Mineral Deficiency. The signs & symptoms to look out for.

How important are Minerals?

Minerals are involved in virtually all biochemical processes in the human body. They are affected by and affect all other nutrients – vitamins, proteins carbohydrates and fats, so their importance in human health cannot be understated.

Not enough of a mineral may threaten survival and also leads to disease and malfunction. Excess amounts of a mineral can adversely affect the way other minerals and nutrients work also leading to illness or death.

What are Minerals needed for?

  • Structural support – bones, ligaments, tendons etc.
  • Nerve conductivity – allowing us to feel things and conduct information from various parts of the body to the brain and back.
  • Immunity so we can fight disease and stay healthy.
  • Cellular metabolism – allowing cells to perform their function in the body.
  • Enzyme activity – ensuring that many processes in the body can be performed from digestion to converting other substances such as vitamins into a form we can use.
  • Muscles – making it possible to use muscles and to ensure the muscle has energy and can grow.
  • Endocrine system – making it possible for our glands to do their job.
  • Anti-Oxidants – helping us keep our bodies free of free radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species).
  • DNA function.
  • Water acid/alkaline balance ensuring an environment in our bodies conducive to healthy function.

Mineral Deficiency Conditions & Causes

Examples of conditions caused by, or contributed to by mineral deficiencies; this is not a complete list by any means.

  • Calcium: Allergies, hyperthyroidism, cramps, anxiety, hyperactivity and insomnia
  • Magnesium: Noise sensitivity, hyperthyroidism, seizures, poor digestion, colitis, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, alcoholism.
  • Potassium: Adrenal insufficiency, hyperparathyroidism, acne, hypothyroidism, fatigue, cardiac irregularity.
  • Iron: Anaemia, palpitations, low protein intake, ADD, B6 deficiency, hypochlorhydria, splitting nails,candida.
  • Copper: Osteoporosis (type 1), hypercholesterolaemia, disc degeneration, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, toxic metal accumulation.
  • Manganese: Glucose intolerance, fatigue, anaemia, hypercholesterolaemia, adrenal insufficiency, weight loss.
  • Zinc: PMS, viruses, candida, diabetes, anorexia, arthritis, poor wound healing, post-partum depression, eclampsia, sterility, macular degeneration, Slow growth.
  • Chromium: Diabetes, glucose intolerance, atherosclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, glycosuria.
  • Molybdenum: Dental caries, oesophageal cancer, bronchial asthma, sulfite sensitivity or allergy, wilsons disease.
  • Selenium: Cataracts, chronic inflammatory conditions, cardiomyopathy, anaemia, poor immunity.

These are just some of the conditions contributed to or caused by these minerals being deficient. You can see from this that without knowing the level of the various minerals it is virtually impossible to accurately diagnose the cause of a health condition – or effectively treat it.

What causes Mineral Deficiencies?

  • Nutrient deficient soil: If it's not in the soil it can’t be in our food.
  • Food preparation: the way we handle and transport food damages it in many ways.
  • Environmental pollution
  • Heavy metals: such as mercury, lead, aluminium, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium, uranium and antimony. These are found in our soils, water, food additives, vaccines &  pharmaceutical medications etc.
  • Illness
  • Medicines
  • Stress
  • Mild and sub-clinical deficiencies: outnumber problems caused by too much of a mineral ten to one. However, it is not only the relative amount of a mineral but also its amount with relation to other minerals or nutrients. You may have plenty of one mineral but because you have too little of another or another is in excess the first mineral cannot do its job. Ratios are important as well as or perhaps even more so than relative amounts.

Are your Mineral Levels in Balance? How can you find out?

There are various methods of testing for minerals such as:

  • Blood tests to determine how much of each is present in blood. The problem with this is that minerals are distributed into tissue quickly therefore this method does not test tissue levels.
  • Erythrocytes: Cell levels of blood only and only testing one cell type; limited value.
  • Urine: Reveals losses. Shows only losses – doesn’t show mineral stores or absorption.
  • Hair: Reveals long term averages – intracellular analysis.
  • HTMA: (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis) testing is the most useful method for testing mineral levels. This preferred method is painless and not intrusive or messy.

We offer this specialised testing here in our Naturoapthic Clinic. The test simply requires a sample of hair preferably from the nape of the head taken from close to the scalp. The sample is tested using state of the art ICP-Mass Spectrometry and can test for very minute levels of a mineral down to parts per billion level.

Contact us on 4721 3198 to accurately assess your mineral health, or request more information.

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