Mineral imbalances and deficiencies and the effects it has on the body
My sister lives a healthy lifestyle. She exercises frequently, eats clean, and even maintains a strict skincare routine. However, once she turned 22, she randomly started suffering from extreme acne breakouts. Now, we all know that acne is very common in both teens and young adults, but her case was truly strange. She’d never had acne up until that point, and seemingly without cause, her face developed clusters of angry, active blemishes overnight. By the end of the first month, her face was almost completely covered in stubborn zits. Her first thought was to change up her skincare and diet. However, after months of dermatology visits, paying for almost every acne treatment under the sun, and switching up her diet, she was still having severe breakouts. Clearly a very traumatic experience! She was about to call it quits until she heard from a friend about taking a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test.
What is a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test?
A Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) simply stated, is a screening test that measures the mineral content of your hair. It can provide pertinent information about your metabolic rate, energy levels, carbohydrate tolerance, stage of stress, immune system, glandular activity, and more. It’s crazy how you can learn all that from a lock of hair!
The test itself is non-invasive and incredibly easy so long as you don’t mind losing some length. Depending on the type of hair test you’re doing, your doctor will either pull a few hairs from your scalp by the root or trim a lock of hair for analysis. In fact, you can even do the cutting yourself!
The testing is performed using a variety of equipment and detection methods to achieve accurate and precise results, such as microscope sampling. For my sister, this sounded like a perfect plan to figure out a solution for her ongoing breakout catastrophe.
She ordered a sample envelope and sent an inch of her hair taken from the nape of her neck into a local lab for testing. Click here to view the requirements for submitting a hair sample.
Disclaimer – most mineral analysis labs do not wash the hair sample before or after testing to ensure the excess oils, particles, and water-soluble elements stay within the hair fibers for the most accurate testing.
What does a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test have to do with acne?
“Dr. Paul C. Eck, founder of ARL (Analytical Research Labs) has performed over 100,000 tests and correlated them to many different health conditions and spent years designing supplement protocols to correct the imbalances in the hair mineral analyses.” This test assesses what kind of dietary/detox/supplementation plan will be the right course of action for you depending on your results and concerns. “The hair analysis graph is able to trace the level of 20 minerals and toxic metals such as Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Mercury, and more.” As with all the body’s organs, each of these minerals have astronomical impacts on the health, quality, and appearance of the skin. And for someone as health-conscious and mindful as my sister, it was important for her to find out if any of her efforts to be healthier were actually sabotaging her health.
After a few days of waiting, she received a very lengthy report of her test results via email.
Finally, some answers!
Her test results included multiple mineral imbalances and deficiencies, the majority caused by diet, hormone imbalances due to birth control, as well as toxic metals in her body, such as copper, also caused by birth control pills – yikes! Her doctor proceeded to go over details with her so she could understand the likely causes of these results and the underlying effects that they had on her body. A personalized plan was then presented to her based on the laboratory analysis. According to Chris Williamson, “This report includes three transition diets, menu plans and a wealth of information covering food preparation, eating habits, changing one’s lifestyle habits, and other valuable information.”
Using her results and the professional advice of her doctor, she not only got to the bottom of her mystery acne, but also realized why she was tired all the time, why she suffered from occasional brain fog, why clumps of her hair fell out in the shower, and much more! In fact, underlying health issues that she had brushed under the rug for many years finally started to make sense.
First thing first, she worked with her doctor to safely stop taking hormonal birth control pills and level out the hormone imbalances revealed by her test results. As it turned out, the pill alone was a major trigger for her acne, brain fog, lack of energy, poor iron levels, and more.
She then discovered that she had a Potassium deficiency. Low Potassium levels usually indicate adrenal gland exhaustion, which can manifest as fatigue, low blood pressure, and hair loss. To name a few more, her body was also lacking vital minerals such as Zinc, Vitamin A & E, and Magnesium. Zinc helps regulate hormone levels, low levels of Vitamins A & E have been linked to severe acne cases, and Magnesium can help increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.
These results alone show how something as simple as a small imbalance of a few minerals can affect your whole body without your knowledge!
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