One of the most misunderstood pieces of a hair mineral analysis is the “toxic metal” categories. This article will hopefully help you understand how a correctly prepared hair mineral analysis analyzes toxic metals and what that means to you as a client.

Let me start by stating that there are NINE toxic metals/minerals that I look for on a client’s hair analysis. They are iron, copper, manganese, lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and nickel. EVERYONE has lots of these toxins in their body since it is impossible to completely avoid exposure in this day and age. Below is a handout that I give my clients so they can see where exposure exists and eliminate their exposure to toxins as much as possible. This handout is part of Dr. Wilson’s information. However I have added nickel and manganese to the list as some client’s requested this information. I suggest you take a pen and paper and start by making four columns. Label the columns as follows:

  • Column 1  – Current/Ongoing Toxic Exposure
  • Column 2 – Past Toxic Exposures
  • Column 3 – Current Symptoms
  • Column 4 – Past Symptoms

Start by reviewing just the “sources” of each toxin in the information below. Write any sources that you are currently exposed to in column 1 and any sources that you have been exposed to in the past in column 2. Next do the same with the symptoms, listing all current symptoms in column 3 and all past symptoms in column 4.

Toxic Metals: Sources and Symptoms

All the toxic metals can be passed from mother to child via the placenta


Sources:  Table salt (aluminum is added to this mineral deficient product as an anti-caking agent), antiperspirants (including “natural crystal” and “deodorant stones”), tap water (aluminum causes dirt to settle out of the water), a drying agent added to cocoa, table salt, and baking powder, most cosmetics use aluminum as a base, all prepared foods made with tap water, uncoated aluminum cookware, foods cooked or stored in aluminum foil, aluminum cans, antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids and many others), peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen are naturally high in aluminum, manydry animal feeds are contaminated with aluminum.

Early symptoms:  Flatulence, headaches, dryness of skin and mucous membranes, tendencies for burning pain in head relieved by food, loss of memory and mental confusion, some dementias, reduced sweating.

Later symptoms: Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anemia, colitis, dental cavities, kidney and liver dysfunction, neuromuscular disorders, Parkinson’s disease.


Sources: Pesticide residues, drinking water, some fish and other foods such as beer, table salt, paints, pigments, cosmetics, fungicides, pesticides, glassmaking, insecticides, rat poison, tanning leather and to preserve wood.

Symptoms: Anorexia, weakness, diarrhea, edema, keratosis, impaired healing, dermatitis, hair loss, sore throat, kidney damage, goiter, headache, vertigo, muscle spasms, stupor, fever, pallor,jaundice, abdominal pain, herpes


Sources: Cigarette and marijuana smoke, tap water, food grown on cadmium contaminated soil, refined and processed foods, processed meats, cola drinks, instant coffee, occupational exposure: battery manufacture, semiconductors, dental materials. Air pollution: incineration of rubber tires, plastic and paints, large fish such as tuna, cod and haddock.

Symptoms: Tends to harden and inflame the arteries leading to arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, impaired circulation, hypertension, heart failure, cancer, hypoglycemia, diabetes, mental illness, bone pain, osteoporosis, tendon problems, damages all body organs, loss of sense of taste, wound healing delayed, migraine headaches, psoriasis, kidney failure.


Sources:  Vegetarian diets, chocolate, avocado, some nuts, liver and kidneys, wheat germ and bran, copper water pipes, copper sulfate added to drinking water, compounds added to swimming pools, mineral supplements (especially prenatal vitamins), copper cookware, birth control pills, copper intrauterine devices, stress, weakened adrenal glands.

Physical symptoms: Acne, adrenal insufficiency, allergies, alopecia, anemia, anorexia, arthritis, autism, connective tissue problems of all kinds, hair and nail conditions, epilepsy or seizures, elevated cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, estrogen imbalance, fatigue, migraine headaches, hyperthyroidism, infections, inflammation, insomnia, multiple sclerosis,myocardial infarction, nausea, premenstrual tension, scoliosis, all skin conditions, tooth decay, urinary tract infections.

Mental emotional symptoms: Copper is often involved in most cases of anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, fears, mind racing, mood swings, panic attacks, schizophrenia, spaciness.


Sources: Fluoridated drinking water, mouth wash, toothpaste, fluoride treatments done in the dental office, fruit juices and all foods processed with tap water

Symptoms: Hypothyroidism, hip and other fractures, brown discoloration and brittleness of teeth, birth defects, lowered IQ, cancer, neuromuscular conditions, bone diseases


Sources:  Red meats, white flour products, vitamin and mineral supplements (especially pre-natal vitamins), organ meats, kelp, Irish moss, and green vegetables, although the iron is not utilized as well from vegetables.

Symptoms of deficiency: Fatigue, weakness, brittle or ridged nails, decreased resistance, slow oxidation, pallor, low blood pressure, anemia, dizziness.

Symptoms of excess: Anger, liver disease, cancer, iron deposits in organs, diabetes, arthritis, cirrhosis of the liver, schizophrenia, emotional problems, high blood pressure, myasthenia gravis, hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis


Sources: Lead arsenate and other pesticides, tap water (especially from wells with lead soldered pipes or other contamination), some hair dyes and some lipsticks, leaded glazes on ceramic plates from other nations, manufacture of batteries, mine smelting industries, cigarette smoke, food cans soldered with lead, lead based paints, colored inks.

