My Great Plains hair test results helped my integrative doctor to develop strategies to support my body through appropriate diet and supplementation.
Rice and traditional Chinese herbs can be high in arsenic, and fish contains more mercury; hence, I stopped eating or consume less of it to let my body eliminate the metals first.
Below is my 0.2g of hair. I also did a urine test for mycotoxins hence the FedEx clinical pack. If you order only the hair test, a paper envelope is given.
Pro of Great Plains Lab Hair Test
Overall, this test is useful, and when combined with other health screening results, I get a clearer picture. The results explained some nagging symptoms that I had for years like recurrent muscle cramps and dizziness and proper hydration (fluids and appropriate mineral supplementation) could ease the symptoms.
Cons of Great Plains Lab Hair Test
My gripes about GPL are the high shipping cost and the appointed shipping vendor. FedEx was challenging to work with due to punctuality and tracking issues. Filling up the form for shipping was time-consuming, and customer service wasn’t that fantastic. I was unsure about the process and charge if I switch vendors, so I gave FedEx a shot.
Overview of Great Plains Laboratory
Great Plains Laboratory (GPL) is quite well known in the functional/integrative medicine community as a reliable testing facility. GPL is based in the USA, with international customers. In Singapore, many hair tests are done at one-stop centers providing diagnosis, treatment, medications, and testing, and they require an in-person appointment. GPL does not sell supplements or remedies as opposed to other testing facilities. There is no pressure from hard selling and I can do the test from the comforts of my home.
List of elements tested:
Steps for submitting the Great Plains Lab Hair Test:
- Order the test (169 USD excluding shipping), and dispatch usually happens within the week of payment. Generally, you will receive the test kit within two working weeks if you’re in Singapore.
- Fold the black tabs down to make a fulcrum and place them on a level surface.
- Cut either the hair on your head or down under. Do not mix. For testing accuracy, the hair means the LAST 1 INCH nearest to the scalp, hence you might end up with some spots on your head. Pubic hair can be submitted if one is follicular challenged or hair is chemically treated, but it is not preferred.
- I didn’t have obvious bald spots as I cut the back of my head and my shoulder-length hair covers the spots adequately.
- Carefully section a small portion of hair and using a sharp pair of scissors cut as close to the scalp as possible. Then cut an inch from the long strands and place the 1-inch hair on the paper scale. Discard the rest. You’ll have to do this a couple of times to get the required amount (minimum 0.25g but 1g is preferable).
- When the scale tips over, place the hair into the zip lock bag. Place securely in an envelope and mail it. Results are emailed to you in a PDF file.
The report is much longer as for every deficient mineral or heavy metal toxicity, a write up on the element is given (link below for full sample report by GPL).
My Hair Test Results
The range GPL uses is narrower than the conventionally accepted threshold. Not all labs use the same range, the current recommended daily allowance (RDA) for essential minerals and vitamins is in a debate with calls for more research and revision. In functional medicine, the focus is to find the optimal range for wellness rather than the acceptable threshold that will not cause disease. The caveat is GPL report may be dismissed by conventionally trained doctors, and the FDA does not endorse it.
Why I did a hair analysis
I was unwell for a season. After basic health screening tests revealed vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin D & B12) amongst other issues, I wondered if mineral deficiencies and heavy metals could be part of my root cause(s). I had done a blood test for heavy metals locally, but the results were in the normal range. I struggled much with finding doctors who can help me improve or give satisfactory answers. I was led to functional medicine and wanted to approach health more holistically.
Heavy metals are found in not just fish but food and water. Crops like potatoes lean towards cadmium; rice tends to have arsenic, and tap water contains impurities and metals. Some people may have stronger reactions to these contaminants. With a constant presence of heavy metals, the body is not able to absorb essential minerals well and slide into a downward spiral. Hence, I took the test to get more information to plug the nutrients gap more effectively.
*This review is not meant for diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice. All contents are for general information purpose only. If you suspect you have a health problem, please consult a doctor and seek professional care from a qualified healthcare provider.
Official Website URL: https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/metals-hair-test