Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

What is the most thorough mineral test?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 8 Replies
  • Posted By: noonej
  • January 2, 2008
  • 07:37 AM

Hello, everyone --
I'm wondering what the absolute most thorough test to measure mineral levels in the body is. Something that could provide measurements of macrominerals, trace minerals, element levels, and compounds. My doctor, by his own admission, knows very little about which test(s) to order, so I thought I'd pool opinions here to suggest to him.

I have unexplained abdominal distention. You may remember my thread about it. (don't bother reading it if you haven't already) I've been working tirelessly with my doctors to reach a diagnosis and feel that we're getting closer by the minute. After months of tests coming back normal, several tests came back with abnormal results indicating malabsorption as the likely cause (although the underlying cause of the malabsorption is still a mystery). I'd like to confirm that malabsorption IS part of the problem and the mineral test would really help.

The two abnormal test results were as follows:
1. My Vitamin D levels tested at 16.1. The low end of the normal range for Vitamin D is around a 31 and the high end is around 80 or so. I eat an EXTREMELY healthy diet so this was a shock. I checked and I was getting about 500% of the daily recommended intake. Malabsorption seemed likely so my doctor gave me a MEGA dose of Vitamin D: 50,000 IU/week. We retested a month later and I just barely made it into the low end of the normal range: 33. Vit D is a fat soluble vitamin so this may provide clues as to what is causing the malabsorption.

2. I had my sodium levels measured and they were WAY, WAY low (not quite to the hyponatremic state, but close). My sodium intake at the time was very normal. I supplemented with iodized sea salt, taking in about 8-10 Grams of salt/day which is quite a lot. My doctor thought I was overdoing it, but when I got the test results back they showed I was near but still under the normal range.

Since my sodium was so low, I'm wondering what other minerals might be low as well. For the record, I'm a 24 y.o. long-distance runner and have had severe hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) for almost a decade. Even though I eat a healthy, balanced diet I think it's very possible that this has, over time, depleted me of essential minerals and may be the reason (or part of it) why my body is so out of wack. Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to read this. Hope you all have a great '08!

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8 Replies:

