Cutler's counting rules (from his Hair Test Interpretation book)
ETA: Individuals who want to order this test on their own can order through a company called Direct Lab Services, the test is the Hair Elements test (NOT the Toxic Hair Exposure Profile) and the interpretation described below applies to that test (and only that test). It costs a bit less than $100 and there's a small discount for joining (and mentioning when you call DLS) the autism-mercury yahoo group.
Thanks to mamafish9:
|On, and on ordering from direct labs - you can order online and just write in the message box that you are a member of the autism mercury yahoo group, please apply the discount, and they do.
Also, it's much rarer, but occasionally people show up with very high hair mercury. That's also a problem. It doesn't get as much mention because, well, if someone sees vastly elevated hair mercury, they assume that is a problem. But if it's low, the assumption is that it's not a problem, and while sometimes that is true, sometimes the mercury is just not being excreted well.
This thread doesn't have one single place that Cutler's hair test rules are laid out, so I'm going to do that here. The basic idea behind Cutler's rules is that mercury interferes with how the body is able to use nutrients, which causes various health problems, and which is visible by the wild skewing (too many highs and lows) that mercury toxic hair tests show.
Please note that the counting rules were re-numbered and a 5th rule was added after the original counting rules were formulated (in case you see a shorter list elsewhere on the web). And note that all of these rules apply only to the Essential and Other Elements portion of the DDI Hair Elements test. The Potentially Toxic Elements are not counted at all for determining mercury toxicity and deranged mineral transport.
1. Count the number of elements that go to the right of the white 50% line (meaning the Percentile is 51% or higher). If this is 5 or less, mineral transport is deranged.
Note: Normal, healthy lactating women (lots at MDC) sometimes exhibit an "all low" pattern (meaning most of the results bars are going to the left, so the Percentile is low for most of the minerals), meaning they fail #1 but they're not mercury toxic. It's more likely with a vegetarian diet, especially a vegan diet. Non-lactating veg*ns are not more likely to fail this rule than anyone else. So a lot of caution and common sense needs to be applied if the hair collected is from a nursing mom--and Cutler thinks the same may be true of pregnant women, I'm guessing he doesn't have enough data to say for sure.
2. Count the number of elements that go to the left of the white 50% band (meaning the Percentile is 49% or lower). If this is 5 or less, mineral transport is deranged. This is the exact opposite of #1, and both are looking for lots of minerals higher or lower than most people.
3. Count the number of elements that go into the red zone on either side. If this is 4 or more, mineral transport is deranged.
4. Count the number of elements that have bars ending in the white or green zones (short bars, meaning the results are close to average). If this is 11 or less, mineral transport is deranged.
5. If any two of the above rules are missed by only one, mineral transport is deranged.
Failing just 1 of these tests means deranged mineral transport, you don't need to fail them all.
Also keep in mind, if you're taking a medication or supplements that are making you feel better, they may be doing so by changing how your body is able to utilize nutrients, and that would be reflected (if the supplementation has gone on long enough) in the hair test. My mom (Tanya, not Cutler), for example, was on osteoporosis meds that actually increased her bone density in her late 50's, when most women are experiencing slowly decreasing bone densities, so that clearly changed how her body could use several minerals compared with her peers and her hair test looked off but didn't fail Cutler's rules. But common sense says that being related to me, and having very similar symptoms, which are common to mercury toxic people, means that it would be darn risky to assume she's just fine.