Welcome back to More Than Healthy as we continue to share our weekly health tips. Today we’re going to talk about Week 58 Tip, How to interpret System Support Energetic Indicators on your More Than Healthy hair analysis report. Click on this link to watch the video.
First Week of the Month = Hair Analysis Report Explanation
At the beginning of 2023, we explained that the first tip of each month would be dedicated to different sections of the hair analysis report. Over the year, we’ll be providing details and explanations about each page of the hair analysis. Our goal is to help you understand the immense value of hair analysis. Each page of the hair analysis report is full of information that is very personal and pertinent to your health.
If you’ve already done a More Than Healthy hair analysis, you might want to have your report nearby as you read this post. We’re reviewing the System Support Energetic Indicators page, which is usually page 4 in your report. (For information on how to sign up for hair analysis, scroll to the end of this post.)
What does the Systems Support Energetic Indicators page look like?
This page of your hair analysis report has a large circle in the center. Any area of the circle that is colored in green is an area of concern that needs attention. (Note: Some reports may also have pink sections too. These are additional areas of concern, but not top priority.) And, if you look closely, those high-lighted areas will have a number, which reflects the number of priority. You’ll want to focus on the area that is highlighted green with the #1 first, and so on.
The size of the portion of the circle is relevant as well. The bigger the box, the bigger the problem. The smaller the box (or section of the circle), the healthier you are in that area.
Additionally, you may have a letter in parentheses following the Systems Support Energetic Indicator’s name. For example, on the sample report pictured above, the #1 highlighted priority is the Adrenal System. The #2 highlighted priority area is Microbial Balance, #3 is Protein Synthesis, and #4 is Sugar Metabolism. In each of those highlighted areas, there is a (P) following the indicator’s name. That P stands for priority, or “very high relevancy.” You may also see other letters, which have the following meanings:
EPIGENETIC RELEVANCY INDEX
P = Very high relevancy – Priority (should be addressed now as a priority action)
A = High relevancy – Advisory (should be addressed as secondary action)
C = Moderate relevancy – Consider (should be considered for action)
N = Normal relevancy – No action (no action suggested at this time)
There will be other pages in your report where you’ll see these same letters, numbering, and highlighting systems, so it is helpful to understand.
For some personal anecdotes relating to some of these sections, make sure to check out David and Carla’s informative vlog on the subject here.
Let’s break down each of the indicators listed in the circle and take a look at what they really mean when it comes to your health.
Systems Support Energetic Indicators
Gut & Intestinal
We have been focused on gut and intestinal health from the very beginning of More Than Healthy; in fact, it’s the purpose that we exist at all. We even wrote a book about it: Unlocking the Leaky Gut Code, which documents David’s story. It tells about the struggle to figure out that his health issues all stemmed from the same sneaky source – his gut. It also shares how to heal a leaky gut. He has spent years working hard to heal his gut, and wow has it made all the difference!
There is more than enough research proving that our health begins in the gut. But let’s talk about digestive disorders specifically. Intestinal problems affect millions of Americans each year, and they’re on the rise. In fact, more Americans are hospitalized with digestive diseases than any other condition.
These conditions involve the digestive tract (also known as the gastrointestinal, or GI, tract), which includes the esophagus, liver, stomach, small and large intestines, gallbladder, and pancreas.
What are the symptoms of gut and intestinal problems?
Digestive disorders include a slew of diseases and can run the gamut from mild to severe. Common disorders include reflux, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, etc. Signs and symptoms of digestive issues can include bleeding, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, pain, nausea, and/or vomiting.
There are many other symptoms and conditions related to leaky gut, however. Here is a partial list of symptoms that may also be linked to leaky gut:
- Chronic fatigue and muscle pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Frequent illness
- IBS (Inflammatory bowel disease)
- Migraine headaches, brain fog, and memory loss
- Multiple food sensitivities or allergies
- Nutrition deficiencies
- Psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions
- Seasonal allergies or asthma
- Insomnia or sleeplessness
Why is gut health so important?