  • Malabsorption sounds right, but why ? Could be due to poor digestion, of course.Do you have a gallbladder ?Have you had lots of antibiotics ?What is the color of your stool ?Does your stool float ?This may sound different, but you could have sensitivities to minerals and vitamins and thus not absorb them correctly. I mention this due to your poor response to megadoses. Most health pros are not aware of this.Excessive sweating of course may get minerals out. Have you ever tried digestive enzymes for the bloating ?Do you have any official diagnoses like acid reflux, GERD, etc ?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 3, 2008
    • 02:07 AM
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  • Malabsorption sounds right, but why ? Could be due to poor digestion, of course.Do you have a gallbladder ?Have you had lots of antibiotics ?What is the color of your stool ?Does your stool float ?This may sound different, but you could have sensitivities to minerals and vitamins and thus not absorb them correctly. I mention this due to your poor response to megadoses. Most health pros are not aware of this.Excessive sweating of course may get minerals out. Have you ever tried digestive enzymes for the bloating ?Do you have any official diagnoses like acid reflux, GERD, etc ?Hey, thanks for the response and ideas. To answer your questions:- I have a gallbladder.- The only anti-biotic I can ever remember being on was tetracycline for acne for a few years. I no longer use it and hadn't used it for over a year before the problems started.- I think most of my stools sink, but some float occasionally (I believe). Color (brown) and type are normal.- I used to use a daily digestive enzyme before my problems got bad. It's only been recently that I knew I was suffering from malabsorption, so I'm going to start taking them again tomorrow (actually). I've recently tried pancreatic enzymes, however, and they had no effect.- I don't yet have an official diagnoses.- As for the sweating, I should be a little more specific. I'm kind of the demon seed of two heavy sweaters. My Mom had hyperhidrosis where she would sweat constantly regardless of body temp, nervousness, etc. This ended when she was around 21. My case was much more severe but it ended when I was 23. My Dad sweats way more than other people when he exercises but does not sweat throughout the day or during social interactions. This is where I'm at. I sweat more than anyone I've ever seen when I exercise, but don't sweat when I'm not exercising. If have also wondered if the sweating was to expunge minerals, because even though everyone in my family sweats, I sweat orders of magnitude more.- I will look into vitamin and mineral sensitivities.Thanks again.:)
    noonej 11 Replies
    • January 3, 2008
    • 03:29 AM
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  • Due to the antibiotic use, a probiotic supplement is probably indicated. On the sweating, sounds like parasymathetic nervous system dominance - the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems are out of balance.There are ways to handle that nutritionally. On the sensitivities, I would suggest some computerized testing with a BIM machine (BIM = Bioelectrical Impedance Measurement, used to be called EDS for ElectroDermal Screening) as these can easily test sensitivities at the rate of about 100 per hour. No needles or blood.For treatment of these I would suggest you access www.naet.com That is a site for as allergy / sensitivity elimination. It is different, but I have seen it work (as have some other docs I know) about 80% of the time. For minerals, some health pros use a hair mineral analysis. This can test what you are excreting and with correct interpretation by a health pro well trained in that it may help a lot.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 3, 2008
    • 04:45 AM
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  • Ah Ralph you got to this post before me:rolleyes: . The fact that you are taking 50,000 IU of a fat soluble vitamin is clearly showing that you are not assimilating things. You mention you have a healthy diet - what foods specifically do you eat? Do you eat a lot of grains? Do you eat much meat or other forms of protein? Do you crave any particular type of food - salty, sweet, fat, carbs? I have just recently read the book Micro Miracles concerning Enzyme therapy by Dr. Ellen Cutler. Please look for this book as it addresses bloating very specifically. Lipase is an enzyme that helps to break down fat, and may be deficient since you are not absorbint vit D, which is fat soluble. I don't think pancreatin is as good as a quality vegetarian enzyme mix (but also stay away from papaya based ones as they are not well assimilated in the body). I just ordered NSI's digestive enzymes from vitacost.com, but there are others... Please look into NAET or Bioset as this can really help address where exactly your inbalance lies. You may have problems with fats, carbs, or proteins. NAET can help you to assimilate the vitamin D so you no longer have to take a insane dose just to get a little in your system. Please look into these treatments - they are very helpful and may make a difference. - Ralph is right! Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies
    • January 3, 2008
    • 04:58 AM
