too low.
Alex had another 21 out-of-range metabolites (not depicted).
The ZRT Neuro Advanced Profile (with add-ons) is one of the more comprehensive profiles available anywhere in the at-home diagnostic test industry.
Conrad says, "It is a BIG test. After including all the add-ons, it has 65+ separate analytes and metabolites in a single report."
Why Is It Important to Address Out-of-Balance Neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitter testing enhances medical assessment and represents a major advance in the personalization of the treatment of mood disorders.
Based on Alex's neurotransmitter test results, Conrad was able to suggest a health plan specifically customized to Alex's out-of-range levels.
"We all get into ruts, from time-to-time. That's normal for everyone," Conrad adds.
"But it isn't normal to be in a rut for multiple years, especially when you are active and in your twenties. Neurotransmitters may be the root cause of long-term negative moods. Once you test, you can start taking the steps to restore your life," concludes Conrad.
Your Hormone Management Testing Plan
When you know you have done everything you can to manage your moods—yet continue to feel despair, anxiety, or apathy—it is time to consider testing.
- Step 1: Start by selecting the ZRT Neuro Advanced Neurotransmitter Profile, using the guide below.
- Step 2: Take the test to establish the starting hormone and neurotransmitter baseline at the onset of your plan. Consider developing your plan alongside:
- a licensed health care provider for medical conditions, especially for severe "out of normal range" results
- or a health care consultant for nutrition and supplements that will support your results
- Step 3: Develop a plan based on your lab test results, establishing a one-year or more outlook.
- Be diligent to address the factors you can, such as work stress, poor diet, lack of exercise.
- Keep logs of your intakes, and daily routines related to your hormone test results.
- Step 4: After 6-12 months of actively working on your plan, take the same test again, or take a smaller panel that test specific areas of concern to determine your progress.
Our ZRT Neuro Advanced Neurotransmitter Profile can help you assess factors influencing apathy, OCD, food cravings, sleep restlessness, anxiousness, depression, fatigue.
Photo by Joel Mott