The SimplyWell Protocol is an excellent set of lifestyle steps that can effectively dismantle many chronic migraine patterns. However, some clients who have been suffering for decades, have been on medications for many years, or who have a history of trauma, surgery, or hormone replacement therapy, may need additional support in the form of mineral balancing through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.
In my coaching practice I have consistently seen serious damage done to people’s mineral balance through the casual (or, often doctor reccomended) use of supplements, especially vitamin D and multivitamins containing copper and zinc. It is often incorrectly assumed that deficiencies in blood are an accurate reflection of the state of the cell, and that minerals do not interact with one another. This could not be further from the truth.
In general, many women with migraine and hormonal imbalance have copper dysregulation (either low copper, or latent elevated copper). Copper is needed to support metabolic function and the synthesis of the DAO enzyme, as well as thousands of other important enzymes. Therefore supplementing with zinc without sufficient copper can be very problematic since it could further deplete copper levels if done improperly. This is why one-on-one guidance is often necessary to balance zinc and copper levels, based on actual specific data from an individuals HTMA lab report.
What is Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis?
Your hair contains all the minerals present in your body, including nutritional minerals as well as toxic heavy metals. Hair mineral analysis is a laboratory test that measures this mineral content in the hair. In most cases, the test results reflect how much of these elements are in your tissues and provide a vivid picture of your cellular and tissue mineral levels. With this information, a world of metabolic events can be interpreted. Not only can your nutritional status be viewed, but the test can also reveal how efficiently your body is working on many levels – including adrenal function, thyroid function, metabolic type, stress response, heavy metal toxicity, hormonal function, chemical sensitivity, and more.
After 30 years of research, hair analysis has emerged as the most practical method of testing for mineral balance in your body.
How Accurate is HTMA Compared to a Blood or Urine Test?
With a properly obtained sample, hair analysis is extremely accurate. Blood tests give information about your mineral levels at the time of the test only. If you’ve just eaten a banana, your test can indicate a high potassium level, even though you may actually need potassium supplementation. On the other hand, hair analysis results indicate your overall level of potassium – your actual tissue and cellular storage levels over a period of time, not just what you ate that day or even that week. So a blood test will only accurately report what is being transported in our blood at the time of the test.
Testing for minerals in urine measures the minerals that are being excreted from your body – not necessarily what has been absorbed as fuel for your body.
So blood and urine tests are like snapshots whereas a hair analysis is the video of your mineral retention.
Understanding Dynamic Relationships Between Minerals
Vitamins and minerals interact with each other in a dynamic rather than static way. Too much zinc, for example, can antagonize vitamin D. Therefore, taking zinc indiscriminately may cause an imbalance in vitamin D. Too little vitamin D, in turn, antagonizes calcium, creating poor conditions for calcium absorption. So now you have a shortage of calcium. Too much vitamin C can cause a copper deficiency and allow too much iron to build up in the body. A domino effect occurs. While you may be aware that vitamins and minerals are needed, too much of something can be just as bad as too little.
Mineral levels can be very closely and accurately analyzed using a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). Marya is trained in HTMA and can assist with personalized mineral rebalancing as part of a one-on-one coaching session.