Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Hair Analysis: Can Hair Analysis Really Help to Diagnose and Treat Fibromyalgia?
Amongst the more traditional diagnostic tests used in fibromyalgia diagnosis, one fibromyalgia test that is becoming increasingly popular is hair analysis. Hair analysis, also known as hair follicle testing, is a form of testing generally used in scientific research, drug testing and forensics, but which is now being used more and more to help diagnose and treat a variety of health conditions and diseases, including fibromyalgia syndrome. But how can hair analysis diagnose fibromyalgia? And moreover, how does hair analysis work and how accurate is it?
What is Hair Analysis?
Hair analysis is a procedure in which a small sample of hair is used to assess an individual’s health.
Hair is the second most metabolically active tissue in the body; its makeup is influenced by genetics, hormones, the environment and even perspiration.
Protein found in hair tells us what the individual has been exposed to, including radiation, toxins and heavy metals. An exposure rate to toxins of anything above 50% can have a serious impact on the health of the individual. A hair follicle test can also tell us whether the individual has any vitamin, mineral and nutritional deficiencies.
Unlike a blood test, which tells a doctor what is going on inside of the cell and what waste is being expelled from the body, hair analysis reveals what is happening within the cells and what is being stored in the body.
Hair Analysis: How the Procedure Works
A medical professional will instruct the patient as to how to prepare the sample, including where the hair should be taken from and how much hair is needed.
The hair sample is then sent to the lab, where it is tested for toxins.
Test results can be affected by the type and condition of hair, as well as a person’s age and sex.
What Does Hair Analysis Tell Us About Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
Because hair analysis correlated certain levels of exposure to certain diseases, it can help diagnose fibromyalgia symptoms and can be used to establish a healthier fibromyalgia diet, as well as to determine the best fibromyalgia treatment for the individual.
Studies have found that the hair samples of fibro patients had a higher incidence of calcium and magnesium levels than their counterparts who did not have fibromyalgia syndrome
As a result of the findings, calcium and magnesium supplements were added as supplementary fibromyalgia treatment.
Another medical view of hair analysis and its benefits for fibro patients is that fibromyalgia is caused by exposure to certain toxins, such as aspartame, which the body cannot eliminate. As a result, the body creates pain receptors in the muscle fibers, a response which leads to common fibromyalgia symptoms such as chronic pain, impaired vision and depression.
Accuracy of Hair Analysis
According to some medical experts, hair analysis has a high rate of accuracy, even more so than urine and blood tests. However, hair follicle testing is still a controversial form of testing within the medical community, and some experts question its validity and point out the lack of accuracy of this testing process. One recent study found that this lack of accuracy was likely due to the absence of standardized lab procedures.
However, there are certain factors that can affect the accuracy of hair analysis, including:
- the area from which hair is taken
- environmental factors: where you live and work affects your exposure to toxins
- the use of hair products
- rate of hair growth
Multiple testing is usually recommended every few to several months in order to follow up on the patient’s health and to determine whether treatment has led to an improvement of fibromyalgia symptoms.
The Costs of Hair Analysis
The average lab fee for a hair follicle testing procedure is $85, however overall costs of hair analysis can range anywhere from $100 up to $200.
At-home hair follicle tests, in which the individual prepares a hair sample and then mails it to the lab, are a more economic option, averaging about $30 to $70.