Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
What Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) offers.
HTMA is a tissue biopsy showing a unique cellular reading of cell function. Blood and urine are transport fluid which show what is going to and from cells – hair shows the metabolic activity of the cell.
Hair is a stable biopsy material, easy to sample and requires no special handling (apart from keeping it clean).
The test is very accurate and reliable. Computer controlled mass-spectrometer technology can easily assess parts per million and even parts per billion.
It is useful at four levels
- The report shows levels of minerals and toxic metals.
- The report presents mineral levels as a pictorial graph showing patterns of health and personality.
- The ratios between key minerals show important body parameters – for example autonomic nervous system balance and thyroid/adrenal balance.
- Follow-up testing shows trends – what is shifting and how.
Many patients and practitioners are skeptical of HTMA, especially compared to a blood test. Most doctors and nutritionists use HTMA to assess toxic metals with a brief look for deficiencies to supplement.
HTMA is actually a tissue biopsy offering a comprehensive stress analysis of the individual. It is a non-invasive, inexpensive screening test; a sophisticated method of assessing and monitoring the correction of body chemistry.
Minerals are the foundation of life and for deep healing.
The best assessment procedure is mass spectrometry – used hundreds of times each day for
- testing toxic metals and nutrient mineral in dozens of animal species around the world
- testing minerals in the soil for farmers and graziers around the world
- testing mineral ores for mining
- testing the health of plants of every kind
- even testing the mineral content of distant stars and planets!
This overview refers to hair analysed by mass-spectrometry, only available in Australia through Interclinical Laboratories. Other Hair Mineral Analysis using frequency scans won’t be recommended here due to experience showing variable results, scans which do not present reports allowing a multi-level assessment, and the values given may be arbitrary numbers.
Hair Tissue Mineral Report
1. Overall Values
This report shows quantitative tissue mineral analysis data. That is, overall mineral levels.
It includes a graphic illustration of patient test results for at least 36 essential and toxic minerals, including reference ranges. It also shows significant mineral ratios.
2. Pictorial Chart
The most important mineral values are for Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium and Potassium, which are the first four minerals on the chart.
They show a pattern which reveals much about a patients physical and emotional state. This is a quick and valuable insight.
The key to these patterns is the Sodium value. It will increase under stress and Potassium will follow to maintain balance. These minerals dissolve out the Calcium and Magnesium, which tend to fall. Ideally, they should find a balance point somewhere at the middle of the range. Significant stress will cause Sodium/Potassium to rise quite high with corresponding low Calcium/Magnesium.
The likely result is that exhaustion will creep in and the Sodium will fall. This is shown by Sodium lower than Potassium with rising Calcium/Magnesium.
There are many patterns, a few examples are below.
3. Mineral Ratios
A mineral ratio is a number consisting of one mineral level divided by a second mineral level.
Mineral ratios are often more important in determining nutritional deficiencies and excesses than mineral levels alone, although both are important and should be considered together. The understanding of mineral ratios is extremely exciting and much more revealing than analysing mineral levels alone.
The following six ratios are the most important.
Calcium/Phosphorus (Ca/P) Ratio
- Shows autonomic nervous system balance (flight/fight over rest/digest balance).
Calcium/Potassium (Ca/K) Ratio:
- Called the thyroid ratio because calcium and potassium play a vital role in regulating thyroid activity.
- Does not always correlate with blood thyroid tests because hair analysis is a tissue test. Often blood tests will be normal but hair analysis will indicate an impaired thyroid function.
Sodium/Potassium (Na/K) Ratio
- Referred to as the life-death ratio because it is so critical
- The sodium/potassium ratio is intimately related to kidney, liver and adrenal gland function, and an imbalanced sodium/potassium ratio is associated with heart, kidney, liver, and immune deficiency diseases.
- The sodium/potassium ratio is intimately linked to adrenal gland function, and the balance between aldosterone (mineralocorticoid) and cortisone (glucocorticoid) secretion.
Calcium/Magnesium (Ca/Mg) Ratio
- The blood-sugar ratio
Sodium/Magnesium (Na/Mg) Ratio:
- Referred to as the adrenal ratio because sodium levels are directly associated with adrenal gland function. Aldosterone, a mineral corticoid adrenal hormone, regulates retention of sodium in the body. In general, the higher the sodium level, the higher the aldosterone level.
- The sodium/magnesium ratio is also a measure of energy output, because the adrenal glands are a major regulator (along with the thyroid gland) of the rate of metabolism.
Zinc/Copper (Zn/Cu) Ratio
- Using the zinc/copper ratio is a more effective method of evaluating zinc and copper readings than considering either copper or zinc levels alone.
4. Follow-up testing
A great value of HTMA is with follow-up testing. A good interval is from 3 to 6 months. Less than 3 months is not likely to show enough change.
This is especially useful for metal detoxification programs. Metals are stored in different body compartments – mercury in the brain, lead in the bones, aluminium in the white blood cells and in the brain. Metals will also be stored in fat cells.
Safe and effective detoxification requires appropriate chelating compounds to capture metals inside cells, the cell environment and in plasma, and carry them to the liver and kidney. The liver needs support to process these compounds plus adequate bile flow to carry them out to the bowel, the bowel needs effective transit time plus support to ensure the toxins are not re-absorbed.
As the metals are detoxified they will show up as rising levels in the hair, which is best monitored until they are shown to be cleared.
Other aspects of a wellness program can be watched as well.