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If this isn't the best place for this thread... please let me know where else to put it! I just know that a lot of you gals know a lot about alternative medicine and testing techniques... so...

I recently had hair testing done. I wanted to know what my mineral status is, as it's one of many factors in when/if I get pregnant again. I was really hoping/expecting to find out things were pretty good.

Turns out, they're pretty NOT.


Well, then again... I don't know that my chiropractor really knows how to interpret the results, nor do I know whether I really trust hair analysis. I've read a lot of condemnations, AFTER I decided to do it. *sigh*

One of my biggest frustrations is that the chiropractor didn't tell me to NOT use dandruff shampoo the day of. I'd had a bad run-in with dairy, which caused my dandruff to resurge, so... I'd been using Head and Shoulders again. Turns out, the zinc in dandruff shampoos skew the results pretty bad... and I really wanted to know about my zinc levels! Anyway... I am very disappointed to be low in several minerals, despite such a nutrient-dense diet. Yeah, I probably still have some level of leaky gut (how do I test THAT?), but... damn. I do so many things "right."

And, I have aluminum, mercury, and arsenic... but I don't know how high is really considered "bad" for those. Nor do I have any clue where they might be coming from.

I was really surprised to have my calcium levels test as really high. I'm allergic to dairy, and don't really feel like I make up for the calcium. It's not on top of my priorities. We do have really, really hard water here, and I'm sure the primary mineral is calcium... but... geez. Until a couple of months ago I used an Aquasana water filter (until it died, due to hard water buildup), and I assume it would filter out a lot of minerals.

So... what are my questions? Hmm... I guess... what are your experiences with hair mineral testing? Anyone know how high is considered a problem for aluminum and mercury? I know they aren't good at all, but... I can't seem to find specific info. My mercury was 0.084 (whats? ppm? I don't know) and my aluminum was 0.51. Arsenic barely registered at 0.014.

And, one thing that really shocked me is that my iron is low!?!?! I have never, ever been anemic. Even when pregnant. Even after hemorrhaging after my third birth. My iron level was 11 then! But on this hair test, it barely even registered on the chart. Waaaaaay low. I eat a LOT of red meat and a lot of leafy greens... how on earth is my iron low? Or, why is it low in my hair, but hasn't ever been in my blood? The other minerals I'm low in are manganese (barely registered at all), selenium, phosphorous, and chromium.

The chiro I'm working with on this doesn't think I need to address individual minerals right now, but instead work on my adrenals first. I've already been doing that, but I guess I'll work harder now.

I'm just... floored. And wondering if any of this is even accurate? And how long it takes to correct... and if I have any hope of TTC in January? And... is this maybe all from a still-leaky gut?
 

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My chelation test says aluminum should be less than 100 ug/g (don't know what that kind of unit means), mercury less than 5 and arsenic less than 200.

It really sounds like your test could be out of wack though. Would a blood test be more accurate maybe? I would really think about the leaky gut too. That could really cause all the nutrients to be lost. I love the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome for great diet advice for gut healing.

Also, my step mom just had a mysterious series of tests done on abnormal blood work that eventually led to her being very anemic (although not feeling the symptoms yet) because of small amounts of blood loss in stomach ulcers, but sort of like a leaky gut too. Anyway she takes iron and eats lots of meat but was still low because of that. Just FYI, in case that rings a bell in any way for you.
 

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I had a hair mineral analysis done in October ('07) & my levels were awful. I was a very sick girl at that time, though. I can't remember everything, but I do remember that my calcium & magnesium were through the roof, meaning I was not absorbing them. Fast forward to May ('08), when I had it done again & my levels were much better. During that time I was healing my leaky gut, though. No gluten, no (cow) dairy, rarely had soy. Even after consuming lots of raw goat milk and eggs during those 7 months, both of which I just (last month) tested as allergic to, my levels were better.

I don't know how much I trust the hair mineral analysis. I DO know that I felt tons better at the same time that my minerals tested as much better.

I HTH!