Did you know that about 70% of the immune system is housed in the gut? Our gut is responsible for so much that keeps our body working. It breaks down the foods we eat, allows absorption of nutrients that support bodily functions, produces energy, helps balance hormones, affects toxin and waste elimination, and maintains everything from skin health to mental health. Keeping our gut and intestines healthy is key to keeping ourselves ‘whole-body’ healthy.
And, an important reminder that the gut provides approximately 95% of total body serotonin, that “happy hormone” that affects both mood and sleep. An unhealthy and imbalanced gut has a harder time producing and regulating that serotonin, which affects your ability to feel happy and to get a restful night’s sleep.
If this system support energetic indicator is marked as a priority, it’s important that you work to figure out what’s going on. This probably will include removing foods that are problematic for you. Many medications cause damage to the gut as well. After David worked hard to remove offending foods and get off medications, his digestive system started working great. Even better, he feels great and has never been healthier. As added proof, this area no longer comes up as a priority on his hair analysis report.
Brain health is another incredibly important area we focus on here at More Than Healthy. During the years that David struggled so much with various health issues, one of the problems that frightened him and his family the most was brain fog. Brain fog is characterized by confusion, forgetfulness, and lack of focus. He and his kids honestly thought he was experiencing early-stage dementia. This brain fog was likely due to the inflammation he had throughout his body. When you have inflammation in your body you probably have inflammation in the brain, too.
Brain health is a critical piece to your overall health. It underlies your ability to problem-solve, communicate, make decisions, and live a productive and useful life. Because the brain controls so much of daily function, it is arguably the single most valuable organ in the human body.
Symptoms of issues that might flag the brain indicator include confused thinking or a reduced ability to concentrate. It might also include significant tiredness and low energy. Problems sleeping are also linked to the brain.
The good news is that there is much you can do to keep your brain healthy. Diet is closely linked to brain health. Once David started changing his diet and getting rid of his chronic inflammation, it was amazing how quickly his short-term memory returned. Now his wife Carla insists he is mentally sharper than ever! Other things we can do to help impact brain health include getting adequate sleep, especially REM and deep sleep, exercise, and staying mentally active.
Closely related to gut health is the digestion indicator. This is also associated with leaky gut – the struggle to properly digest food.
Digestion is vital because it’s how our body accesses the nutrients from what we eat and drink in order to function and stay healthy. It’s this process that breaks proteins down into amino acids, fats into fatty acids and glycerol, and carbohydrates into simple sugars (energy). It’s the digestive system that gets all of these into small enough parts for our bodies to use for energy, growth, and cell repair.
Here are some of the main symptoms and side effects that come from problems with digestion:
We’re all pretty familiar with the side effects that happen when we overeat, or when we eat something that doesn’t agree with us. But chronic digestive problems can mean chronic side effects, including:
- Stomach cramps
- Acid reflux
An unhealthy digestive system has trouble processing food and properly getting rid of food waste.
Unexpected weight gain or loss.
Both losing and gaining weight without a change to diet or exercise habits can mean problems with gut and digestion. When there is an imbalance in these systems, you’ll have trouble absorbing nutrients, regulating blood sugar, recognizing that you’re full, and storing fat. All of this can be a precursor to even more serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Do you wake up tired? Are you tired before the day has even begun? Digestion problems and an unhealthy gut are directly linked with lack of energy, chronic fatigue, and sleep disorders.
You might be surprised to learn how interconnected skin health is with any and all of our gut/digestive/microbial health. If you are broken out, it’s a sign that there is something going on in there. When there are imbalances in the gut and problems with digestion, (when there is more harmful bacteria than good bacteria), it can truly wreak havoc on your skin. Skin conditions like eczema and acne and psoriasis have been linked to inflammation in the gut, food allergies, and poor digestion.
A food intolerance is different than a food allergy. A food can upset your stomach and be difficult to digest well without being a full-blown allergy. This can commonly happen with certain types of foods, such as dairy or wheat. This is another sign of leaky gut and an imbalance in the gut microbiome.
