Author Archives: Kent Holtorf, M.D.

Treating Adrenal Dysfunction with Cortisol

Written by

Originally Posted November 2012Updated October 2019 Many people report feeling under constant pressure and stress which causes them to feel sluggish, irritable and fatigued. They are desperately trying to clear up that mental fogginess with coffee or other stimulants, just to crash worse afterwards. Does this sound like you? Although it’s been widely accepted as the “common way of living in a working, modern society”, it is not normal. Understanding Adrenal Fatigue The adrenals are small glands that sit on the kidneys. They regulate many bodily processes through the production of hormones. The hormones produced by the adrenal glands help regulate blood sugar, immune function, and stress response. A disruption in the excretion of these hormones can lead to malfunction in these bodily processes and others. Learn even more about the adrenals here. Adrenal fatigue is a chronic condition wherein the adrenals are incapable of supplying the hormones needed for […]

The Functions and Purpose of Adrenal Glands

Written by

Originally Posted November 2012Updated October 2019 Many people go through life feeling stressed, sluggish, fatigued, irritable, desperately trying to clear up that mental fogginess with coffee or other stimulants, just to crash worse afterward. While many experience this, it is not normal and could be a sign of adrenal fatigue.  Many health experts believe that upwards of 80% of the population suffers from some level of adrenal insufficiency. This is not surprising when we think that the adrenals are involved in regulating virtually every aspect of bodily function! As goes the health and functional efficiency of the adrenals, so goes the health and functional efficiency of every aspect of metabolism in the body. What Are The Adrenal Glands? The adrenal glands are no bigger than a walnut and they sit on top of the kidneys. They produce more than 150 different hormones, including adrenaline (sometimes called epinephrine), cortisol, norepinephrine, and […]

6 Ways to Boost Your Libido

Written by

Originally posted February 2013Updated February 2019 Studies show that 31% of men and 43% of women suffer from sexual inadequacy or low libido at some point in their lives. It is shown that up to 40% of women suffer from symptoms of sexual dysfunction, with low desire being the most common symptom. Understand The Real Cause Of Low Libido Although there are several substances which help with a sudden increase in sex desire, it is always best to first understand the cause of your symptoms, in order to use the best approach for you. Eliminating potential blocking factors that affect your sex life is the first step in restoring a normal body function and response to stimuli. Some of the most common blocking factors that affect libido are: chronic stress, depression and some medications commonly used to treat depression. Birth control pills, too much alcohol, drugs like marijuana, lack of sleep, […]

Dr. Kent Holtorf Says, “Dr. Drew Got It Wrong About Thyroid!”

Written by

In a recent interview, Dr. Drew made a few comments on Hillary Clinton’s health care, specifically the efficacy of her thyroid treatment. He made comments such as, “We were gravely concerned not just about her health, but her health care,” and “Armour Thyroid… is very unconventional and something that we used back in the ’60s.” Dr. Holtorf, however, does not agree with those statements and states that, “Dr. Drew got it wrong!” Find out just what he missed! And for even more information about thyroid disease and treatment, read our comprehensive Thyroid 101.

Are Lyme Patients Being Dosed Incorrectly?

Written by

A newly published study by the American Society for Microbiology may fundamentally change the way we view and treat chronic Lyme disease. While it has been well known that Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) has multiple methods to become resistant to antibiotics, this study demonstrates that it may not be an actual resistance (which is seen in many other bacteria), at all. Rather, this study demonstrates that Lyme has the ability to transform into a metabolically inactive form, called a persister cell. The metabolically inactive persister cells are essentially in a state of suspended animation. This lack of metabolic activity makes them totally resistant to any antibiotic at any dose and also any combination of antibiotics. This is in contrast to other methods that bacteria use to become resistant that can be overcome by using larger doses of antibiotics, different antibiotics or a combination of antibiotics. None of these strategies have […]

A Journey with Fibromyalgia – A Holtorf Medical Group Success Story

Written by

If you had asked me ten years ago whether I thought I would still be alive today, I would have responded with “absolutely not”. That’s how surely I was convinced that I was slowly dying—emotionally, socially, intellectually, spiritually, and physically. The most frightening thing about it was that I perceived I was powerless to stop my slow decline. I talked to my husband about moving the master bedroom down to the first floor so I wouldn’t have to climb stairs. I made my funeral plans. One night as I was working late at the office, I found myself so despondent that I closed my office door, turned out the lights, and just lay on the floor behind my desk, curled up and weeping. For me, that was about as low as I could go. I knew then that I was grieving for everything precious to me that seemed lost—my marital […]

