What goes on inside your body may not be evident on the outside, making an accurate diagnosis of a health problem sometimes difficult. In some cases, a treatment of an existing ailment may not seem to work because of mineral deficiencies or imbalances that have gone undetected.
Health professionals often rely on laboratory tests as tools for mapping out preventative measures or treatment options when necessary. One such test is a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.
A Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is a reliable method for measuring the mineral content of your body by testing their presence in your hair. The HTMA is both a preventive and maintenance procedure. Mineral deficiencies or excesses that can be detected may be easily corrected before the onset of disease. HTMA may become the basis for drawing up an effective nutritional program or supplementation for your specific needs. Early detection using HTMA can pave the way for you to make the proper dietary and lifestyle adjustments without resorting to medication.
As a support for ongoing treatment, HTMA when taken together with other tests, may help your health professional discover the real root of a health issue especially when symptoms are subtle or absent.
Your body relies on adequate amounts of a variety of trace minerals for the nervous, respiratory, digestive and excretory systems to function correctly. Having too much or too little of any of the essential minerals your body needs can be detrimental to your health. An iron deficiency, for example, can disturb the continuous supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in weakness or loss of energy. Lack of calcium causes bones to become brittle and may lead to osteoporosis if calcium intake is not increased. An excessive level of sodium can lead to kidney failure if left unchecked for a long time. Other minerals that are essential to your body include zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
Hair has been regarded as an ideal tissue sample for mineral testing purposes. Scientific studies often rely on HTMA for measuring community exposure to toxic metals like lead in the air. Law enforcement agencies in some jurisdictions also use HTMA to detect prolonged abuse of drugs. It is said that some metabolic changes inside the body are best observed during hair growth. When testing for toxic metals in the body, the hair is said to be a better tissue sample than blood or urine.
HTMA testing is easy. Unlike blood samples, obtaining hair samples is not an invasive and uncomfortable procedure. A hair sample is obtained by cutting the first 3 cm of hair growth from the scalp near the back of your neck. The hair sample is then submitted to a clinical laboratory where it will be subjected to chemical reactions that are used to test for presence and levels of minerals. The outcome is a computer generated test result that lists down the levels and ratios of significant minerals found in your hair. These results may only become useful if properly interpreted by your health professional.