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Old 03-22-2009, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So how do we tell if we have too much or too little? If we have too much, it will block zinc, B1, folate, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin C. So even if we are getting enough of those from our diet, or are taking supplements, if we have too much copper it will block the absorption of those nutrients. Is that correct?

So from this link we won't be able to make serotonin and melatonin.

How do we know if we have too much copper? Blood test? Hair test? Is there something about nursing/pregnancy that makes tests less accurate?
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This link says that hair tests for copper are not accurate due to external contamination. It says that a 24-urine copper test or a blood serum test are the best means of testing.

This copper/zinc profile from Great Plains lab is a blood test. Gosh, how do you tell what blood tests are most worthy? It seems like there is a different test for all these issues.

However, zinc seems like it is a vital first step to a lot of these pathways, and copper is one of the main ways zinc is blocked, so this seems like one of the basics.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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I can attest to the fact that Cu definitely block absorption of Zn, 5 HTP and all the other nutrients you mentioned cuz I have chronic insomnia and my Cu is really high
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you know it's high? Did you have a blood or urine test?
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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Unknowingly, I supplemented my self with excessive cu. My hair mineral b/f excessive supplementation showed normal level of cu but later hair analysis showed very high cu.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I'm so sorry about that. Was it in another supp you were taking? That's scary. That link did say that hair test are not as accurate because of external contamination, but it sounds like you have other confirmation on it with symptoms, and knowing you took it as a supp.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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Wow, I'm so sorry about that. Was it in another supp you were taking?
I was using Alpha lipoic and it retains Cu and chelates mercury. At that time I didn't know any of this and basically I was using it for energy and as a antioxidant. It definitely helped me in those areas but on the downside gave me real problems with cu and redistribution of Hg.... Only if I knew then...didn't have time and energy to google my symptoms. Isn't it unbelievable???


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That link did say that hair test are not as accurate because of external contamination, but it sounds like you have other confirmation on it with symptoms, and knowing you took it as a supp.
They can say whatever they want, but if your cu is off the charts and your hair is turning grey at the speed of thought then it is definitely not from external contamination. Just my personal experience.... unless you soak your hair in some thing that is loaded with cu, just a thought...
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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They can say whatever they want, but if your cu is off the charts and your hair is turning grey at the speed of thought then it is definitely not from external contamination. Just my personal experience.... unless you soak your hair in some thing that is loaded with cu, just a thought...
Sorry to go off topic but this really caught my attention and I'm afraid if I do a spin-off it might get moved to the regular health forum.

Both DH and I have majorly grey hair. I would say we are between 50% and 75% grey. His mother went grey early and I started when I was 17 so we hadn't been too concerned about it but I've started wondering about it since the greying has increased significantly in the last few years.

We do have a lot of stress in our lives (I don't know if that is just a myth or not) and our diet isn't the greatest. We have not had any copper testing done so I'm unaware of those levels.

We both have environmental allergies. DS1 has asthma, env. allergies and eczema. He is also in the process of being evaluated for autism/ADHD and he has significant sensory issues. I have ADHD myself. I'm not aware of any issues DH has but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he was diagnosed with Asperger's.

So, getting back to the grey hair - where would I start looking to get more information about this and the relation to copper?

TIA

Martha
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was using Alpha lipoic and it retains Cu and chelates mercury. At that time I didn't know any of this and basically I was using it for energy and as a antioxidant. It definitely helped me in those areas but on the downside gave me real problems with cu and redistribution of Hg.... Only if I knew then...didn't have time and energy to google my symptoms. Isn't it unbelievable???

That is just what I've been worried about with all this detox pathway stuff/ I want to get to the bottom of things, but I don't want to start supp'ing with something that might cause imbalance of something else, or that might be a problem if a certain pathway is blocked somewhere.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I started this thread I didn't even realize that gray hair could be related. ???? Are you kidding me?? I was just about to start another thread about gray hair too! I started getting gray hairs in my late 20's but they were very few. In the last few years (I'm 37) I have gotten significantly grayer,a d I believe it must be nutritional. I really need to get my Cu tested.

kittynurse, I'm not sure where to tell you to start, other than to jump in on the detox threads here in the allergies forum. There seems to be some debate, because the Cutlet book says the hair test for CU is accurate, more accurate than blood test. I am leaning towards getting the Doctors' Data hair elements test for myself as a starting point.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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I think gray hair is a zinc issue. Mine really started to turn gray when I became hypothyroid because I didn't have enough zinc for my thyroid to function properly. This type of issue runs in families--my mom turned gray early too, and she has copper/zinc issues just like me, and for the same underlying reason, the mercury in our fillings.

