Dr Tan utilizes the salivary Adrenal Stress Index test to evaluate how stress affects your body.
Stress is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality.
The Adrenal Rhythm and Its Importance
The human adrenal glands do not secrete steroid hormones at a constant level throughout the day. The hormones are actually released in a cycle, with the highest value in the morning and the lowest value at night when functioning properly. This 24-hour cycle is called the circadian rhythm and is depicted below in figure 1.
An abnormal adrenal rhythm can influence many functions of the body, some of which are described below.
Abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for the activities of daily life. People who have a hard time rising in the morning, or who suffer from low energy throughout the day, often have abnormal adrenal rhythms and poor blood sugar regulation. The maintenance of a stable blood sugar level depends on food choice, lifestyle, adrenal function and insulin activity. The Adrenal Stress Index™ panel measures stress hormones and insulin, to help ferret out the causes of fatigue, cravings and obesity.
The adrenal rhythm determines how well we build bone. If the night and morning cortisol levels are elevated, our bones do not rebuild well, and we are more prone to osteoporosis. Stress is the enemy of the bones. In postmenopausal women, the effect of stress worsens due to female hormone imbalances.
Various immune cells (white blood cells) cycle in and out of the spleen and bone marrow. The immune system trafficking follows the cortisol cycle. If the cycle is disrupted, especially at night, then the immune system is adversely affected. Short- and long-term stress is known to suppress the immune response in the lungs, throat, urinary tract and intestines. With reduction in the surface antibody (called secretory IgA), the resistance to infection is reduced and allergic reactions are believed to increase.
The ability to enter REM sleep cycles and experience regenerative sleep is interrupted by high cortisol values at night and in the morning. Chronic lack of REM sleep can reduce a person’s mental vitality, vigor and induce depression.
The level of cortisol at the cell level controls thyroid hormone production. Often, hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue and low body temperature are due to an adrenal maladaptation.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
A common HPA axis defect in CFS is impaired corticotrophin release. As a result, low cortisol and eventual adrenal atrophy may be observed. Depleted adrenals with flat rhythms are often seen on the ASI™ panel. Simultaneous use of several therapies can help improve the debilitating effects of CFS.
More than fifty years ago, Dr. W. Jefferies (author of Safe Uses of Cortisol) discovered that patients with environmentally triggered allergies and autoimmune diseases dramatically beneﬁted when given cortisol for other purposes. More recently, German researchers reported that disruption of the adrenal axis and cytokine relationships lead to predisposition and aggravation of autoimmune diseases. The ﬁndings of the ASI™ help identify patients with autoimmune diseases and adrenal problems who can beneﬁt from cortisol supplements.
Several recent publications report a hyperactive HPA axis in depressed patients. Elevated midnight salivary cortisol is now considered one of the best tests in diagnosing endogenous depression. Other anomalies in cortisol rhythm usually accompany the midnight elevation. On the other hand, cortisol elevations and rhythm disruptions throughout the day are typical of attention deﬁcit disorders (ADD). The anomalous cortisol ﬁndings in depression and ADD can be diagnosed successfully with the ASI™. Subsequent interventions to rectify the time-speciﬁc cortisol elevations (during the day or night) are usually effective when applied under proper supervision.
The digestive system plays a significant role in overall health and wellness. Cells need nutrients to function properly and without proper digestion the body is deprived of the building blocks it needs to effectively perform.
When food is inadequately digested, absorption is disrupted and food starts to ferment which then causes production of toxins. Toxins are then released into the blood stream and lead to inflammation and a whole host symptoms and illness.
The digestive system also plays a vital role in the immune system, as the intestines possess the larges mass of lymphoid tissue, called GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue). Immune cells are produced in the GALT and the tissue is important in protecting the body from pathogens.
With the rise of ADHD, ADD, autism, IBS, celiac, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, migraines, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many others, it is essential to evaluate the gastrointestinal system, as it often is a major contributor to ill health. Proper digestion requires multiple enzymes, healthy bacteria, and the absence of parasites, infectious bacteria, and inflammatory metabolites.
