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Lab Tests

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

From Interclinical laboratories, HTMA measures the levels and comparative ratios of a variety of minerals found in hair from your scalp.

In Australia, we use Interclinical laboratories as our primary source of HTMA’s. The samples they receive are sent to TEI (Trace Elements Inc) in the United States. You can order adult kits or kids kits from us directly.

We prefer results from either of these sources (or other companies who use TEI), but can use other HTMA results too in most circumstances. 

If you have results from another laboratory, please contact us so that we can determine whether or not we can use these tests.

For more information on the best way to get hair samples, please check this video. Interclinical themselves have a great guide too, which you can review here or TEI have a great resource on their website here.

(Australian and New Zealand clients only)

International Clients
If you are in a country other than Australia or New Zealand, sorry to say, we can’t help you with the HTMA kit! The good news is that you will be able to find a local supplier.

Ideally, we suggest finding a HTMA lab who uses the TEI laboratories, such as Mineral Checks in the UK. Many clients order via Even Better Now because they use TEI but offer services around the world. Please check the information Even Better Now provide, as they too are unable to service some locations.

Trace Elements Inc (TEI) can be contacted directly here to ask them for the best company for your location. Results from ‘ARL‘ (Analytical Research Labs Inc) are another alternative to TEI with similar quality.

We can typically use results from other laboratories outside of these, but the results may require some additional adjustment by us before your consult, and/or we may mention to you that the laboratory “washes their samples” so we may see impacts on the results we see. It will still be something we can overall use to help you on your way forward (and maybe next time you could use a different lab).

If you aren’t sure, you are welcome to get in touch to check before you order your hair analysis kit. 

Blood Tests

Blood tests are important in determining mineral balance – Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) gives only part of the picture.

Whether you are living in Australia or overseas, below is a list of the bloods we use:

  • Iron studies (including Iron, Total Iron-binding Capacity (TIBC), Transferrin, Ferritin, Saturation)
    • Iron may be listed as ‘serum iron’
    • These are often grouped together and you may not know exactly what is provided – it can be worth asking to make sure it’s all
    • Sometimes all except ferritin may be grouped together
  • Plasma Zinc
  • ***Red Blood Cell (RBC) Magnesium – sometimes also known as Red Cell Magnesium
  • Serum Copper (sometimes just noted as ‘copper’)
  • Serum Ceruloplasmin
  • Haemoglobin (or ‘hemoglobin’)
  • Vitamin A (or Retinol)
  • Vitamin D (25[OH])  – sometimes known as ‘storage’ vitamin d
  • Highly recommended: Uric acid

*** –  RBC or red cell magnesium is becoming unavailable within Australia. If you can order this via your GP, please do. You can no longer be able to order it via iMedical as of September 2023, but may be able to access it via ‘iScreen’ instead. 

Optional: Vitamin D (1-25(OH) D3) – also known as ‘active’ vitamin d

This test can be expensive so it’s not an ‘absolutely need’, but worth considering if you are deeply worried about your vitamin d levels being too low or have high pressure on you from others that you need to address your “low” vitamin d.

Australian Clients
You may be able to get the blood results done through one of your existing physicians and they may bulk bill them. Many don’t want to do tests just because you ask for them, but generally if they can give adequate reasoning to Medicare as to why you need the tests done, they MAY consider it.

Please note, ALL states are losing the capacity to obtain RBC magnesium tests, no matter the laboratory you can access. Your GP may still be able to order it, but for how long we do not know.

At some stage, we understand that RBC magnesium will no longer be available via Clinical Laboratories and possibly other laboratory companies, but we do not know when this change will occur.

Queenslanders: please use Sullivan Nicolaides or Clinical Laboratories if you are able to access RBC magnesium within your panel. DO NOT USE QML. QML test RBC magnesium in a unit we cannot use.

Clinical Laboratories have some sites particularly around SE Queensland and some regional cities too, though aren’t as widespread as Sullivan Nicolaides. They are spreading through the state after another pathology company was taken over in 2021-2022. 

