How Can Hair Analysis Testing Help Metabolic Problems?
Have you ever felt like you have a slow metabolism? If you have ever thought of that, you’re probably right. 1 in 3 adults has metabolic problems, specifically a condition known as metabolic syndrome.
So what exactly is metabolic syndrome?
It is a condition characterized by the combination of abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. The World Health Organization deemed it a “Global Epidemic” in 2018.
So what issues can lead to these characteristic traits of poor metabolic health? Things that you likely have encountered in your own life:
Slow metabolism, poor thyroid function, liver disease, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, imbalanced blood sugar – insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes.
People with metabolic problems are at a 68% increased risk for sudden death.
Your metabolic health is only partially based on the number you see on the scale, and more so based on your ability to prevent and heal from disease. Everyone should be fighting to avoid metabolic problems in order to live a healthy, vital life.
So what can a hair analysis do to help you with metabolic problems?
Your oxidation state dictates the trajectory of your current health.
In a hair analysis, your oxidation or metabolic rate is assessed by testing minerals and ratios between minerals. The analysis will paint a picture for you of being a slow or fast oxidizer. However, this oxidation rate doesn’t only relate to your ability to lose weight, it is also an indicator of your ability to absorb nutrients.
Slow oxidizers usually have a slower metabolism and have a harder time losing weight. While fast oxidizers usually burn through minerals and have a hard time absorbing nutrients.
In addition, hair analysis gives you insight into the function of your organs that dictate your metabolic health. Here are some examples of ratios that a hair analysis would look at to give you more insight into your metabolic health.
The Calcium/Phosphorus ratio tells us directly the metabolic state of the body, specifically about the autonomic nervous system.
This ratio would be high for someone who is a slow oxidizer, showing us that the client is in a parasympathetic state. The parasympathetic nervous system promotes rest and digestion and is associated with a slower metabolism. It is common for these clients to have difficulty with weight loss.
While someone who is a fast oxidizer would see a lower ratio, showing us that the client is in a sympathetic dominant state. This state is more associated with fight or flight, as well as a state of stress. We all are in or out of these states throughout our lives. The helpful part of this aspect of the test is it will allow you to see where you are now, and where you are trending for the future.
The Calcium/Potassium ratio tells us all about the thyroid, a key player in metabolism.
When thyroid function is low, the production of calcitonin is low, as well. Calcitonin helps to regulate Calcium levels. In addition, potassium is very important for the sensitivity of cells to the thyroid hormone. If we do not have enough potassium, it can be hard for our bodies to optimally utilize thyroid hormone.
The higher the calcium/potassium ratio (too much calcium in relation to potassium), the slower the thyroid function.
Many people find this to be true in their lives, despite having “normal” thyroid blood work. But when you think about your thyroid, how often are you considering calcium and potassium? Probably not often. A hair analysis can help.
The Sodium/Magnesium ratio tells us all about the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are in communication with our thyroid, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and other organs.
Cortisol is an important hormone that can affect hunger levels and blood sugar levels. The adrenal glands are involved in the production of cortisol, as well.
The adrenal glands also produce a hormone called aldosterone. Aldosterone is in charge of regulating sodium retention, thereby affecting blood pressure, heart rate, fluid balance, as well as stomach acid production. If you want to improve upon any of these readings, understanding your adrenal gland status can be life-changing.
The Calcium/Magnesium ratio tells us all about blood sugar.
Did you know that calcium and magnesium are involved in blood sugar balance?
When calcium enters a cell, it stimulates insulin to be released out of the cell and into the bloodstream. Magnesium, on the other hand, inhibits the effects of insulin. If you are serious about balancing blood sugar and decreasing inflammation, a hair analysis can help.
Inflammation is the common soil to every metabolic problem.
Metabolic dysfunction is linked to chronic inflammation, which is linked to chronic stress. Minerals tell you about inflammation as well as stress. Stress can come in many forms. Mineral deficiencies are one source of stress, as well as toxic elements.
Mineral deficiencies, specifically Magnesium and Copper, were found to be common findings in obese individuals in this study.
One way to promote your body’s metabolic health is to support its ability to fight chronic inflammation. Being deficient in minerals can greatly impact the health of our top detoxifying machine: the liver.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a major concern these days. About 100 million Americans are diagnosed with NAFLD, and many don’t even know that they have it. The liver is imperative in having a properly functioning metabolism, as well as being able to detoxify stress-inducing toxins.
How Hair Analysis Helps Fight Metabolic Problems.
How can a hair analysis help? Low hair copper levels are associated with an increased risk for NAFLD.
Copper is a vital, and often overlooked mineral to support adequate liver function, and well-being. In addition to checking for levels in the hair, a hair analysis tests the body’s ability to utilize copper. Much like glucose requires insulin to enter the cell, copper requires ceruloplasmin to become utilized by the body. Without adequate ceruloplasmin, the body will store copper in excess, which can lead to many issues.
Finally, one of the greatest indicators of metabolic health, and a common root cause of chronic low-grade inflammation, is insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes.
More than just ratios listed earlier, single levels of minerals in the hair, such as copper, selenium, and chromium, have been associated with insulin resistance.
A Hair Analysis can save your life
The number one cause of death worldwide is heart disease.
How often are you checking the well-being of your heart? Minerals can help.
Just like rust building up inside of a pipe, calcium can build up inside the arteries, creating plaque.
Calcium requires Vitamin K and a balance of other minerals to go where it belongs, in our bones and teeth. Hair analysis checks for calcium levels in soft tissues (where they shouldn’t be). Calcium hair levels have been shown to be indicated for cardiovascular disease.
Potassium is a vital heart-healthy mineral. If you want to have a healthy functioning heart and prevent atherosclerosis (the thickening of arteries), you might want to know your potassium levels. Low potassium diets are associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis, and hair analysis can let you know if you are absorbing potassium, and getting enough.
Finally, magnesium. You’ve likely heard of magnesium’s importance in helping you sleep and relax. In the same fashion, magnesium plays a pivotal role in lowering blood pressure and relaxing tense muscles that can lead to heart disease.
As mentioned above, magnesium and calcium play a key role in blood sugar balance and heart health. It has been shown that excessive calcium levels and low magnesium levels create a high calcium/magnesium ratio that increases coronary artery calcification and disease.
If you want to improve your metabolic health, taking a small sample of hair can greatly transform your understanding of how to do so. The data provided from a hair sample is like nothing else that you would get. The most common response from clients after a hair sample interpretation is, “I feel so validated.”
Why? Because they have felt lost without an explanation as to why they experience certain health and metabolic issues.
A hair analysis can help you, too.
Meet the author
Priscilla, the founder of Wellness in Bloom, is a freelance writer and content strategist based in New York City. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in
Communication and Media Studies from Fordham University and has over 5 years of experience in digital marketing and content creation.
Priscilla’s writing covers a wide range of topics, including lifestyle, health and wellness, and personal finance. She has contributed to several publications and websites, including The New York Times, Healthline, and NerdWallet.
In addition to her writing, Priscilla is also passionate about education and has volunteered as a tutor and mentor for several organizations. She is committed to creating content that is informative, engaging, and accessible to a wide audience.
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