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Article:Testing Hair for Cortisol Levels


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An interesting article about testing hair for cortisol levels and heart attacks.....typically this experiment was done on men.

 

 

Hair Gives a Heads-Up On Heart Attack Risk

 

Stress may make you want to pull out your hair, but those tresses could be the key to measuring just how much stress you're under, according to a new study.

 

The study found that the stress hormone cortisol can be measured in hair, providing the first long-term record of chronic stress that doesn't rely on a person's memories. High levels of cortisol in hair were associated with heart attacks, the researchers reported online today in the journal Stress. [stress and 9 other Destructive Human Behaviors]

 

The findings could provide a new way to research chronic stress, according to the researchers. If the results can be replicated, the test may eventually be used in the doctor's office to identify people at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

A record of stress

 

The hair on your head is dead, but its follicle, or root, is alive. Substances like cortisol, which get released into the bloodstream when you're stressed, can seep into the follicle from the tiny blood vessels in the skin of the scalp. As the hair grows, traces of cortisol get trapped in the shaft, providing a way for researchers to measure the hormone over time. Because hair grows about 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) per month, most people have many months' worth of records of cortisol levels sitting on top of their heads. Previous measures of cortisol in blood or urine could record only a few hours' or days' worth of the hormone.

 

"[Hair] tells me what happened to you in the last 10 months," study researcher Gideon Koren, a professor of pediatric medicine and toxicology at the University of Western Ontario, told LiveScience. "I can even see how things change monthly."

 

Koren had previously used hair samples to measure drug toxicity in infants whose mothers used cocaine and heroine while pregnant. He learned that other colleagues were using similar methods to detect steroids in the systems of bodybuilders. If hair could accurately measure body-boosting steroids, he realized, it might also hold a record of other hormones, like cortisol. Previous research had found that the cortisol persists in the hair for at least six months, and in the case of several Peruvian mummies, up to 1,500 years.

 

Hair and heart attacks

 

To test the idea, Koren and his colleagues took hair samples from 120 men who checked into the cardiac unit of the Meir Medical Center in Israel. Half of the men were diagnosed with heart attacks, while the other half had other diagnoses like chest pain and infection. Only men were studied because heart attacks are more common in men, and because hormonal differences between men and women could skew the results.

 

The researchers analyzed the cortisol levels in the 1.2 inches (3 cm) of hair closest to the scalp, representing about the last three months of the patients' lives.

 

They found that cortisol levels were significantly higher in men who had heart attacks compared with men who had other illnesses. When the researchers split the men into quartiles based on their cortisol levels, they found that of the men with the lowest levels, 32 percent had heart attacks. In the men in the uppermost quartile of cortisol, that number jumped to 68 percent.

 

The results held even after controlling for other heart-attack risk factors like cholesterol levels and body mass index (a measure of body fatness).

 

"It's not the only one, of course, but cortisol is an important determinant of acute myocardial infarction," Koren said, using the technical term for heart attack.

 

Testing the test

 

The results will need to be replicated with larger numbers of patients before hair-cortisol testing goes mainstream, Koren warned. Other research has shown that cortisol levels in the hair do match cortisol levels in the blood, but Koren and his colleagues aren't yet sure if their results will apply to women. They also didn't test whether hair cortisol levels matched people's subjective feelings of stress.

 

If the test works, however, it could be a noninvasive way to measure stress over time. That's important, Koren said, because people's long-term memories of stress aren't always reliable.

 

"It could be another tool for us, if it's possible to do and not expensive," said Alicja Fishell, a psychiatrist at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. Fishell, who has collaborated with Koren before but was not involved in the current study, said the findings could one day prove useful to research in her area, reproductive health, because the effect of chronic stress on pregnant women and fetuses is not well-understood.

 

"We need to have a good study that really correlates" the relationship between stress and later psychiatric problems in women at different reproductive stages of life, Fishell said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/hairgivesaheadsuponheartattackrisk;_ylt=AjLKG2wQ5Ll9Yz5NKm1kvGKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTRmbm82a2VnBGFzc2V0A2xpdmVzY2llbmNlLzIwMTAwOTAzL2hhaXJnaXZlc2FoZWFkc3Vwb25oZWFydGF0dGFja3Jpc2sEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwM4BHBvcwM1BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDaGFpcmdpdmVzYWhl

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I see this was at the University of Western Ontario in London. Talk about your six degrees of separation, Dr. Van Uum just published a hair study testing cortisol and Dr. Van Uum is also in London, Ontario. About 2 miles from University of Western.

