Part 1: Diagnostic Testing Revealed
In November 2020, after having spent more than a year trying to feel better about himself, 24 year-old "Alex" was ready to toss in the towel.
"Nothing I do has helped. So what's the point?" he asked.
Alex had been struggling with severe symptoms of apathy, daytime fatigue, anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors, and sleep disruption.
Being under the supervision of a psychiatrist for over a year helped Alex to stabilize his life. The visits empowered him to continue to seek out solutions.
But, overall, his sense of well-being hadn't improved.
After being referred to Canary Club, Alex took the ZRT Neuro Advanced Profile where he discovered he had 23 key levels out of normal range.
Part 1: We cover Alex's journey to his decision to take at-home diagnostic testing to help give answers.
Part 2: Next month we will review Alex's progress as he works with a health coach to help bring his levels into balance.
Steps Leading Up to Testing
Alex began wondering if he was somehow different from those around him. He didn't seem to "bounce back" from the daily grind of being a young adult.
Alex had experimented with the hard drugs his generation considers a normal part of their rite of passage into adulthood. When he began thinking he was somehow permanently damaged, he began to express his concerns to his support team. He reached out for more help.
"I look at the lives of others. They rebound so much faster than I do. They run or hike daily, eat really well, hang out with positive friends, and they glow with happiness. I have been doing these same things with them, for over a year, and I still feel depressed. I just don't feel as good as they do," says Alex.
Despite living a clean and sober lifestyle for more than 18 months, Alex continued to have cloudy thinking at his full-time electrician's job. Alex worries, "I forget critical electrical codes that I know but can't remember."
Our bodies are designed to heal spontaneously. Some indulgent excesses may take several years to recover from, but what if the excesses were an attempt to overcome an underlying metabolic imbalance?
When bleak feelings last for over a year, it suggests the healing process is being blocked.
Alex said, "I just want to know if I fried my brain. I want to know if my dopamine and serotonin levels are ok."
A preponderance of severe symptoms lasting for long periods of time suggested Alex had healing blocks worth looking into.
Using the ZRT Symptom Checklist was a significant aid in helping Alex identify that his symptoms were predominantly in Category 5 | Neurotransmitter Imbalance.
The checklist recommended he consider the ZRT Neuro Advanced Neurotransmitter Profile. It tests for the imbalances that may be the underlying contributors to Alex's symptoms of aggression, depression, anxiousness, irritability, and sleep disturbances. At his discretion, add-ons were available for Alex to consider.
The Test Kit measures in dried urine 9 major neurotransmitters plus 5 metabolites, and 1 adjunct. The lab report shows the overall functional assessment of neurotransmitters and related enzymes. ZRT Neuro Advanced (sample report with no add-ons).
- 9 Neurotransmitters: GABA, Glutamate (Glu), Glycine (Gly), Dopamine (DA), Epinephrine (Epi), Norepinephrine (NE), Histamine (HIST), Serotonin (5-HT), Phenethylamine (PEA)
- plus 5 Neurotransmitter Metabolites: DOPAC, HVA, 5-HIAA, Normetanephrine (NMN), VMA
- plus 1 Adjunct: Creatinine (Crtn)
Concerned the basic profile might not be able to explain why he had such severe problems with restless sleep and cognitive retention these ZRT Neuro Advanced Profile add-ons were selected:
- Diurnal Cortisol, Cortisone, Melatonin, Norepinephrine, and Epinephrine add-on: Free Cortisol x 4, Free Cortisone x 4, Melatonin (MT6s) x 4, NE x 4 & Epi x 4. This add-on is for concerns about adrenal, or sleep, anxiousness, and stress ZRT Neuro Advanced (sample report with these add-ons).
- Urine Hormones add-on : 10 hormone tests E2, Pregnanediol, Allopregnanolone, Androstenedione, T, Epi-T, DHT, DHEA, & 5α,3α-Androstanediol
- Urine Elements add-on: 7 tests for heavy metals toxicity elements of Iodine, Selenium, Bromine, Lithium, Arsenic, Cadmium and Mercury
- Saliva Hormones add-on : 5 tests in a saliva tube sample: Estradiol (E2, an estrogen), Progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA-S, Cortisol (1x)
When Alex collected his samples and sent them to the lab, he was astonished when he logged in to his private ZRT account to read his lab results. His dopamine and serotonin levels were perfectly normal, but he had 23 out-of-range levels that are directly linked to the severe symptoms he had been feeling for an extended number of years.
Alex's ZRT LAB Test Report
Alex's co-occuring combination of slow memory recall, with severe fatigue, apathy, depression, and ongoing sleep disturbances were the reasons he was willing to take a comprehensive assessment of his hormone and neurotransmitter levels.
"I was relieved to know something was telling me what was wrong, even though I don't understand it. But it gave me hope that I might enjoy things once again, someday," Alex mused as his practitioner reviewed his report with him.
The report ruled-out any exposure in his environment to harmful heavy metals and neurotoxic elements that might contribute to his brain fog.
Alex had excessively high levels of cortisol, testosterone, 6 different androgens, epinephrine & norepinephrine neurotransmitters, and creatinine.
He had very low levels of GABA and Glutamate neurotransmitters, and cortisone.
Alex's Next Steps
Based on the results of his ZRT Lab Report, Alex began working with a health coach. The health coach is trained in interpreting several of the ZRT Lab reports and has suggested that Alex:
- Maintain a daily log recording his activities, exercise, supplements, diet
- Chart his emotions in correlation to changes in any of the above
- A list of suggested supplements to Alex's conditions are being reviewed weekly between the coach and Alex
- Alex will be updating with his psychiatrist
Next month we will report on Alex's progress
Your Hormone Management Testing Plan
When you know you have done everything you can to manage your feelings—yet continue to feel despair 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.