All other states: where possible, use ‘Clinical Laboratories’ as your location to get blood drawn/tested. As at 4th December 2023, we understand they may still offer RBC magnesium if your GP orders it, but we cannot be sure how long for.

Some other labs may test RBC magnesium via the right lab, but others do not use the RBC magnesium units we need. If they send their results to ‘RPAH’, it will not be in the right units and it will take at least a week typically to get the RBC magnesium back.

You may be able to get the blood results done through one of your existing physicians and they may bulk bill them. Many don’t want to do tests just because you ask for them, but generally if they can give adequate reasoning to Medicare as to why you need the tests done, they MAY consider it.

DIY blood tests

Australians also can order their own blood tests.  You may need to get some extras beyond what your GP will order, or you may prefer to bypass them altogether. You can access either ‘iScreen’ or ‘iMedical. Only adults can use this service. All child blood tests will need to be done via a GP or other practitioner.

iScreen

We suggest iScreen is worth looking at first for value for money and ease of use. Your RCPC can also access your results via a portal. Prices correct as at 4th Dec 2023.

Root Cause Protocol 1 – $249 AUD

  • Haemoglobin
  • Iron studies (iron/serum iron, transferrin, transferrin saturation, ferritin)
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • RBC magnesium
  • Urate (aka uric acid)

Root Cause Protocol 2 – $379 AUD

  • Haemoglobin
  • Iron studies (iron/serum iron, transferrin, transferrin saturation, ferritin)
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • RBC magnesium
  • Urate (aka uric acid)
  • Vitamin A (retinol)
  • Vitamin D (storage)

iMedical

Blood tests can calso be ordered via iMedical. Please be careful to choose the correct items and use the recommended collection centres per their forms and information, and BEFORE you buy, check anything you aren’t sure about. 

As RBC magnesium is no longer being offered for sale via this company, the laboratory you choose is not as much of a factor in the laboratory choice as it once was. Prices correct as at 4th Dec 2023.

MAG 2 – $185

  • Haemoglobin
  • Iron studies (iron/serum iron, transferrin, transferrin saturation, ferritin)
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Magnesium (likely not RBC magnesium)

If ordering via iMedical – VERY IMPORTANT:

iMedical only offer one option to order RCP related blood tests per the list below, but you can opt to add other items to this if you choose. You can add extras to your panel manually (except RBC magnesium). Please view the video below to learn more about how.

If in doubt, before you go to the lab or purchase your bloods, reach out to iMedical and confirm. 

International Clients

We have listed details for options in countries we have the resources for. These do change from time to time, and often we aren’t aware, so you may need to do your own local research.

Other countries may have other requirements so please contact us to discuss the tests if you cannot get them via ways you would normally do so in your country.

NZ:

PathLab may be able to offer the ‘Full Monty’ tests via patient requested labs. Please contact them directly to discuss. 

You can also self request some of the tests via Southern Community Laboratories, Wellington SCL, Medlab South, Taranaki Pathology Services via a single portal here

At this time, we are unaware of more extensive self-requested laboratory options outside of these, located on the South Island. Please let us know if you do find any options!

CANADA:

Canadian’s have some more challenges with requesting tests – many physicians will not do them, and depending on where you live, you are more restricted with what you can request yourself. Options to investigate via your GP/health care provider (or possibly DIY) could include:

  • Lifelabs
  • Gamma Dynacare 
  • bloodtestscanada.com (not all tests will be available – but get in touch with them to ask – demand may encourage them to diversify) 
  • Blood tests Canada – iron measures 
  • Or you may find it best to work with a Naturopath through the Mountain Health team

UK:

Limited options exist at this time for DIY blood tests, but please contact us if you are needing help to source options, as we may have resources or options to support you via our RCPC colleagues in the UK who can help.

USA:

Request A Test – This option is a bit more expensive than Ulta Labs, but it is available in a wider range of States, and also includes Vitamin A & D.

Ulta Labs – This option is less expensive than Request A Test, but it is not available in all States. This is the company to use if you wish to run blood tests on kids (Request-a-Test won’t do them at all for kids under 17 or 18!).

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