You might be surprised to learn that mood changes can be the result of digestion problems and gut imbalances. The gut has so much influence over all the body’s functions that it’s even been called the “second brain.” Research confirms over and over that anxiety, depression, mood swings, and emotional health are all tied to the health of the gut. As mentioned above in the Gut and Intestinal indicator, important mood-enhancing chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are produced and regulated in the gut.
If your report shows the Digestion indicator as a priority, it is a good idea to get on top of this before it leads to more significant health issues.
Here is another area that is closely related to the Gut and Intestinal and Digestion indicators, because all of the above is affected by the balance of microbes in your gut.
There’s a whole universe housed in your gut microbiome. Our body houses around 30 trillion human cells. But believe it out not, our gut microbiome consists of an estimated 39 trillion microbial cells, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live on and in us. These cells are tiny but have tremendous power – and potential! It’s a whole ecosystem in there.
And this ecosystem is remarkably important. The gut microbiome controls fat storage, assists and activates nutrient absorption, breaks down toxins, and even creates blood vessels. The microorganisms in our gut replenish the linings of the gut and skin and replace damaged, dying cells with new ones. They also help prevent illness, as our native microbes compete with invading cells.
When this all-important microbiome balance is disturbed, it contributes to a slew of health problems, including weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other disorders. When our microbial balance is off, we’re much more vulnerable to disease. It can also be the gateway to many autoimmune diseases.
Oxidative stress, which is basically inflammation, is an incredibly important health marker. Inflammation is the root cause of most health issues. When David had bladder cancer, his body couldn’t effectively fight the cancer cells since it was on constant high alert dealing with chronic inflammation in his body. He and Carla believe this is why his cancer recurred three times. This allowed those tumors to grow.
Oxidative stress wreaks havoc on your body. It breaks down cell tissue and causes DNA damage. This is what causes the inflammation. This combination can lead to many lifelong diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and cancer. It is also the cause of most visible aging that occurs in the body.
Signs that oxidative stress is happening in your body include:
- Memory loss and/or brain fog
- Muscle and/or joint pain
- Wrinkles and grey hair
- Decreased eyesight
- Headaches and sensitivity to noise
- Susceptibility to infections
We have talked about ways to combat oxidative stress and reduce free radical damage in many of our More Than Healthy posts. You can check them out at the following links:
- The Health Benefits of the Right Amount of Vitamin C
- The Benefits of Adding Healthy Herbs and Good Seasonings to Your Meals
- The Health Benefits of Fermented Food
- The Health Benefits of Curcumin (Turmeric)
- The Health Benefits of a Quarterly Cleanse
- The Negative Effects of Taking NSAIDs
…and many more! You can look through a wealth of health information in our More Than Healthy blog post repository.
The immune system is another indicator that many people will see as high-priority on their hair analysis report. This one is a little more obvious, as the most common symptom is that you may struggle with getting sick often.
Some other signs to watch for that may indicate a compromised immune system include:
- Dry or gritty eyes
- Skin rash
- Stomach/bowel problems
- Cold hands/feet
- Hair loss
- Sun sensitivity
- Joint pain
- Wounds slow to heal
The immune system is greatly affected by the foods we eat, so the first line of defense often includes removing foods you are sensitive to. It’s also very important to add plenty of citrus fruits, leafy greens, yogurt, good oils, and other immune-boosting foods.
Adrenal glands produce hormones that are essential to life. They help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress, and other essential functions of the body. The term “adrenal insufficiency” refers to the inadequate production of one or more of these hormones.
If this indicator is a priority for you, it’s extremely important to work on this area before addressing the others.
Signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may include:
- Body aches
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of body hair
- Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation)
The hormone system is a big challenge for many because so many things we deal with in life throw off our hormonal balance. Having too many or too little causes health issues.
Dozens of medical conditions are caused by hormone issues.
Some common hormone-related problems include:
- Irregular menstruation cycles
- Thyroid disease
There are multiple hormone systems in the body, and just one system can throw off our whole hormonal balance. This is a complex and difficult area to regulate. There is a lot you can do with food and supplements that can help to balance your hormones. However, sometimes a referral to a nurse or doctor specializing in hormonal balance will be necessary.
