Friday, September 9, 2011

A lesson about the art of reading lab results

Toxic metals are bad. We don't want them stored in our bodies. If they are, we want to eliminate the source (e.g., amalgam fillings, environmental sources), and help the body get rid of whatever is stored.

Here are two examples of laboratory assessments of nutritional- and toxic minerals using hair samples.

My question to the reader is who (person A or B) is having the worst toxic metals problem. In each case, toxic metals are presented to the right and nutritional mineral to the left.

(Click to enlarge the images.)

Person A:

Person B:

(This person has mercury fillings.)

OK. So who has a really serious problem? Person A, with a super high cadmium reading, or person B who has a visible low mercury reading? (Let's assume that cadmium and mercury are equally disruptive to body chemistry.)

By the method that most health care practitioners read lab results, it is quite obvious that person A, with the high cadmium has the worst problem, whereas person B has an expected (due to the mercury fillings) but low elevation in mercury.

This is totally backwards. The proper reading of these charts is that person A is far better off than person B.

Why? Because person A is actually moving cadmium out of his body such it shows up in the hair. Furthermore, we have corroboration that his body is able to do this quite effectively because all of his nutritional minerals are reasonably high, hence the enzymatic processes in his body can access an ample supply of needed minerals to deal with the cadmium. (Therapeutically, we would of course advice this person to support his body further in this effort as well as eliminating any sources of cadmium.)

Person B, on the other hand is low in virtually all nutritional minerals (K, potassium can typically be ignored on this type of test).

We also know that his dental fillings should supply enough mercury for it to show much higher readings if his body had enough nutritional minerals for the task of moving it out of vital tissues. What likely happens instead that the mercury from his tooth fillings end up in his brain-, or other tissues. Bad!

So what do we do? We start working on getting person B's nutritional mineral deficiency under control.

How do we do that?

Do we recommend a multi-mineral supplement?

Possibly, but, much more importantly, we need to work on enhancing this person's digestion. Very likely he is low in stomach acid (an effect by itself of zinc deficiency and/or H Pylori infection), and/or his digestion is systemically impaired in some other way. (Why else would virtually every mineral be low.)

So we will further investigate and deal with digestive- and gut issues before moving on to the mercury itself.

It would be quite useless (if not dangerous) to target the mercury first. Doing so might just increase the amount that would wind up where he doesn't want it.

The big lesson here is that one can't just read lab results and "treat" what's "too low" or "too high" without looking at the whole picture including the person's health history. (When did your doctor ask you to fill out a 45 minute health questionnaire before interpreting your lab work?)

The risk of causing real harm is imminent when lab values are taken at face value in a vacuum of ignorance about the patient. Unfortunately this is how most health care practitioners look at lab results.

(VitalObjectives is not a healthcare provider, but a company that coaches and teaches you how to achieve whole body health from the ground up, system by system.)

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