Symptoms: Lead has over 100 symptoms. Abnormal brain function, blindness, convulsions, deafness, dyslexia, encephalitis, epilepsy, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, vertigo, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, colic, constipation, weight loss, spontaneous abortions, infertility, hypothyroidism, cancer, diabetes, hypoglycemia, anxiety, poor concentration, mood swings, nightmares, psychotic behavior, alopecia.


Sources: All fish, dental amalgams, medications, diuretics, preparation H, contact lens solution, occupational exposure to felt, adhesives, fabric softener, manufactures of paper.

Symptoms: Affects many organs and system of the body. Neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis, most mental illness, hair loss, ataxia, birth defects, depression, dizziness, hearing loss, insomnia, migraine headaches, mood swings, nervousness, numbness and tingling in arms and legs, pain in limbs, rashes, tremors, vision loss, muscle weakness.


Sources:  Rooibos tea or red teas, metallic dental braces (very important), Possibly Breville and Sunbeam water boilers that use nickel-plated immersion heaters, hydrogenated vegetable oils, contaminated alcoholic beverages, margarines and imitation whip cream, commercial peanut butter, nickel-plated jewelry, kelp (if contaminated), unrefined grains and cereals, oysters, all teas, herring, nickel plating on metallic objects, cigarette smoking, manufacture of steel, batteries – machine parts – wires, electrical parts, lifting steel weight or handling anything made of steel.

Symptoms:  Many symptoms are related to nickel toxicity including kidney dysfunction, heart attack, cancer (oral, intestinal and lung), skin problems, nausea, vomiting, hemorrhages, malaise, low blood pressure, muscle tremors, tetany and paralysis.


Sources: Water, gasoline fumes and exposure to welding.

Symptoms:  Anorexia, neurological symptoms, ataxia, schizophrenia (often unemotional type behavior, unlike copper-based schizophrenia), criminal behavior, iron deficiency and Parkinson’s-like symptoms.

As you can see you have a long list of both current and past exposures to toxins. This should help you understand how and why you are toxic, even if you feel well. It also allows us to understand how babies are born with toxicity since toxins are passed to the fetus through the placenta. It is no surprise that many infants are born ill and children are becoming ill at earlier ages than ever before. We live in a very toxic world and it is much more toxic than it was even a decade ago.

Therefore when a client’s report shows very little toxic activity it does NOT mean that the client does not have that toxin. It does mean that the toxin is NOT being eliminated and has been stored away in tissues, cells and organs of the body where when left “unattended” can do a lot of harm to the body (as you can clearly see by the list of symptoms related to toxic metals).

When an initial  report shows a lot of toxicity it is safe to assume that the body has been overloaded to the point it can no longer contain or “store” the toxin and therefore it is spilling out of the body.  This is like a closet that is so full the door finally breaks open and everything begins to fall out. Often this can mean there is a lot of past or ongoing exposure to that particular toxin.

So whether very little toxins are present or large amounts of toxins are showing, every client enters the program with toxicity. The purpose of the program is to give EACH client what he or she needs to begin to balance the body so the body can naturally detox, eventually find a balanced oxidation rate, and discover homeostasis. A retest allows me to see how the body is clearing metals and what needs to be adjusted to continue moving a client towards homeostasis.

When toxic metals are elevated on a retest this is good news – assuming the client is following my Nutritional Balancing Program. This means the metal is dumping or being eliminated from the body since once a client starts the program the body will begin to “naturally” detox and remove metals in it’s own time. How the body detoxes is completely up to each individual’s body’s own wisdom. No chelating agents or unsafe detoxification methods are used on the program as this can often move toxins that aren’t ready to be moved from one place to another and actually create more illness, rather than promote healing.

It is important to understand that metals will be dumped in “spurts”. It is like tackling a big job such as cleaning out a very large closet that hasn’t been cleaned in years. It may take a long time to get the job done, even years, but the body can become stronger and healthier as the process continues. Eventually the program is designed to keep the body healthy and functioning properly by getting the body to a healthy state where it can eventually eliminate “most” toxins as they are introduced rather than store them in tissues and organs where they can cause disease.

It is also important to understand that I am looking for NINE toxic metals in the body and there are literally dozens of other metals AND chemicals that will be eliminated on the program too! 

So while the information I get from a client’s toxic metal results is important, it is equally important to know that toxins are rampart, whether they are in poor elimination or showing as “toxic” on the report. Therefore, the first test is not nearly as “telling” as the retests – where we see the results of the program! What is important is having the analysis done and receiving your program so you can start the cleansing and healing process.

Remember that you can expect to see fluctuations in the metals as they are dumped and continue to dump over time. The retests, which can be done twice a year, are a great source of feedback. They allow me to make all necessary adjustments to your program and keep you on the road to healing.

Remember I am looking to help you REMOVE the sources of disease and illness, and future disease and illness, by giving your body the ability to eliminate toxins – the source of all illness. I am not here to give you a quick fix or “temporary” remedy that may make you feel better for the short term but never addressing the real issues. If you cut a weed off at the ground level, it grows back. The only way to really get rid of the weed is to remove it from the root. My program is designed to do the same.

If you want to find true wellness, you have to give the body the opportunity it needs to heal and be patient. As Hippocrates said: “Healing is not only a matter of time, but a matter of opportunity.”  Contact me today if you want to learn more about how a Nutritional Balancing Program can place you on the road to wellness! Click on my “HAIR ANALYSIS AND CONSULTATION PACKAGES” for more information on how to get started.