This important system regulates how your body takes in fats, carbohydrates, and proteins and converts them into energy. It involves those important mitochondria, basically the powerhouses of our cells. Malfunctioning mitochondria are linked to diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and normal aging. But even in healthy people, mitochondria deteriorate as we grow older.
Mitochondrial diseases are notoriously difficult to recognize and get diagnosed. If your cells are having an “energy crisis,” typical symptoms may include muscle weakness and pain, digestive problems, heart disease, seizures, and many other symptoms. Some of these conditions lead to early death.
The immediate problem with an imbalance in energy production is, unsurprisingly, low energy.
If you have ongoing problems in regulating energy metabolism, it may result in conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and some types of cancer.
This is another complicated process in the body. If it’s highlighted on your report, you definitely want to address it as it can cause big issues for you later in life.
Related to energy production, this indicator refers specifically to how well your body is able to assimilate protein. Even if you eat plenty of healthy proteins, your body may not be capable of absorbing them properly. You may have a secondary condition, such as a fungus, that keeps your body from utilizing it properly. If that’s the case, you have to deal with that issue first before you can resolve your protein synthesis.
If your body isn’t getting enough protein it is unable to make important components like hormones and enzymes and make or maintain muscle.
Problems with protein synthesis are believed to be a primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, cystic fibrosis, Gaucher’s disease, and many other disorders.
You might want to also check out our blog post, Eat the Right Amount of Good Protein for Your Body.
Fatty Acid Metabolism
Fatty acid metabolism is another one that can be difficult to discover. This process occurs in the mitochondria of your cells. In simple terms, fatty acids are broken down into two molecules and then used by the mitochondria to produce energy. The process is complex and lots of systems have to be working correctly for this process to work.
When your body can’t break down fatty acids and convert them to energy, the result is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and low energy levels. Another problem is that fatty acids can build up in body tissues, causing damage to the liver and brain.
Fatty acid disorders may present some of the following symptoms:
- Recurring hypoglycemia
- Failure to thrive
- Persistent vomiting
- An enlarged liver
- Damaged muscle tissue
Good sugars are vital because your body turns them into energy. The problem comes when we eat too much sugar and foods that turn into sugar. If your body can’t use the sugar for energy, it will store it in the form of fat to use for future energy. If it’s not needed, it will keep storing it. This is the basic reason for weight problems.
Being overweight comes with a whole list of possible health problems. But independent of added weight gain, problems with metabolizing sugar are linked to fatty liver, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Are you getting enough liquid hydration on a daily basis? This indicator is basically about drinking sufficient water. And, since research says that less than 22% of us get enough water per day, this might be a problem area for many.
Approximately 66% of your body is made of water, and 75% of your brain is water. This vital liquid helps the body to regulate temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, protects the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of waste properly.
Not getting enough water has many adverse side effects. Some signs of chronic dehydration include:
- being unable to focus or concentrate
- passing darker urine than usual
- tiredness or fatigue
- muscle weakness and cramps
- dry, flaky skin
- altered kidney, heart, or digestive function
The quality of your water matters, too, and what you’re drinking might shock you. Read more about this important subject in our blog post, The Health Benefits of Quality Water. To learn ways to increase your water take, check out our post Drink More Water.
Another good term for this indicator is STRESS. There are good forms of stress – the kind you feel when you’re excited, like when you ride on a roller coaster or go on a first date. Good stress also helps you perform well when you have to give a presentation at work or compete in a game.
We’re exposed to plenty of bad stress, however, and we’re all pretty familiar with it. This kind of stress wears you out and is harmful to your health. Stress can be short-term and acute or long-term and chronic. Chronic stress takes a heavy toll and can result in health problems like headaches, insomnia, weight gain, anxiety, pain, and high blood pressure. At the very least, it results in “distress,” which affects our ability to function well and be happy.
