Our body relies on minerals to support life-sustaining functions, and here are the latest ways to get your minerals (Part 1). Symptoms of a mineral deficiency depend on the mineral you are lacking and the severity of your deficiency, but possible red flags include everything from bloating and loss of appetite to lack of energy, poor concentration and anxiety.
These are three effective and common ways to test for deficiencies:
Do A Blood Test
Mineral deficiencies are most commonly diagnosed by a doctor-conducted physical exam, routine blood work including a complete blood count test and a measurement of your electrolytes, and a review of your diet and eating habits.
Have Your Hair Analyzed
There’s also a newer method of testing called hair tissue analysis or hair mineral analysis. A hair sample is taken as close to the root on your head and analyzed by a lab to determine whether you have any mineral deficiencies. A hair test is less-invasive than blood tests and can be just as accurate, if not more so because hair tissue changes more slowly than blood levels. For example, your blood test results may be skewed if you ate a specific mineral-rich food the day before, but a hair test reflects mineral levels over the course of several months. Also, a blood test doesn't accurately measure some minerals because the body keeps the blood levels normal even if body stores are deficient, such as the case with calcium.
When a hair mineral analysis is reviewed by a health care practitioner with expertise interpreting this type of test, it can provide a great deal of important information as it relates to a variety of different mineral deficiencies.
A Liquid Mineral Testing Kit
A liquid mineral test kit allows you to determine your mineral balance via a taste test. It's quick, easy, painless, and even fun! How it works is there are 7 taste responses (sweet, pleasant, no taste, hmm...taste something, uhh uhh, don't ike it, awful). You pour a small amount of the mineral in a cup, sip, swish it around, then find the number that best fits how that mineral tastes. A score of sweet or pleasant means you are very deficient and need more of that mineral.
Once you determine which minerals you need, you make a daily liquid mineral drink using the liquid minerals set #1-9. Mix the minerals with water and vitamin C and you're good to go.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods