Balancing Body Chemistry with Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA)
Did you know that may symptoms such as headaches, allergies, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, weakness, arthritis, and many more, are associated with mineral and vitamin deficiencies or excess of those? So next question would be how can we determine what is our mineral status?
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis one of the most reliable and accurate ways to evaluate what nutrition is retained by our bodies. Hair contains most minerals present in a body. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis helps to evaluate internal environment by measuring levels of nutritional minerals as well as toxic metals load.
WHAT IS HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS?
Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair. The sampled hair, obtained by cutting the around 4cm of growth closest to the scalp at the nape of the neck, is prepared in a licensed clinical laboratory through a series of chemical and high temperature digestive procedures. Testing is then performed using highly sophisticated detection equipment and methods to achieve the most accurate and precise results.
WHY USE THE HAIR?
Hair is an ideal tissue for sampling and testing. First, it can be cut easily and painlessly and can be sent to the lab without special handling requirements. Second, clinical results have shown that a properly obtained sample can give an indication of mineral status and toxic metal accumulation following long term or acute exposure. We are all biochemically unique and this is a perfect way to find out what is going on within your body.
A HTMA reveals a unique metabolic world – intracellular activity, which cannot be seen through most other tests. This provides a blueprint of the biochemistry occurring during the period of hair growth and development.
• Thirty to forty days following an acute exposure, elevated serum levels of lead may be undetectable. This is due to the body removing the lead from the serum as a protective measure and depositing the metal into such tissues as the liver, bones, teeth and hair.
• Calcium loss from the body can become so advanced that severe osteoporosis can develop without any appreciable changes noted in the calcium levels in a blood test.
• Symptoms of iron deficiency can be present long before low iron levels can be detected in the serum.
Hair is used as one of the tissues of choice by the Environmental Protection Agency in determining toxic metal exposure. A 1980 report from the E.P.A. stated that human hair can be effectively used for biological monitoring of the highest priority toxic metals. This report confirmed the findings of other studies in the U.S. and abroad, which concluded that human hair may be a more appropriate tissue than blood or urine for studying community exposure to some trace elements.
WHY TEST FOR MINERALS?
Trace minerals are essential in countless metabolic functions in all phases of the life process.
Zinc is involved in the production, storage, and secretion of insulin and is necessary for growth hormones.
Magnesium is required for normal muscular function, especially the heart. A deficiency has been associated with an increased incidence of heart attacks, anxiety and nervousness.
Potassium is critical for normal nutrient transport into the cell. A deficiency can result in muscular weakness, depression and lethargy.
Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A MINERAL IMBALANCE?
Improper diet through high intake of refined and processed foods, alcohol and fad diets can all lead to a chemical imbalance. Even the nutrient content of a “healthy” diet can be inadequate, depending upon the soil in which the food was grown, or the method in which it was prepared.
Physical or emotional stress can deplete the body of many nutrients, while also reducing the capability to absorb and utilize many nutrients.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can deplete the body store of nutrient minerals and/or increase the levels of toxic metals — for example: diuretics, antacids, aspirin, and oral contraceptives.
From adolescence through adulthood the average person is continually exposed to a variety of toxic metal sources — such as: cigarette smoke (cadmium), hair dyes (lead), hydrogenated oils (nickel), antiperspirants (aluminum), lead based cosmetics, copper and aluminum cookware, and dental amalgams (mercury and cadmium). These are just a few of the hundreds of sources which can contribute to nutrient imbalances and adverse metabolic effects.
Taking the incorrect type of supplements or improper amounts of nutritional supplements can produce many mineral excesses and/or deficiencies contributing to an overall biochemical imbalance.
A predisposition toward mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses can be inherited from parents.