Hair Analysis/Lab Testing
A hair analysis is a test that measures the mineral content of your hair. The mineral content of your hair reflects the mineral content of your body's tissue. The hair can be up to 300 times more sensitive than the blood in measuring the mineral content. Heavy metals such as mercury, aluminum, arsenic, lead, cadmium and more can be detected, as well.
Part of the confusion (in the past) with hair analysis is that labs use different hair preparation procedures. For example, some labs do not pre-wash the hair sample, some wash the samples three times, some eleven times. This washes out certain minerals to various degrees. Results are not standardized but depend on which lab you use. Therefore, you cannot compare hair analyses from different labs to one another, a more fair comparison would be to send the same hair sample, under different names, to the same lab, and then compare results.
Toxic metals on a hair analysis will often not show up initially, especially if the patient has low adrenal and thyroid function. This is because it takes energy to excrete metals, the hair being one route for excretion.
Hair Analysis & Lab Testing
Ratios are very diagnostic of developing problems. Hair analysis ratios indicate problems at the cellular level. For example, a high calcium to potassium ratio indicates sluggish thyroid function. That is, the thyroid hormone is not working effectively in the cells. This ratio will deviate long before hormone blood values deviate and therefore it is predictive of developing thyroid problems.
Who Needs a Hair Analysis?
Anyone who is found ill and has no explanation or when the therapy doesn't seem to be effective. Even if you are not experiencing a severe problem, hair analysis is an invaluable screening tool which allows a correct program of diet and supplementation to be designed for each individual's specific needs.
Dr. Vail uses various lab testing facilities including:
- Genova Diagnostics (formerly Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab)
- Diagnosis Techs, Inc. (urine & saliva test)
- Biological Terraine (in-house urine & saliva test)
- Cyrex Labs
- Principal lab (Lab Core)
- Doctor's Data