How Mineral Balancing Can Improve Your Health
The importance of minerals in our everyday body functions. How they affect our health and what you can do to help improve your balance.
I came upon nutritional mineral balancing when I had some physical health problems. I had tried the conventional route and hit a dead end. I then began researching functional medicine for the root cause of my symptoms. This is where I discovered the hair analysis test.
I will tell you I doubted my first hair analysis test and did not follow the recommendations until two years later. Why? Well, two years later, I returned to this test because nothing else helped my health conditions.
And guess what? Ten months into the program, I can tell you it works!
Before I get into what has improved for me - let's talk about what nutritional mineral balancing is all about.
EXPLANATION OF MINERAL BALANCING
Trace minerals are vital components of our food and a healthy diet. Mineral Balancing is a window into what is happening at a cellular level. It's measured using a hair sample and a test called HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis).
This test measures 21 minerals and toxic metals, including calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, copper, and iron. These minerals are critical in numerous body functions and must be maintained within specific ranges to ensure good health.
The toxic metals measured are mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, and lead.
The results reflect the metabolic activity over an average of three months. The test results are not always what they seem and should be assessed by a healthcare professional trained in HTMA.
WHY BALANCING YOUR MINERALS IS ESSENTIAL
Mineral levels play critical roles in our daily body functions, including
Each mineral has a vital role, and a deficiency or excess of any mineral can have significant consequences.
Mineral deficiencies and imbalances can lead to health issues, including
poor blood sugar control
COMMON MINERAL IMBALANCES
This article will cover the first four significant minerals on the HTMA test. These are the ones we focus on balancing first.
Your body needs calcium for muscles to move and nerves to carry messages between your brain and every part of your body. Calcium also helps the blood move through the blood vessels. This helps release hormones that affect many functions in the human body.
About 99% of calcium is found in the bone. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. (1)
When calcium is in excess, it can lead to kidney stones, contribute to cardiovascular disease, and interfere with other mineral absorption.
Symptoms of excess calcium
Symptoms of calcium deficiency
high blood pressure
Good food sources of calcium are dairy products, sardines, egg yolks, kale, collard greens, almonds, kelp, and brewer's yeast.
A high calcium level on an HTMA can indicate that one is losing calcium from the bones and accumulating it in the soft tissues.
Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that help regulate bodily functions. These include
muscle and nerve function
blood glucose control
blood pressure regulation (2)
Magnesium also plays a role in activating calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes. This process is essential to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm (3).
Symptoms of excess magnesium
low blood pressure
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency
muscle cramps or spasms
high blood pressure
Good sources of magnesium are almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, boiled spinach, chia seeds, soymilk, and black beans (2).
High Magnesium on an HTMA can be due to a loss of magnesium through the hair resulting in a deficiency.
Sodium is involved in the following:
regulation of blood pressure
normal nerve and muscle function
cell membrane permeability
Symptoms of excess sodium
high blood pressure
lower calcium and magnesium levels
Symptoms of sodium deficiency
low blood pressure
poor protein digestion
Food sources of sodium: tuna, eggs, butter, celery, Swiss chard, pickles, and table salt.
Low sodium on HTMA indicates decreased adrenal gland activity and exhaustion.
High sodium on an HTMA indicates excessive adrenal activity and possible toxic metal accumulation.
Potassium has many roles in the human body, including
intracellular fluid balance
nerve impulse conduction
Symptoms of excess potassium
high blood sugar
Symptoms of potassium deficiency
low blood pressure
low blood sugars
Good sources of potassium are leafy greens, lentils, wheat bran, pecans, almonds, potatoes, avocados, raisins, prunes, chicken breast, and salmon.
A high potassium level on an HTMA indicates a loss due to the excessive breakdown of body cells.
Low potassium on HTMA can be associated with allergies, fatigue, low blood sugar, sweet cravings, and low blood pressure.
BENEFITS OF MINERAL BALANCING
Mineral balancing science can have significant benefits on your health. As the mineral patterns begin to shift and balance, the body can start to detox naturally.
Some of the benefits include
Improved immune system health
better digestion and nutrient absorption
increased energy levels
improved mental clarity
reduced risk of chronic disease
improved bone health
improved athletic performance
HOW TO ACHIEVE MINERAL BALANCING
The mineral balancing program takes a holistic approach meaning the whole body is considered for healing. It is an all-encompassing program, including the mind, body, and spirit.
Diet and Nutrition
Recommendations for dietary habits are individualized based on HTMA pattern and oxidation rate (slow or fast). Also included are current diets followed for food allergies, intolerances, or chronic diseases.
protein foods are recommended at every meal
plant-based foods increased
grains can be included if tolerated, and going gluten-free is an option if desired
raw vegetables are limited
soft-cooked vegetables have the most benefit for nutrient absorption
fluids limited at meals for optimal digestion
spring water or filtered water encouraged. No tap water
Eating a wide variety of foods improves your essential nutrient intake.
Proper cooking techniques and non-toxic cookware is recommended.
Managing stress levels is just as important as our food choices. Living a life under stress can have a massive impact on our health. Slowing down and allowing time for our bodies to heal and be present with our thoughts is part of the healing process.
It can be exercise, deep breathing, practicing mindfulness, spending time with friends/family, or a hobby you enjoy.
Journaling and identifying areas that are causing you grief can be very helpful. Seeking support from friends, family, or a counselor is a great way to stay on track.
Adequate sleep is necessary for healing. Setting up a routine for rest can help you stay on track. Avoid bright lights and screen time an hour before bed. Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Meditation before bedtime can help release thoughts that may keep you awake.
Targeted Supplementation is often necessary for mineral balancing. When a mineral is too high or low, it is due to an imbalance of nutrients to toxins. Diet alone is often not enough to improve the pattern.
The HTMA identifies minerals that are necessary in higher doses. The healthcare practitioner you work with can assist you in dosing and diet adjustments.
Achieving proper mineral balance can help promote overall health. I have covered a few basics in this article, and mineral balancing does not have to be a complicated process.
I believe in this process and have made significant health improvements since starting my healing program.
Areas that have improved for me are
blood sugar regulation
constipation - gone!
decreased joint pain
I am still doing my hair tests and watching my mineral pattern improve. I love seeing the levels come into balance and how it correlates with my health improvements.
If you want to learn more or your mineral patterns, check out my website.
In good health,
Mineral Balancing Practitioner
National Institute of Health - Calcium
National Institute of Health - Magnesium
Rude RK. Magnesium. In: Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 11th ed. Baltimore, Mass: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:159-75.
Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis. A new Science of Energy. Lawrence Wilson, MD