What is a mineral test?
In a nutshell a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA), shows imbalances of minerals which may be causing ongoing health issues.
When we have mineral deficiencies, excesses or imbalanced minerals, the body cannot function correctly.
The test is very simple and only requires a small sample (approximately a heaped teaspoon) of hair from the nape of the neck.
HTMA provides information on….
- At least 20 minerals (e.g. calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium)
- Mineral deficiencies, imbalances and toxicities
- Digestive health
- Blood sugar handling abilities
- Lifestyle imbalances such as stress or anxiety
- Gland health especially the adrenals and thyroid
- Toxic heavy metal status (e.g lead, mercury and arsenic)
If the ratio of calcium to potassium is low, this suggests a potentially sluggish thyroid, which might result in symptoms such as inability to lose weight, feeling cold and fatigue.
If the ratio is skewed for potassium and sodium the adrenal glands are overworked, which might result in sleep issues and anxiety.
Differences between hair mineral tests & blood tests
Blood work is like taking a photograph, while HTMA is a movie!
A common pattern I see with clients experiencing symptoms, such as ongoing headaches, fatigue, depression or IBS often have ‘normal’ blood test results. Whereas the HTMA will show where minerals are imbalanced.
Blood will always try to stay in near-perfect balance. This is why blood tests should never be the only method of testing for nutrients.
An imbalance in the blood is often not seen until illness is far more established. Whereas HTMA can pick up on imbalances in the body earlier.
Blood tests provide more of a ‘snapshot’ (i.e. the instant in time the blood was drawn). This minute-by-minute reading can be essential in an acute emergency where every little change must be monitored. Blood tests can vary depending upon the time of day, meals eaten, activity level at the time of the testing.
Hair mineral testing:
Hair mineral testing tells us how the whole body is working over the course of a few months (about 3 months).
Hair testing is not affected much by daily, or even weekly changes.
The body also ‘dumps’ heavy metals (e.g. mercury or aluminium) into the hair for safe keeping, so HTMA uses this valuable information.
Please note: Blood tests to assess iron are sometimes more reliable than a hair mineral test.
Everyone has a unique mineral profile, there is no ‘one size fits all’ plan. A mineral programme will be individually designed for you based on your HTMA results.
Treatment involves a comprehensive plan of specific foods and or supplements to rebalance minerals (and vitamins). Some clients can’t tolerate all foods, so a programme of ‘clean’ supplements is sometimes more suitable.
Your plan will include gentle support in other areas where necessary, such as gut health, liver, colon, lymph, emotional & adrenal health. These are all part of the healing puzzle.
I hope this helps with understanding how a HTMA may be of benefit to you. Do let me know if you have any more questions.