Coolgirl--it KILLS me that they don't have huge warnings on ALA. I'm using it now to chelate mercury and if you have a mercury issue, it'll knock you on your a$$! It's strong stuff, and it doesn't have a huge warning on the label. I'm shocked.

I'm sorry you had such a bad time with it--how are you doing now? I'm supping a lot of zinc, both for my deficiency and for dealing with chelating.

Martha, do you have fillings? I have health problems from the mercury in my fillings, and both my kids are affected. I probably got a fair amount of mercury from _my_ mom, because she's affected by this stuff as well, but it was when my fillings went in that more obvious issues (like environmental allergies and anxiety) started, and then it kept going for 20 years and now I'm here. My son tends toward sensory issues--not enough for a diagnosis, but I started us all on supps when he was 14mos old when I realized what was going on with my health.

Stress is somewhat involved in that our bodies use more nutrients when we're stressed, and in general zinc is hard to get enough of dietarily, but mercury specifically throws off zinc. I've been supplementing my kids for 20 mos now, and they're still both low (looking at them symptomatically).

eta--just realized I wasn't very clear. Copper and zinc are antagonists. If you eat a lot of one, you'll reduce absorption of the other. There are a lot of dietary sources of copper, and fewer of zinc, and processing foods reduces zinc a lot more than copper. And phytic acid in grains reduces zinc absorption as well (and I don't think it affects copper). That's why I started this post with zinc.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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I'm sorry you had such a bad time with it--how are you doing now? I'm supping a lot of zinc, both for my deficiency and for dealing with chelating.
What protocol are you using for chelating? Is it helping
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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What protocol are you using for chelating? Is it helping
The Cutler approach, so when I'm taking it (roughly every other weekend, but sometimes life interferes, so it hasn't been that regular), it's low doses every 3 hours round the clock. The frequent dose chelation group is a great resource for Cutler-style oral chelation. They recommend people start at doses around 10 mg per dose, so a lot lower than most products out there. And I'm working with a HCP who's given me recommendations on how to make this go faster/easier. I'm taking higher dosages, but still only 50mg per dose, and that's with a lot of supportive work.

You don't have amalgam fillings, do you? ALA will pull mercury out of your fillings and make you sicker (or sick if you weren't before).

For me, getting my fillings out and chelating (I used DMSA every 4 hours, every other weekend at first, and then added ALA and changed to every 3 hours, every other weekend) has been really significant for my health.

You can read more than you want to know in this thread...
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...435848&page=30
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think gray hair is a zinc issue. Mine really started to turn gray when I became hypothyroid because I didn't have enough zinc for my thyroid to function properly. This type of issue runs in families--my mom turned gray early too, and she has copper/zinc issues just like me, and for the same underlying reason, the mercury in our fillings.

Coolgirl--it KILLS me that they don't have huge warnings on ALA. I'm using it now to chelate mercury and if you have a mercury issue, it'll knock you on your a$$! It's strong stuff, and it doesn't have a huge warning on the label. I'm shocked.

I'm sorry you had such a bad time with it--how are you doing now? I'm supping a lot of zinc, both for my deficiency and for dealing with chelating.

Martha, do you have fillings? I have health problems from the mercury in my fillings, and both my kids are affected. I probably got a fair amount of mercury from _my_ mom, because she's affected by this stuff as well, but it was when my fillings went in that more obvious issues (like environmental allergies and anxiety) started, and then it kept going for 20 years and now I'm here. My son tends toward sensory issues--not enough for a diagnosis, but I started us all on supps when he was 14mos old when I realized what was going on with my health.

Stress is somewhat involved in that our bodies use more nutrients when we're stressed, and in general zinc is hard to get enough of dietarily, but mercury specifically throws off zinc. I've been supplementing my kids for 20 mos now, and they're still both low (looking at them symptomatically).

eta--just realized I wasn't very clear. Copper and zinc are antagonists. If you eat a lot of one, you'll reduce absorption of the other. There are a lot of dietary sources of copper, and fewer of zinc, and processing foods reduces zinc a lot more than copper. And phytic acid in grains reduces zinc absorption as well (and I don't think it affects copper). That's why I started this post with zinc.

aaargh, see I keep thinking I don't have mercury issues because I never had fillings, not even in baby teeth, but I never thought about that I might have gotten some mercury from my mom's fillings!! She has a ton, I'll have to ask her if she got them before or after my birth.

I am thinking now that I probably have zinc deficiency too, but it's a cycle, so if you have too much copper, it will continue to block your absorption of zinc, so how do you get rid of the excess copper? Or do you get rid of the excess copper by increasing the zinc and it happens consequentially?

