Hair analysis results may often reveal additional and different information about thyroid activity than a blood test. Most confusion arises because blood thyroid tests do not reveal much about thyroid physiology. They usually only measure circulating hormones (T3 and T4) and pituitary stimulation of the thyroid (TSH).
Radiation toxicity, excessive oxidant stress or toxic chemicals can block hormone synthesis. Mercury and copper toxicity stimulate hormone synthesis.
Copper affects absorption by altering calcium and potassium levels. Cadmium or nickel toxicity affect hormone absorption by affecting the levels of calcium, sodium and other critical minerals.
Cells must also be able to respond to thyroid hormone stimulation. A range of vitamins and minerals are required for energy production in the glycolysis and carboxylic acid cycles in the mitochondria. If these co-factors are missing or toxins block steps in the pathway, thyroid hormone will be ineffective in increasing energy production.
Imbalances can occur at any stage of the production or utilization of thyroid hormone. The concepts of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are incomplete and often misleading as they only relate to hormone production and release. One person might have inadequate hormone production due to radiation damage. Another produces enough hormone, but has an autonomic imbalance preventing its release.
Another cannot transport enough hormones into the cells due to low cell permeability. Still another person might have adequate hormone production but be unable to utilize the hormones in the cells due to manganese deficiency or fluoride toxicity.
Another may have excess hormone production due to copper or mercury toxicity and at the same time have inadequate cell permeability, causing a mixture of hypothyroid and hyperthyroid symptoms.
Blood tests do not assess these factors. As a result, they miss many problems, may indicate a problem where none exists or may indicate one imbalance when the opposite condition exists at the cellular level.
Most commonly, serum thyroid tests are normal but a thyroid imbalance is present. This may occur because the normal ranges of the blood tests are too wide. TSH should not be above 3.5, yet many doctors still use 5 as the upper limit of normal. Additionally the blood tests cannot detect deficiencies and toxins affecting thyroid activity.
The most common imbalances are low thyroid effect due to impaired cell permeability in slow metabolizers and hyperthyroid symptoms due to copper or mercury toxicity of the thyroid gland. These commonly occur together causing a mixture of symptoms.
Hair analysis is excellent to help assess thyroid difficulties. It can indicate imbalances in many steps involved in thyroid hormone metabolism:
The opposite may also occur. When tissue calcium and magnesium are low, as in fast metabolizers, cell membranes are more permeable. This causes more rapid uptake of thyroid hormone into the cells and an increased thyroid effect. Serum thyroid hormone levels may be normal or even decreased. A physician who only measures serum hormone levels (T3 and T4) or TSH might conclude that the patient needs thyroid hormone. This will make the patient’s condition much worse, although it may provide a temporary energy boost.
The body may compensate for the inhibitory effect of high calcium and low potassium by increasing T3 and T4 to force more thyroid hormone into the cells. TSH may vary. The symptoms and blood tests cause some physicians to diagnose hyperthyroidism. Irradiation or even surgery may be recommended when the real problem is copper imbalance. This commonly occurs.