 

Do I qualify for both studies, I have cyclical cushing's and a pacemaker ;)

 

I asked Dr. Van Uum when I can have the hair cortisol test and it won't be available for a couple of months yet. Cant wait, no more peeing in jugs.

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I see this was at the University of Western Ontario in London. Talk about your six degrees of separation, Dr. Van Uum just published a hair study testing cortisol and Dr. Van Uum is also in London, Ontario. About 2 miles from University of Western.

 

Do I qualify for both studies, I have cyclical cushing's and a pacemaker ;)

 

I asked Dr. Van Uum when I can have the hair cortisol test and it won't be available for a couple of months yet. Cant wait, no more peeing in jugs.

 

Oooooh, only a couple months -- that's awesome! Keep us updated when you get it done. Is it only going to be for his patients?

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Hmmmph...the rate at which my hair is falling ut recently since starting these testosterone injections I'll have none left in a couple of months.

 

Dave

 

Store it in a jar Dave! Does nose hair count?

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An interesting article about testing hair for cortisol levels and heart attacks.....typically this experiment was done on men.

 

 

Hair Gives a Heads-Up On Heart Attack Risk

 

Stress may make you want to pull out your hair, but those tresses could be the key to measuring just how much stress you're under, according to a new study.

 

The study found that the stress hormone cortisol can be measured in hair, providing the first long-term record of chronic stress that doesn't rely on a person's memories. High levels of cortisol in hair were associated with heart attacks, the researchers reported online today in the journal Stress. [stress and 9 other Destructive Human Behaviors]

 

The findings could provide a new way to research chronic stress, according to the researchers. If the results can be replicated, the test may eventually be used in the doctor's office to identify people at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

A record of stress

 

The hair on your head is dead, but its follicle, or root, is alive. Substances like cortisol, which get released into the bloodstream when you're stressed, can seep into the follicle from the tiny blood vessels in the skin of the scalp. As the hair grows, traces of cortisol get trapped in the shaft, providing a way for researchers to measure the hormone over time. Because hair grows about 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) per month, most people have many months' worth of records of cortisol levels sitting on top of their heads. Previous measures of cortisol in blood or urine could record only a few hours' or days' worth of the hormone.

 

"[Hair] tells me what happened to you in the last 10 months," study researcher Gideon Koren, a professor of pediatric medicine and toxicology at the University of Western Ontario, told LiveScience. "I can even see how things change monthly."

 

Koren had previously used hair samples to measure drug toxicity in infants whose mothers used cocaine and heroine while pregnant. He learned that other colleagues were using similar methods to detect steroids in the systems of bodybuilders. If hair could accurately measure body-boosting steroids, he realized, it might also hold a record of other hormones, like cortisol. Previous research had found that the cortisol persists in the hair for at least six months, and in the case of several Peruvian mummies, up to 1,500 years.

 

Hair and heart attacks

 

To test the idea, Koren and his colleagues took hair samples from 120 men who checked into the cardiac unit of the Meir Medical Center in Israel. Half of the men were diagnosed with heart attacks, while the other half had other diagnoses like chest pain and infection. Only men were studied because heart attacks are more common in men, and because hormonal differences between men and women could skew the results.

 

The researchers analyzed the cortisol levels in the 1.2 inches (3 cm) of hair closest to the scalp, representing about the last three months of the patients' lives.

 

They found that cortisol levels were significantly higher in men who had heart attacks compared with men who had other illnesses. When the researchers split the men into quartiles based on their cortisol levels, they found that of the men with the lowest levels, 32 percent had heart attacks. In the men in the uppermost quartile of cortisol, that number jumped to 68 percent.

 

The results held even after controlling for other heart-attack risk factors like cholesterol levels and body mass index (a measure of body fatness).

 

"It's not the only one, of course, but cortisol is an important determinant of acute myocardial infarction," Koren said, using the technical term for heart attack.

 

Testing the test

 

The results will need to be replicated with larger numbers of patients before hair-cortisol testing goes mainstream, Koren warned. Other research has shown that cortisol levels in the hair do match cortisol levels in the blood, but Koren and his colleagues aren't yet sure if their results will apply to women. They also didn't test whether hair cortisol levels matched people's subjective feelings of stress.