I am DOING the Doctors Data test THIS WEEK. I keep putting this off, and it's the easiest one of all to do. Yes, I am getting gray, but I have a lot of hair, and it's really thick, and I wouldn't miss a little sample section of it being gone one bit. So I have no excuse!
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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I'm getting into this conversation late, but I'm sure you've already seen my comment in the chat thread about the hair/blood tests for Cu.

Tanya beat me to it- I was going to say that I've seen gray hair related to low zinc. But of course low zinc goes hand in hand with high copper.

Speaking of copper - chlobo, if you're out there - I keep forgetting to post this for you. I'm reading the Nutrition Almanac right now for some 101 nutrition education, and this caught my eye in the Bioflavonoid section:
Quote:
There are also indications that rutin, in oral doses of 60 milligrams, raises blood histamine and lowers serum copper in the body, helpful for certain schizophrenics.
Not that you're a schizophrenic... but I remembered that your copper is high. And I don't know that raising blood histamine would be good or bad for you... I'm sure WhoMe would have some good thoughts about that. My brain hasn't caught up to all the detox stuff yet.

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Old 03-24-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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Momofmine--many people have low-level zinc issues, it really is hard to get a good amount just via diet and we have lots of high-copper foods (liver, nuts, legumes, chocolate are the most common in our diets) and most people who have a poor balance just have it via diet, maybe their hormonal BCP when they were younger added to the poor balance (it depletes zinc, I didn't know that when I took it), lots of little things can add up. So it's not a surety that you have any real mercury issue--we've all got some mercury, it's just that some of us have lots and lots.

The easiest way to lower copper is to supp zinc. Sonnambula says 30-40 mg, higher with a healthcare provider you're working with. I am always willing to go fairly high with supps on my own, and I've used higher by myself. Mainstream sites talk about inducing copper deficiencies by supp-ing 50mg/day of zinc, so for people willing to fiddle on their own, that's a starting point. And it _is_ possible to have okay stores of zinc but really high copper, so that's a risk--more reading needs to be done by the individual to decide how to do things, but this is the most common way to address it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay thanks Tanya, yeah that makes a lot of sense for me now. I also did BCP for about 8 or 10 years! Never would have knowing what I know now. A gynecologist prescribed them for me when I was barely 15 or 16, for major heavy periods. I had periods that were very far apart, like months and months, and when I did have a period, it lasted a long, long time, and was very heavy and painful. I would pass huge clots of blood, and I remember one time sitting in class taking a test when I knew that I had suddenly and completely soaked through my clothes into my seat. I had to walk out of the classroom, sideways, luckily everyone was busy looking at their exam. So of course, the answer to that problem was that I was deficient in birth control pills.

It seems to me now that it is very, very likely that I am low in zinc. Plus, when on SCD years ago, we ate a lot of nuts, so probably had higher copper dietary intake back then too.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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cs, I'm kind of lost in that chat thread, but did we decide that that the DDI hair test is at least somewhat accurate for copper?
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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cs, I'm kind of lost in that chat thread, but did we decide that that the DDI hair test is at least somewhat accurate for copper?
Yep. Well, at least according to Cutler the hair test is the most reliable for copper.

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Old 03-25-2009, 12:19 AM
 
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The Cutler approach, so when I'm taking it (roughly every other weekend, but sometimes life interferes, so it hasn't been that regular), it's low doses every 3 hours round the clock. The frequent dose chelation group is a great resource for Cutler-style oral chelation. They recommend people start at doses around 10 mg per dose, so a lot lower than most products out there.
I had amalgams for 10 years but got them out last year. Do you take ALA 50 mg in the middle of the night then how do you go back to sleep. I have studied their info on the web and started for my son who has egg allergy and many other food allergies.

Quote:
And I'm working with a HCP who's given me recommendations on how to make this go faster/easier. I'm taking higher dosages, but still only 50mg per dose, and that's with a lot of supportive work.
Are you taking hydro cortisone for adrenals? cuz almost all on freq dose are taking HC. Are you referring to supplements when you say "Supportive work"?
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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I had amalgams for 10 years but got them out last year. Do you take ALA 50 mg in the middle of the night then how do you go back to sleep. I have studied their info on the web and started for my son who has egg allergy and many other food allergies.


Are you taking hydro cortisone for adrenals? cuz almost all on freq dose are taking HC. Are you referring to supplements when you say "Supportive work"?
Yes, I take the ALA at night, I use an alarm timer (even during the day, cause it's easy to miss a dose). I get back to sleep fairly easily. I use melatonin to get to sleep each night, that's important for me, and I sometimes have trouble (in general) staying asleep if I don't snack right before bed.

