In my last post, I talked about using genetic testing as a tool to help identify root causes of depression.
Another non-invasive diagnostic tool I recommend is a hair tissue mineral analysis. This test can provide valuable information about your levels of nutrients. It also provides feedback on toxic metals that may be accumulating in your body.
When you order the test through a qualified practitioner, you will receive a testing kit and an explanation of how best to collect the hair sample. It usually involves snipping a small amount of hair from your head that is close to the scalp. You can do this by taking a small sample from the back of the head underneath the top layer of hair where it won’t be visible. Test results are usually available within a week or two.
The testing lab I use is called Analytical Research Labs in Phoenix. They test for 19 different minerals and toxic metals. Customers can order a variety of packages, some of which come with detailed analysis of results. The website itself is also a great source of information about nutritional balancing.
When I ordered my first test, I also got the complete interpretation, which helped me identify several more pieces in the puzzle of my depression. The test showed I was a slow oxidizer, and that my adrenal glands weren’t working optimally, which can contribute to depression and fatigue. When I got that information, it helped me to concentrate on improving my adrenal function using several targeted supplements. I made significant improvements during that time that I focused on healing my adrenals.
There has been criticism about hair testing and its accuracy, but for me, hair testing has been really helpful. I re-test every six months to keep an eye on my ratios and make adjustments to my supplements. I find it to be affordable, non-invasive, reliable, and it saves me from having to go to the doctor and get blood drawn (which I hate.) There is a new service by a company called Theranos that will hopefully be arriving in California soon. It allows consumers to order individual tests at a drugstore using just a drop of blood from a pinprick on the fingertip. I am eagerly awaiting this service, but in the meantime, I find the hair testing to be a wonderful tool that helps keep me informed about the balance of nutrients in my body.
If you’d like to learn more about hair testing and its implications for your health, I’d recommend the book Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, by Lawrence Wilson, MD.