What is a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis?
A hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) simply stated, is a screening test that measures the mineral content of your hair. However, a tissue mineral analysis is much more than a test for minerals. Providing a blueprint of one’s biochemistry, a hair tissue mineral analysis can provide pertinent information about your metabolic rate, energy levels, carbohydrate tolerance, stages of stress, immune system and glandular activity. This screening test can also be used to reduce the guesswork involved when recommending nutritional supplements and dietary modifications.
Benefits of Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
Hair analysis can identify:
– Trace element deficiencies
– Trends for psychological and emotional conditions
– Heavy metal toxicity
– Cellular energy levels
– Glucose tolerance
– Kidney and liver stress
– Adrenal and thyroid of activity
– Trends for over 30 health conditions
– Which foods and nutritional supplements are right for you
Is Hair Analysis a Valid Basis for Evaluation of a Person’s Chemistry?
Blood tests and urine tests obviously provide important information about a person’s biochemical status, but they only evaluate the fluids in the body. However, the vast majority of biochemical functions actually take place inside the cells themselves. Of course, we can’t conveniently take snips out of the various organs of a person’s body in order to evaluate what is going on in the cells, but there are cells conveniently available to us, the cells of the hair. Through extensive research and correlation of data, it has been established that there are reliable relationships between the levels of minerals in the hair and other tissues of the body. Thus, analysis of the mineral content of an individual’s hair can provide us with a general ‘blueprint’ of the mineral content in the rest of the body’s tissues. Since these minerals are crucial to the functioning of enzymes, hormones and other biochemical systems which sustain life, it is possible to read this ‘blueprint’ and see where metabolic patterns are deviating from normal.
Another benefit of hair analysis is that it may be used to assist the health care professional to pinpoint the development of metabolic dysfunctions often before symptoms manifest. While mineral imbalances in the body do eventually show up in the blood serum, they will not do so until the condition is so advanced that the individual is often experiencing overt symptoms. Tissue mineral analysis allows us to determine that an imbalance exists, before the imbalance begins to manifest disturbances on a symptomatic level. Therefore, the imbalance can often be corrected through nutritional therapy even before a person begins to suffer from metabolic symptoms.
Why Use Hair?
Hair makes an excellent biopsy because:
1. Sampling is simple.
2. Mineral levels in the hair are ten times that of the blood, making them easy to detect in the hair.
3. The hair provides a cellular reading of the mineral levels. The cells are the major site of metabolic activity in the body.
Preparing the Hair for Testing
The accuracy of the hair test is dependent upon cutting hair samples properly. All that is needed is a small sample, about the size of a tablespoon. The hair needs to be cut as close to the scalp as possible. This enables us to see the most recent metabolic activity. Any hair longer than one inch needs to be cut off and discarded. To reiterate, the hair sample should only be one inch long, use a clipper.
Head hair is the best choice. Please ask about alternatives if this is not an option. Hair should be dry for sampling. The sample should be taken between four and twenty four hours after washing. Otherwise it cannot be weighed properly. It is ok to wash your hair with regular shampoo before the sample, except for Grecian formulas, Head and Shoulders or Selsun Blue. Regarding hair color treatments, it is best the hair has been washed 6-8 times after a color-treatment before sampling. Ideally, let their hair grow out for 6 weeks after a chemical beauty parlor treatment. Heavy sweating and swimming pools can also affect the reading.
What does it cost?
Hair Analysis: $210.00 (Includes test and a 30 minute consultation either in person or by phone to go over the results)
Add Nutritional Profile: $ 50.00
The hair sample is sent in to the lab and it typically takes approx. 10 days to get it back.