Long-term activation of the body’s stress response system overexposes us to cortisol and other stress hormones that disrupt almost all the body’s processes. In addition to the problems listed above, this puts us at risk for serious problems like heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Our More Than Healthy blog post repository has some great articles on how to combat stress and regulate emotions, including:
- The Health Benefits of Breathwork
- The Health Benefits of Listening to Uplifting Music, Podcasts, or Books
- The Health Benefits of Stretching
- The Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy
- The Health Benefits of Hot Baths
- Use a Gratitude Journal
…and many more!
Sleep is such an important indicator of health! And it is a challenge for so many of us. The statistics don’t lie…about 70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders, and sleep deprivation affects about one-third of all American adults.
Insufficient sleep is linked to many chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Here at More Than Healthy, we believe that sleep is the foundation to all health. You simply can’t out-eat or out-exercise insufficient sleep.
Sleep plays an important role in almost every system of the body. Along with those mentioned above, poor sleep is also strongly linked to:
- Poor mental health
- Hormone imbalances
The detoxification system refers to your ability to remove toxins from your body. When it’s functioning well, the body is incredibly well-equipped to eliminate toxins, and this system works round-the-clock to keep you alive.
But, just because we have a built-in detox system doesn’t mean it’s always able to function well. Sometimes it needs extra support.
Symptoms that indicate your body isn’t naturally detoxing as well as it should be can include:
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
- Brittle toenails
- Bad breath
- Weight gain
Ongoing detoxification problems can increase your risk of many diseases, such as cancer, chemical pneumonia, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.
The best way to maintain healthy detox systems is through daily nutrition and lifestyle practices. Through hair analysis, you can also determine specific types of detoxes that will help kickstart your health, including detoxes for parasites, molds, fungi, heavy metals, etc. We also offer a free More Than Healthy 7-Day Detox, developed by Carla Meine, CFNC. Click here to get yours today.
For more information, check out our blog post on The Health Benefits of a Quarterly Cleanse.
Circulatory System (or Cardiovascular Health)
This indicator covers anything to do with your heart health. You already know that heart health is absolutely central to overall health. The heart is responsible for pumping nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. It supplies oxygen while removing toxins and waste. The cardiovascular system is responsible for just about everything that gives your body life. It’s hard to overstate the importance of taking good care of your heart.
The cardiovascular (or circulatory) system is interconnected to so many other systems and functions. A problem in one part can have a ripple effect on the entire system, and ultimately, the entire body.
Problems in these systems can cause a whole range of issues, including:
- Problems with your heart’s ability to pump effectively
- Changes to your heart’s physical structure
- Inefficient blood flow
- Blocked or narrowed blood vessels
- Weakened blood vessels
Taking care of these systems can help you to avoid cardiovascular diseases, aneurysms, arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and heart disease, to name a few.
Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death globally. But did you know that most of these cases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity? It’s important to detect cardiovascular (circulatory) system problems as early as possible so that you can prevent these diseases.
The musculoskeletal system includes your bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendon and connective tissues. It affects the performance of the whole body’s locomotor system.
Impairments to this system comprise more than 150 different diseases and conditions, usually accompanied by temporary and sometimes lifelong limitations in your ability to function and participate fully in life. These limitations affect your mobility and dexterity, and often reduce your ability to work, and equally important, play!
Additionally, most musculoskeletal problems are accompanied by persistent pain. In fact, musculoskeletal structure pain is the most common form of non-cancer pain.
Getting ahead of these conditions is key to your ability to live a healthy and happy life.
Hair analysis = knowledge, knowledge = power
Wow, that is a LOT of information! And, this is just one page of your 34-36 page hair analysis report! Hair analysis looks at the root cause of disease. It gives you an up-close look at vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, amino acids, immune factors, environmental exposures, parasites, mold, and fungal overgrowth. This is an invaluable tool that allows you to figure out exactly what your body really needs for optimal health.
How can I get a hair analysis?
Haven’t had your hair analysis done yet? Go to our website to learn more and schedule your hair analysis today. Hair analysis is easy (it only takes about 15 minutes), painless, non-invasive, and affordable.
Here at More Than Healthy, we love coaching you on your health journey. Nothing makes us happier than helping clients to live life as fully as possible and achieve optimal health.