Toxic heavy metals from environmental exposure and impaired detoxification pathways can contribute to a multitude of symptoms that may lead to chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the significance of hair mercury levels in measuring exposure to the neurotoxic methylmercury found in fish.

Hair analysis is a valuable screening tool due to its ability to concentrate both toxic heavy metals and essential minerals. Unlike blood and urine, hair serves as a storage depot for various elements. This is because the growing hair follicle is abundantly supplied with blood vessels, and the blood flowing through it acts as a transportation medium for both vital and potentially harmful elements.

The non-invasive Hair Element Analysis test provides insights into both present and past exposure to toxic metals and the average status of necessary elements. This test requires only a small amount of hair to perform and can be taken from the head or the groin region. Hair, being an excretory tissue, does not serve any functional purpose but contains elements that aid in diagnosis. When used in conjunction with other laboratory values and symptoms, this test can assist your Functional Medicine Practitioner in identifying physiological issues associated with imbalances in essential and toxic element metabolism. Hair is the preferred tissue for detecting elements such as arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, lead, antimony, and mercury, as the concentration of these elements in hair is hundreds of times higher than in blood or urine.