 

If the test works, however, it could be a noninvasive way to measure stress over time. That's important, Koren said, because people's long-term memories of stress aren't always reliable.

 

"It could be another tool for us, if it's possible to do and not expensive," said Alicja Fishell, a psychiatrist at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. Fishell, who has collaborated with Koren before but was not involved in the current study, said the findings could one day prove useful to research in her area, reproductive health, because the effect of chronic stress on pregnant women and fetuses is not well-understood.

 

"We need to have a good study that really correlates" the relationship between stress and later psychiatric problems in women at different reproductive stages of life, Fishell said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/hairgivesaheadsuponheartattackrisk;_ylt=AjLKG2wQ5Ll9Yz5NKm1kvGKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTRmbm82a2VnBGFzc2V0A2xpdmVzY2llbmNlLzIwMTAwOTAzL2hhaXJnaXZlc2FoZWFkc3Vwb25oZWFydGF0dGFja3Jpc2sEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwM4BHBvcwM1BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDaGFpcmdpdmVzYWhl

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Hi! My name is Peri. I inherited a disease called M.E.N.1 Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, many tumors of the endocrine glands. Lucky me. 5 kids & I'm the only one to inherit it! Anyway, it started with bone pain. After MANY Drs. & tests, I lucked upon the right one. A simple blood test, showed high calcium, in my blood, not my bones. Hence, the kidney stones, & many broken bones. A broken hip @ 35yrs.!! Then came the fatigue, which was unusual, as I was a single Mom, & worked a full time job, for benefits, & formed my own Maintenance & cleaning Co. So 20hr. days were the norm. Anyway, things started progressing, until my endo tested my pituitary, & found no function @ all. New med, Norditropin, an injection of growth hormone. Meanwhile, my pain specialist, had a pump implanted to control all my meds. Well, when the battery was shot, it was to be re-placed. For some reason, he sent me to a new surgeon. Some 7 surgeries later, minus the pump,, due to infection, my body went into shock & ended up with Adrenal Insufficiency! Having a bi-polar daughter doesn't help! I gained 50lbs. in 2 months, & am just now, about a little over a year into this, I am slowly working some lbs. off! By sheer gumption, working out in my pool everyday with aqua joggers. Must be low impact, as I have severe osteoporosis, from the Parathyroids. In fact, I am going in for surgery, # 23 for first knee re-placement. Then recovery & rehab, then #2. My only support is my son. He lives in my guest house, to take care of me. The rest of my family, is in Pgh., Pa. Honestly, I don't think any of them understand, what I am going thru, nor do they give a rat's butt! I think my Mother feels so guilty for not telling us about being tested for this inherited disease, that she down plays it to the other brother's & sister. My M' had 3 parathyroids removed in 1967, then never experienced any other signs of the illness, so, out of site, out of mind! As I mentioned, I've had 22 surgeries so far, for various reasons, yet, 2 times, someone from my family actually came to help. Do you know how that makes me feel?? They not only, do not understand what I am going thru, nor, do they care. Only my son, knows I have needles & vials of steroids for "Crisis"! My "M", always asks, when will you get off those steroids that make you fat!! My reply, When I die. I really don't think she believes me! I've e-mailed many pages of info on all this, yet when questioned, noone knows what I am talking about. My pancreas is also giving me the 1st signs of trouble. Little tumors, in my stomach, from bile slowly leaking into my system, making me sick in the tummy. I live on yogurt, literally. Other foods make me sick. So, this is the short version of my story. Anyone out there have any idea on how to lose this weight I have gained?? So far, I've lost almost 20lbs. And that has taken a year & a-lot of energy, that I am slowly losing...Thanks, Winkle p.s. VERY interested in this hair folicle testing, whom do I call??

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I see this was at the University of Western Ontario in London. Talk about your six degrees of separation, Dr. Van Uum just published a hair study testing cortisol and Dr. Van Uum is also in London, Ontario. About 2 miles from University of Western.

 

Do I qualify for both studies, I have cyclical cushing's and a pacemaker ;)

 

I asked Dr. Van Uum when I can have the hair cortisol test and it won't be available for a couple of months yet. Cant wait, no more peeing in jugs.

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