We use extensive blood, stool and urine tests to evaluate your digestive function. The tests are used to uncover leaky gut, pancreatic function, digestive enzymes, dysbiosis (bacterial balance), inflammatory processes, celiac, hepatic detoxification and imbalances correlated with each individual’s picture.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart Rate Variability
Assessing a patient’s response to stress is a key factor in promoting optimal health. The Heart Rate Variability (HRV) can detect early signs of the development of pathological processes or the presence of some functional disorders, which may not be revealed by an ordinary physical examination. In diabetes and heart disease it has been proven to be predictive of the likelihood of future events.
The process is an electrophysiology study of the stress on your autonomic nervous system (ANS). The test evaluates heart rate variability at rest and gives an assessment of the adaptability of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS. To achieve health and balance, the body needs to maintain a proper balance between the sympathetic, “fight or flight” and parasympathetic nerves “rest & digest” which is increasingly difficult due to the daily demands of the world.
Contact Regulation Thermography
(also called Computer Regulation Thermography) or CRT provides a functional analysis of 15 major organ systems in the body through that involves gentle contact of a skin temperature sensor on the surface of a patient’s uninjured skin to take two readings. CRT is also very helpful at detecting indications of early disease processes (such as cancer) and imbalances much earlier than conventional diagnostic methods.
Dr. Tan uses the CRT 2000® Thermographic System, a non-invasive and radiation free diagnostic tool that is CE accredited and US FDA approved. It is effective at the following:
Identifying Abnormalities of the Female Breast and the Thyroid Gland
Helping Identify Blocked Organ Systems
Evaluating Lymphatic Health
Functionally Looking at Gastrointestinal Health
Assessing the Body’s Ability to Adapt to Stress
Thermography allows us to measure a baseline and then apply the stress of a cool environment to see how our organ systems are working at both rest and in stressed states. The test takes about 45 minutes consists of 119 measurements on pre-determined skin temperature points to gain a functional assessment that can help determine the level of health. After the first reading, patients then wait at room temperature for 10 minutes while this cooling stimulus induces an autonomic response. A second reading is taken using the same points on the body.
Patient’s results are then compared with over 1.5 million existing thermographic data to determine irregular body functioning, which Dr. Tan can further investigate. The information from the thermographic profile and patient evaluation assists her in determining the level of health and helps provide indications of disease processes in very early stages.
Subsequent thermographic scans can monitor and demonstrate the progress of treatments as the blocked areas become unblocked or the degenerative areas become normal.
Heavy Metal Testing, Toxicity Levels
Tests can be performed to measure the levels of heavy metals and environmental toxins in your body. Toxicity inside the body is another major source of stress on the immune system and contributes to chronic disease states. We live in a world were we are exposed to toxic elements on a daily basis. It is important to decrease your toxic exposure and optimize your body’s ability to eliminate built –up toxins. Heavy metals and environment toxins all need to be evaluated and eliminated to optimize health.
Heavy metals are a group of minerals that includes things like lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic and others. These metals are by products of modern industrial society. They occur in cigarette smoke, dental amalgams, cookware, drinking water and used to be common in paint as well as our water pipes. The body does its best to eliminate heavy metals but over time the metals often get stored in tissues and bind to receptors therefore blocking minerals and hormones and interrupting normal physiological functions in the body.
Environmental toxins are found in everything from plastic bottles, to new carpet, furniture, beauty products, pesticides and cleaning products. Certain vegetables, fruits and food products can be a source of exposure to environmental toxins as well. Over time, these toxins can bind to and block normal hormone function and can cause a plethora of symptoms, headaches, fatigues, muscle/joint pain, etc.
The reality is that many people have elevated levels of toxins that contribute to the inflammation, autoimmune disease, and poor health. Heavy metal and environmental toxins also play a significant role in the aging process due to the hormone disruptions and excessive free radical damage they produce. Dr. Tan uses blood and urine testing to evaluate for heavy metal and environment toxins.