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  • Ah Ralph you got to this post before me:rolleyes: . The fact that you are taking 50,000 IU of a fat soluble vitamin is clearly showing that you are not assimilating things. You mention you have a healthy diet - what foods specifically do you eat? Do you eat a lot of grains? Do you eat much meat or other forms of protein? Do you crave any particular type of food - salty, sweet, fat, carbs? I have just recently read the book Micro Miracles concerning Enzyme therapy by Dr. Ellen Cutler. Please look for this book as it addresses bloating very specifically. Lipase is an enzyme that helps to break down fat, and may be deficient since you are not absorbint vit D, which is fat soluble. I don't think pancreatin is as good as a quality vegetarian enzyme mix (but also stay away from papaya based ones as they are not well assimilated in the body). I just ordered NSI's digestive enzymes from vitacost.com, but there are others... Please look into NAET or Bioset as this can really help address where exactly your inbalance lies. You may have problems with fats, carbs, or proteins. NAET can help you to assimilate the vitamin D so you no longer have to take a insane dose just to get a little in your system. Please look into these treatments - they are very helpful and may make a difference. - Ralph is right! Best wishesDOMGreat info. Thanks. I just placed Micro Miracles on hold at the library and will pick it up tomorrow. As for my diet, I eat 3,500 calories/day. Given my age, weight, sex, and exercise level this is about perfect. My diet is very balanced and I eat almost no processed foods whatsoever. Here's what a typical day might look like:Meal #1- muesli with yogurt, mixed dried fruits, and nuts and seeds added. (I just started doing overnight soaks on the nuts and seeds to increase enzyme activity)- 12 oz. of V-8Meal #2- 10 grain (it's like oatmeal only it contains 9 other grains) with fresh berries- a couple scoops of wheyMeal #3- A turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread- A piece of fruit- A glass of milkMeal #4- A large bowl of frozen veggies with olive oil vinegarette- A glass of milk- A couple eggs with salsaMeal #5- a 14 bean/lentil mix with salsa on top- orange juiceAs for cravings, I don't really have any. I have almost no hunger whatsoever. The bloating gives me a constant sense of fullness and so I've just learned to eat when I know I should be hungry to maintain a healthy weight. I will definitely try out digestive enzymes and look into NAET. I have two other questions, though:1. What area of medicine does malabsorption problem fall under? It's GI I'm assuming. See, I saw a GI doc several weeks before the malabsorption was detected (I saw him for bloating, lack of appetite, etc.) and he dismissed me without running any tests mainly because I didn't have diarrhea. 2. Is it remotely possible that my fiber intake is causing the malabsorption? I eat 15 grams of fiber/1,000 calories which is up from the recommended 10 grams. Excessive fiber can cause malabsorption but it's my understanding that this really only happens when you eat WAY more than what's recommended.
    noonej 11 Replies
    • January 3, 2008
    • 09:57 PM
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  • Thanks for your additional post, Ralph. I'll respond to it as soon as I finish researching all the terms you mentioned.
    noonej 11 Replies
    • January 3, 2008
    • 10:00 PM
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  • Have you had your liver tested?
    DFJones2001 1 Replies
    • January 10, 2008
    • 04:49 PM
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  • Great info. Thanks. I just placed Micro Miracles on hold at the library and will pick it up tomorrow. As for my diet, I eat 3,500 calories/day. Given my age, weight, sex, and exercise level this is about perfect. My diet is very balanced and I eat almost no processed foods whatsoever. Here's what a typical day might look like: Meal #1- muesli with yogurt, mixed dried fruits, and nuts and seeds added. (I just started doing overnight soaks on the nuts and seeds to increase enzyme activity)- 12 oz. of V-8 Meal #2- 10 grain (it's like oatmeal only it contains 9 other grains) with fresh berries- a couple scoops of whey Meal #3- A turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread- A piece of fruit- A glass of milk Meal #4- A large bowl of frozen veggies with olive oil vinegarette- A glass of milk- A couple eggs with salsa Meal #5- a 14 bean/lentil mix with salsa on top- orange juice As for cravings, I don't really have any. I have almost no hunger whatsoever. The bloating gives me a constant sense of fullness and so I've just learned to eat when I know I should be hungry to maintain a healthy weight. I will definitely try out digestive enzymes and look into NAET. I have two other questions, though:1. What area of medicine does malabsorption problem fall under? It's GI I'm assuming. See, I saw a GI doc several weeks before the malabsorption was detected (I saw him for bloating, lack of appetite, etc.) and he dismissed me without running any tests mainly because I didn't have diarrhea. 2. Is it remotely possible that my fiber intake is causing the malabsorption? I eat 15 grams of fiber/1,000 calories which is up from the recommended 10 grams. Excessive fiber can cause malabsorption but it's my understanding that this really only happens when you eat WAY more than what's recommended. IMO opinion allopathic medicine does not address malabsorption issues or nutritional deficiencies very well. Most MD's have had about 10 hours worth of training in this, or less. A good naturopath or especially NAET practitioner would be better able to help this problem IMO. Think about it - what pharmaceutical drugs are there to help with malabsorption? None that I can think of. Consider that you are not taking EXCESSIVE fiber, but that the form of fiber you are taking your body is not using properly. By your diet - thanks for listing a sample here - I would suspect dairy issues as well as nut/seed issues. Also raisins and dried fruit can contribute to bloating. You might experiment by cutting out ALL dairy (yogurt,whey, cheeses, milk etc) AND nuts/seeds for a couple weeks and see if you have any improved symptoms. And do try an enzyme - this single thing has really improved my digestion. I hope you consider NAET - really think it would help you given your history and the malabsorption issues. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies
    • January 10, 2008
    • 07:28 PM
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