Integrative Blog

The Integrative Therapeutics blog is your destination for staying current on topics within the integrative medicine community.

Men’s Health: What You're Missing

// Danielle Huntsman, MS, CNS, LDN

When evaluating men’s health, clinicians can be myopic by primarily considering prostate health and optimizing testosterone levels. The effects of high cortisol and consistent stress is nothing new to practitioners or patients; however, is there validity to support balancing cortisol specifically for men?

Women and Stress: Understanding Changes that Cause HPA Axis Dysregulation

// Amy Doyle, MS, CNS

Individual variances in the stress response are influenced not only by early life events, genetics, and age, but also by gender. The onset of puberty marks the nascence of sex differences in stress reactivity. Examining the neuroendocrine changes across the lifespan that render women more vulnerable to HPA axis dysregulation allows us to look at herbs and nutrients that may offer support.

Chronotypes and Nutrition - ‘Perfect Timing’

// Kate Hope, MS, CNS

Our daily sleep-wake cycle is governed by an internal biological clock that operates on a near 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm. Chronobiology is the study of how this process regulates almost every function of life, including sleep, arousal, feeding, and a host of metabolic activities.1

Challenges of Stress Management

// Anne Thiel, ND

Stress management is frequently a focus of patient intervention which can be improved upon by digging into the nuances of how, when, and what to use in support of this crucial conversation.

HPA Axis Supplements To Support Optimization

Reports suggest that 60–80% of visits to primary care are stress-related. It should come as no surprise that supporting HPA axis homeostasis is a significant clinical goal and one which requires differing HPA axis supplement recommendations for different stages and to meet individual need.

The History and Benefits of Eleuthero

// Maxine Fidler, MS, ND

Eleutherococcus senticosus, or Eleuthero, is an adaptogenic herb native to Russia, China, Korea, and Japan.*1 This article highlights some of the benefits associated with eleuthero, as well as its colorful history and adaptogenic qualities.*

Effects of Stress on Digestion

// Chris Oswald, DC, CNS, CFMP

Stress is something that most people have to deal with on a daily basis. Appropriate levels of stress promote powerful benefits throughout the body, yet when the systems associated with stress are routinely activated, the body may not respond as we would like. The effects of stress throughout the body are quite pervasive and the effects of stress on digestion can be widely occurring.

Exploring the Alarm Stage of General Adaption Syndrome

// Lauren Martin, MS, CNS

The alarm stage of the General Adaption Syndrome is described as the sum of all non-specific systemic phenomena elicited by sudden exposure to stimuli to which the organism is quantitatively or qualitatively not adapted.1 Let’s explore the effects of the alarm stage on the body, defensive mechanisms, and what this means to overall wellbeing.

The Role of Cortisol

// Lise Alschuler, ND

I find myself thinking and talking about cortisol a lot these days. It’s actually a nice back to the future kind of thing as I remember getting very excited about cortisol when I was in school in the mid-90’s. One of my very first lectures was on the topic of stress, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and cortisol. After hacking my way through the jungles of clinical practice for the next 20 years, I find that I have made my way right back to cortisol.

Cortisol and Sleep: The HPA Axis Activity Connection

// Tori Hudson, ND

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis interacts with sleep in a multiplicity of ways and a growing body of research suggests reciprocal associations between sleep and activity of the HPA axis. Normal sleep architecture is characterized by cycles of light sleep, deeper slow-wave sleep and REM sleep. Light sleep includes stage 1 and stage 2 sleep. Stage 1 sleep has mixed frequency theta, slow rolling eye movements and slightly reduced eye movement and chin electromyography (EMG). Stage 2 has mixed frequency electroencephalogram (EEG). Deeper slow-wave sleep includes stages 3 and 4. Stage 3 sleep is characterized by 20-50% delta EEG and stage 4 has greater than 50% delta EEG.


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