Jamie
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Junegoddess View Post
And, I have aluminum, mercury, and arsenic... but I don't know how high is really considered "bad" for those. Nor do I have any clue where they might be coming from.
It's possible that after exposure one's body take years to eliminate the toxic minerals. A couple of years ago, some showed up on my test results and I still do not know where they came from.

Quote:
I was really surprised to have my calcium levels test as really high. I'm allergic to dairy, and don't really feel like I make up for the calcium.
My results came back high and shows that calcium is not being propery utilized. For me, I don't get enough magnesium and that throws the calcium off. So I am increasing my magnesium consuption.

Quote:
Anyone know how high is considered a problem for aluminum and mercury? I know they aren't good at all, but... I can't seem to find specific info. My mercury was 0.084 (whats? ppm? I don't know) and my aluminum was 0.51. Arsenic barely registered at 0.014.
ppm = parts per million.
According to my latest test, the toxic elements preference range for mercury is less that 0.18 mg%, aluminum is less than 1.8 mg%, and arsenic is less than 0.020 mg%. To get mg% just divide ppm by 10.

Quote:
The chiro I'm working with on this doesn't think I need to address individual minerals right now, but instead work on my adrenals first.
My analysis results gave a lot of information, including the individual minerals levels, the ratio of some mineral pairs, and metabolic type. Even got a list of foods to increase and those to avoid. It was done through my nutritionist and she suggested working on adrenals, too. Also to eat and drink foods that will warm the body.
 

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Which lab did the testing? Did you get a printout? It might be each lab has its own values it uses for what is and isn't okay. I had tests down by DDI and the print out includes the ranges.

These lists don't include everything below - just ideas is all.

Arsenic can stay around for years I read and was used a lot in pressure treated wood as well as pesticides.

Mercury can be old thermometers broken, new lights, seafood, and more besides the infamous dental amalgam.

Aluminum can be cheap pots and pans or deodorants.
 

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Interpretation can be tricky, especially if you have toxic levels of heavy metals (in your cells, not necessarily on your hair test.)

Those of us that follow Andrew Cutler's work/protocol use the DDI Hair Element profile (as opposed to the DDI Hair Toxic Element Exposure profile, or other labs) and apply Cutler's 'counting rules.' This is b/c if you are toxic, you will have what is called 'deranged mineral transport,' and you therefore can't take the mineral or toxic element levels on the hair test at face value.

If mineral transport is normal, the test would more accurately reflect body stores.

As a pp mentioned, some high hair mineral values indicate wasting, so they would actually be low in the body.

Being pregnant or BFing also tend to cause deranged mineral transport or an "all low" appearance.
 

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Zinc is easy to test, just see if you can taste a supplement. Designs for Health has a zinc challenge taste test. Basically if you cannot taste it or it's mild tasting you are deficient. I just found out you can do this with other minerals, will be investigating a kit with holistic dietician.
 

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It's a pretty accurate test. Which lab and where did you collect the hair from?

Didn't the lab send an analysis? I always get a printout along with the results. I may interpret them differently based on the individual circumstances (I have more info than the lab at times) but that's a decent starting point.
 

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I'm doing the same as Duckmom, Cutler's protocol. There's a yahoo group you can post your test results to, and people will help you analyze it. The group is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/frequent-dose-chelation/

They helped me figure out my test results and how to proceed, and I recommend it highly.

Andy Cutler does have a whole book on the test interpretation. I believe his website is www.noamalgam.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My hair testing was through Analytical Research Labs, and they did include a printout... I just wanted more information, mainly about the heavy metals. It doesn't say what the measurement is on those, which is really annoying. A number is pretty much meaningless if I don't know whether it's ppm or mg% or something else.
It says I'm a slow oxidizer, and tells the ratios on important mineral pairs, but mine are thrown off by that darn zinc. I really with the chiropractor had said something about not using dandruff shampoo when I called to make the appointment. Grrr...

I'm low on iron, manganese, chromium, selenium, and phosphorous, and had NO boron at all. I'm really surprised by the low iron... maybe I use it all, instead of putting it in my hair?

I had read that hair mineral analysis is considered by some to be total quackery, and now I wonder if it was a waste of money. And hair. LOL I wanted clear answers and certainly didn't get them.

