Fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, overwhelm, irritability, brain fog. The symptoms of stress are a laundry list of misery, and most of us are intimately familiar with them.
While most people can tell me they are experiencing stress, many of us don’t realize the impact that stress is having on our bodies. Because stress isn’t just in our heads, it’s in our bodies.
As a Naturopathic Doctor one of my favourite adages is “Why guess, when you can assess”. So while many of my patients know they are stressed, showing them a quantifiable measure of their stress can help motivate them to change their lifestyles, to lessen stress and overcome the negative impact stress has on our minds and bodies.
At the Integrative Health Institute we have two different tests available for patients who want to better understand the impact stress is having on the function of their body.
1. Koenisburg Stress Test
A simple, in-office urine test, that takes less than 5 minutes to complete. The Koenisburg test looks at adrenal function and gives an indication of either low stress hormone output (“burnout”) or high stress hormone output (“overdrive”).
I recently did this test on myself and scored in the “burnout” range. I was surprised by the result, until I spent a moment to really reflect on my workload and overall life balance. Burnout was not too far from the truth. This simple test gave me the motivation, and moment of reflection, I needed to return to an intentional balance in my life.
Speak to your ND about the Koenisburg test – it is part of our new Integrative Medical Screen, and can be done at any visit with your naturopathic doctor.
2. DUTCH Test
The gold-standard in hormone testing, the DUTCH test (dried urine test for comprehensive hormones) is the most in depth analysis of stress hormones, neurotransmitters, and reproductive hormones, currently available. Done over 4 points in the course of a day, the DUTCH test gives you and your naturopath unprecedented information about the metabolism of hormones in your body. This test is highly recommended for people who are showing signs and symptoms of stress in their bodies and who need to make drastic changes to regain their lives.
This in-depth functional test is available through all the naturopathic doctors at IHI. Speak to your ND to determine if it is right for you.
Dr. Lisa Watson believes that you don’t have to be perfect to be healthy. Lisa encourages her patients to take a proactive approach to their health – taking meaningful steps towards achieving their goals for balanced and vibrant health. An expert in women’s health and hormones, Lisa is a passionate advocate for women’s health and strives to educate all the women in her practice on how to achieve lifelong abundant health. Dr. Watson practices at the Integrative Health Institute in downtown Toronto and writes regularly about women’s health on her website at www.drlisawatson.com