I'm taking Allergy Research Group's Adrenal Organ Glandular, it has bovine adrenal tissue. That so does not sound appealing, I think that's why I rarely look at the back of that bottle.

Supportive stuff, beyond high-dose vit/min supps, is gluten and dairy free (I think that's part of why I'm able to take higher-than-usual doses of ALA) and I do the vitamin C flushes described on the Perque website at this location:
http://www.perque.com/pdfs/Pt_Ascorbate_Slush_FIN.pdf

Those have been big--I did them before and after I got my fillings out, now I'm doing them every 2-3 weeks (they can be done as often as every week), definitely 24-36 hours after a round with ALA (I stop my rounds around 10am so I can do a flush the next day at 5 or 6pm). I had weird mood issues after one round of ALA that resolved, completely, the day after I did the flush (I do the flushes in the evening, and the next morning I felt a lot better). This has really been helpful.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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"The absorption of large amounts of vitamin C, zinc can negatively influence the level of copper in the body, while large amounts of fructose can make a copper deficiency worse."
http://www.anyvitamins.com/copper-info.htm

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Old 03-28-2009, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yuck, reading that makes me want to know if my kids have high Copper. I need to test our water.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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:

"The absorption of large amounts of vitamin C, zinc can negatively influence the level of copper in the body, while large amounts of fructose can make a copper deficiency worse."
http://www.anyvitamins.com/copper-info.htm
Cool, so I can eat large amounts of fructose. Psych!

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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I have super gray hair. It started when I was about 17 or 18 & since kids, has gotten much more noticeable. I turned 32 in January. My zinc was 93 mcg/dL as of 1/09 with a ref. range of 60-130 mcg/dL. I know reference ranges are typically low for some things, but my adrenal doc (naturopath) seemed to think my zinc was great.

I've been looking for a multi-vitamin/mineral because I suspect I have some deficiencies & I'm intrigued by the plan in The Mood Cure - but the Now Foods multi she recommends has 900 mcg of copper & 15 mg of zinc.

I don't want to lower my "great" level of zinc. I suppose I could ask for a copper blood test - but since I've colored my hair, I worry that a hair sample would be contaminated. We also eat a lot of nuts, particularly pecans, which I know are high in copper - but pecans have such a deep tap root, that I feel they're a good source of minerals.

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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oops, double post.

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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subbing.

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Old 03-31-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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Metasequoia, I was curious, do you know if the zinc test was whole blood? I _think_ there are blood products (serum?) that can measure zinc and copper, but my understanding is that whole blood isn't a good measure. I will look that up today and see if I can sort it out. I think some things are held very stable in blood because otherwise we'd keel over dead, and I thought zinc and copper were two of them. But I'll search out references and try to find something definitive.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Metasequoia, I was curious, do you know if the zinc test was whole blood? I _think_ there are blood products (serum?) that can measure zinc and copper, but my understanding is that whole blood isn't a good measure. I will look that up today and see if I can sort it out. I think some things are held very stable in blood because otherwise we'd keel over dead, and I thought zinc and copper were two of them. But I'll search out references and try to find something definitive.
Yes, this is where I was confused, because from the link I posted above, the first link in post #2, it said that the best test for copper is serum or a 24-hour urine test. Here's what they say:

Quote:
The best means of testing for copper toxicity are 24-hour urine copper or serum ceruloplasmin level tests. Red blood cell copper levels may be a good test to measure increased copper levels as well. Hair levels of copper are not very helpful in detecting increased body copper because of external contamination. If contamination is ruled out, hair copper is suggestive of body state.

I also posted another link, but I guess that was in another thread, but it was this copper-zinc profile by Great Plains, which is actually a serum test, but they refer to Cutler in the description of it.

This sounds like it would be the best method of knowing one's copper/zinc levels in relation to each other. But, I am starting to get confused about what blood tests are most important, and what can be done together. I mean, would I need to have my kid's blood drawn like 10 different times for all these different tests? Or can some of them be compiled? Or which ones do you choose first as most important? YKWIM? Drawing blood from my kids has been incredibly traumatic, even for my 9 yr old. So I was hoping that the hair test would suffice for them.

I am seriously considering this copper/zinc profile from Great Plains for myself though, because I am feeling like this might be a big issue for me.



But that goes against what cs said the Cutler book said, which was that hair test was best, and blood test wasn't, but maybe he was referring to whole blood.
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