Assuming my heavy metal results are in mg%, I'm not really having a problem with those. My mercury was 0.084, arsenic 0.014, and aluminum 0.51.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by firefaery View Post
I haven't worked with that lab, but in general it's far more accurate for adults if you use pubic hair....that's why I asked where the hair came from.


Really? Wow. Why? It was never even mentioned as a possibility. I'll look into that when I retest. I think I'll see if I can... a-hem... retest from home. Tee hee.

Looks like I'll be working even harder on this mineral issue. I just got back from the dentist, from having one of THREE cavities filled. And apparently I have many more areas that are almost-cavities. My teeth are falling apart. My brother, just 33 years old, just had all his teeth pulled for dentures. They'd been literally rotting out of his head for 10 years. My mom, 55, still has most of her teeth, but won't for much longer. They hurt her all the time, and there's more fillings/crowns than teeth at this point. She's had two pulled. My brother and are ragingly gluten-intolerant, my mom seems to be pretty sensitive as well. Until a year or so ago, it seemed I had good teeth. My whole damn body has fallen apart... all from the giardia in that damn ice machine at that damn Econo Lodge. That's what pushed me over the edge. That's what killed my baby. Well, that's what I like to blame it on. Giardia = trigger for latent Celiac = autoimmune clotting disorder = Camelia died.

Anyway, my diet is nutrient dense! Not 100% perfect, but close. All my meat is grassfed/pastured, for the last 6 months or so. I eat lots of butter, don't get as much broth in the summer as in the winter soup season, but still quite a bit. I got a lot of sun until this last weekend, when I got a memorial tattoo for my first son... have to hide inside for a bit now.

I just... I want to know what I'm doing wrong. Or, if no amount of "right" is going to fix the past...

I need more tests done, I think, but don't know where to go to get them. So many are required to be done with a professional. I should probably hunt down a professional. What do I need? Any ideas? Leaky gut test? (Don't see the point... I'm sure I have it and I'm working on healing it) Vitamin D levels? Adrenal function? (Working on that, too, and feeling loads better already.)

I don't want to lose my teeth. More than that, I don't want to spend 25 years getting lots of incredibly-painful nerve-pinging work done on them. And more than that, I want to somehow believe I have a chance of being healthy enough to have another baby. Soon.
 

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Oh, my friend. You have had a tough road, to be sure. I do have some ideas that maybe we could talk about at some point, but have to say that you are on the right track. You are doing wonderful things for your body. YES there are still things you can look for, but honestly you are doing REALLY well.

The pubic hair is generally more accurate because of the lack of shampoo/conditioner/hair product contamination. Pubic hair generally just has soap in contact which doesn't skew the results nearly as much.
 

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Wow, Junegoddess, you've been through a lot. Hugs to you!

I just wanted to reiterate that a low metal reading doesn't necessarily correlate with what's going on.

A case in point, my hair test mercury was <0.03 and I am toxic. It just means that my body's not excreting it, not that it's not there.

Hang in there, and best of luck on your journey!
 

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Junegoddess,

The link below has pictures of the results you get from DDI. That's the lab that Andy Cutler used for his work with mercury toxic people. It shows reference ranges and standard deviations for the toxic elements and the regular minerals. It's the only one I'm familiar with, but I thought you may want to consider it.

http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/heali.../hairtest.html

The link below explains how to order, if you so desire. And if you call to order and mention the autism-mercury yahoo group, you get a discount (regular price is $93).

http://home.earthlink.net/~moriam/HOW_TO_hair_test.html

 

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There are a lot of people who have used the DDI test. I did it twice - guess I overpaid as I paid the $ 93 at directlabs.

They were pretty fast both times - the mailer came priority mail, you mail the hair into Chicago and a form back to directlabs. Once directlabs has the results, they will email you and you can then set up a way to get it via their secure email. It was around 2 weeks total turnaround from ordering to results and part of the delay this time was getting spouse to cut my hair (took 5 days this time to push him). The first test they sent me a copy of the results via regular mail too. I just got the second one done so I am anticipating a snail mail copy too.

TanyaLopez has the good links posted - no point in spelling that out more.
 
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