Lyme Disease – The Great Imitator

Written by

Contrary to popular belief, Lyme disease is not limited to the northeastern United States, but is seen in every state across the country. It is often called “the great imitator” because Lyme can mimic virtually any disease, including multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), just to name a few. What is Lyme Disease? Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a spirochete, or corkscrew-shaped bacteria, called Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease affects multiple areas of the body, with symptoms appearing within one to two weeks after being bitten. A commonly recognized sign of an initial Lyme disease infection is an erythema migrans (EM) or “bulls-eye” rash, but this rash may appear in only about half of the cases. Patients who do experience this rash may see it on any area of the body – not just where […]

The Sound of Health: Thyroid Ultrasounds

Written by

For many, seeing is believing, and this 10 to 15 minute thyroid exam sees what is otherwise hidden and can measure and detect issues that do not reveal themselves anywhere else. Lab work can indicate key thyroid related hormone levels, such as T4, T3, Reverse T3, Free T4 and Free T3, but do not indicate the size or health of the thyroid.  Likewise, tissue changes in the thyroid such as cysts and nodules may not cause any symptoms and even when a doctor palpates, or feels the thyroid, they may not be detected.  Technology has come a far way indeed, the ultrasound can measure anatomy in millimeters, even our doctors think that’s impressive. There’s more good news, the test is non-invasive, there’s no needle prick (but our phlebotomist Bianca is quite good) and no arm thump.  There is no need to fast, no special medicine before or after and can […]

Tests Can Reveal Hidden Causes of Weight Loss Failure

Written by

Don’t blame yourself for failure. Sometimes there’s a medical reason for weight gain or the inability to lose weight! Here is a list of key tests that can determine if there’s a physiological cause for your weight problems. Thyroid hormone imbalance An imbalance of thyroid hormones, specifically hypothyroidism or thyroid hormone conversion disorders, can make it difficult or impossible to lose weight. To determine if you have thyroid issues, ask your doctor to test TSH, Free T4, Free T3, and reverse T3 (RT3). Since reverse T3 can block cell receptors for thyroid hormone, it is critical to test this hormone to properly determine your thyroid health. In fact, RT3 is the best test to measure tissue levels of thyroid hormone. In healthy individuals, Reverse T3 is typically less than 250 pg/ml, with a Free T3/Reverse T3 ratio greater than 1.8 if free T3 is measured in ng/dl, or 0.018 if […]

Dieting Reduces Active Thyroid Hormone Levels

Written by

Thyroid hormone plays an important role in metabolic function. While many patients are familiar with the thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH, most are not aware that there are a number of thyroid hormones. TSH, created by the pituitary gland, tells the thyroid to make thyroxine. Thyroxine, or T4, is an inactive thyroid hormone that must be converted before it has an effect on the body. T4 can be converted to triiodothyronine (T3), the active hormone that has a metabolic effect on the body, or it can be converted to reverse T3, an inactive form of T3 that actually blocks the cell receptors for thyroid hormones, thus blocking the effect of T3. If a patient has too much RT3 in comparison to T3, that patient will be hypothyroid at the cellular level, with a reduced metabolic rate. Or, explained more simply, that patient will have difficulty losing weight and keeping weight […]

Is Your Set Point Sabotaging Your Diet?

Written by

The “set point” is the brain’s target weight for a person’s body. Just as the body works to maintain a fairly standard temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, it also works to maintain a body weight that is physiologically comfortable. The set point is maintained by the hypothalamus, and is often genetically influenced. However, a number of things can cause the set point to change, moving a person’s normal weight to a higher number on the scale, and sabotaging weight loss efforts. Causes of Set Point Malfunction One of the more common causes of set point malfunction is aggressive or yo-yo dieting. Calorie restrictive diets can actually slow thyroid function, resulting in a slower metabolism. Illnesses such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia can also cause the set point to malfunction. Some medications can cause the set point to increase, including common antidepressants such as Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft and Lexapro, anti-convulsant medications, […]

There’s More to Losing Weight Than Diet and Exercise

Written by

Obesity has become a major health crisis in the United States. In the last two decades, obesity rates have doubled among adults. As many as 60 million people, or 30% of the adult population, are now obese. Youth are at risk too. Since 1980, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents. And all of this is happening while our country is on one big, continuous diet. What if all this advice about diet and exercise was wrong? Here are four medical issues than can cause weight gain unrelated to diet and exercise. Thyroid imbalance One very common cause of weight gain not related to diet or exercise is hypothyroidism. When the thyroid gland is sluggish and not producing enough thyroid hormone, it can cause energy levels to plummet. Skin becomes dry, hair becomes brittle and starts thinning, joints ache, and depression sets in. Weight gain can often […]