COVID-19 is placing stress on Canada's public health system. Our clinic is starting to offer virtual care to make sure that we can continue to care for our patients safely and effectively. This means that we will be using video and audio technologies for some patient visits rather than asking all patients to come into our office. Some of these technologies are provided by the Province. Others have been provided by vendors like Google, or Apple to help make discussions with your care provider as easy as possible during these difficult times. Some health concerns can be addressed with virtual care alone, but in some cases your doctor may ask you to visit a hospital or other health care facility if necessary, for a physical examination.

We do our best to make sure that any information you give to us during virtual care visits is private and secure, but no video or audio tools are ever completely secure. There is an increased security risk that your health information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using video or audio communications tools. To help us keep your information safe and secure, you can:

Understand that emails, calls, or texts you receive are not secure in the same way as a private appointment in an exam room.

Use a private computer/device (i.e., not an employer's or third party's computer/device), secure accounts, and a secure internet connection. For example, using a personal and encrypted email account is more secure than an unencrypted email account, and your access to the Internet on your home network will generally be more secure than an open guest Wi-Fi connection.

You should also understand that electronic communication is not a substitute for in-person communication or clinical examinations, where appropriate, or for attending the Emergency Department when needed (including for any urgent care that may be required).

If you are concerned about using video or audio tools for virtual care, you can ask our office to arrange for you to visit a different healthcare provider or other health care center where you can be seen in person. However, please note that visiting a health care provider in person comes with a higher risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 and the possibility of spreading the virus.

By providing your information, you agree to let us collect, use, or disclose your personal health information through video or audio communications (while following applicable privacy laws) in order to provide you with care. In particular, the following means of electronic communication may be used (identify all that apply): email, videoconferencing (including Skype, Facetime, etc.), text messaging (including instant messaging), website/portal, OnCall.

April 1, 2020

A note to our patients. We have suspended all in-office visits at this time due to COVID 19. However, if you have an appointment currently booked with our office you will receive a call 2 days prior to that appointments. We will advise you how we will be able to proceed. Wishing you and your family safety and vitality during this challenging time.

If you need a renewal your prescriptions during the COVID-19 #stayathome period, please have your pharmacy fax your renewal request. Our fax number is 905-639-7647. Be well!

Update About Our Office During This Outbreak of Corona Virus : March 15, 2020

On the advice of the Ministry of Health we are changing our office protocols to ensure minimization of risk to our patients and our staff.

Starting the week of March 16, 2020 we will try to change as many patients visits as we can to virtual electronic visits. Initially most will be by phone. There are some patients who have already made arrangements to come to the office and, if they do, we will see them, once again minimizing risks by using frequent hand washing and minimized personal contact.

For the majority of scheduled patients we will set up visits through OnCall Health. One of the problems with phone visits is that each person requires individualized attention and some visits unexpectedly may take longer than others. We will make every effort to keep on schedule but at times we may be delayed.

Dr Lawrence Komer
Medical Director
The Komer Clinics

COVID-19 Annoucement | Office Updates

Hormones are substances naturally produced by glands in the body called the endocrine system. They are manufactured in one part of the body but used in many other areas. They are the body’s chemical messengers.

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that controls the release of hormones made by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is also located in the head at the base of the brain. It is often called the master gland because it produces hormones that signal other glands to manufacture their own specific hormones. These glands include the thyroid, the adrenals, and the ovaries and testicles.

The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are like conductors in an orchestra. The various hormones for which they are responsible are like the many instruments, which have to be in tune, and have to play together. If one instrument is too loud, or too soft, or is not playing with the rest of the orchestra, chaos can result. The same goes for changes in hormones in the human body. They have to be fine-tuned and have optimal levels to work together for the most favorable function and health.

The thyroid gland is located at the front of the neck and produces the thyroid hormones T3, reverse T3 and T4. These hormones control metabolism, breathing, heart rate, mood, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, body temperature and many other functions.

The adrenal glands are located above each kidney. They produce the hormones cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and some of the androgens (male hormones). These hormones have many functions, some of which are the regulation of blood pressure, regulation of metabolism and response to stress.

The ovaries are the female sex glands. Beyond being the reservoir of eggs, they produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, as well as a small amount of testosterone. These hormones are responsible for the change in the female body at puberty and the maintenance of the reproductive organs. They play a key role in having periods and also in pregnancy. Importantly, these hormones have a great effect on mood and energy.

The testes or testicles are the male sex glands. Besides being responsible for the production of sperm, they also create the hormone testosterone which influences many areas of the male body, especially mood, energy, sleep, thinking, muscle development, sex drive and bone density.

Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and as its name implies, it is necessary for growth. However, after the growing phase of puberty has been completed, I think it should be more accurately renamed the “repair hormone.” It has many effects throughout the body, including maintenance of muscles, reduction of fat, levels of blood sugar, maintenance of good mood, helpful effects on learning and memory, and stimulation of the immune system.

Throughout the day, the body’s demands for each hormone change. Your body reacts to what is happening in your life. Hormones are delivered into the bloodstream to cells in various tissues. The hormones bind to a specific cell receptor that is like a key fitting into a particular lock. Once this binding takes place, there is a biological effect. This effect can be either positive or negative. An example of a good effect is the hormone testosterone binding with a receptor in the skin and causing growth of hair on the chin, or its binding to a cell in the testes to produce sperm.

If there is a negative effect, it can stop the production of a substance. The production of hormones is regulated by a delicate set of feedback loops. This means that the amount of the substance in the system regulates its own concentration. When there are low levels of a hormone, there is positive feedback and more of that hormone is produced. However, when hormone levels get to the appropriate level, there is negative feedback and production of that hormone stops. This is very much like
a thermostat on the wall regulating temperature. These balances are very delicate and can be changed by chemicals, stress, and injury.

Since the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus are located near or in the brain, traumatic brain injuries can cause hormone problems. The TBI may change hormone production right away or its can affect hormone levels years, and even decades after the injury. I also have seen many examples in my practice where severe stress greatly affects hormone levels. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a typical example of this.

In summary, optimal hormone levels are critical for health and wellbeing.

Concussions, other brain injuries and PTSD can upset this fine balance and lead to illness and deterioration of health. However, the hopeful message is that we are now recognizing these hormone abnormalities. We can optimize hormone levels, and those suffering can improve significantly, and some may even get better completely.

Phone: 905-639-2571
Fax: 905-639-7647
Cedar Springs Medical Professional Centre 960 Cumberland Ave. Suite E
Burlington, ON Canada L7N 3J6