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September, 2002

Hair Analysis

by Karon Gibson, RN

Have you felt uneasy, experienced general malaise or been irritable?

Some people credit this to menopause or other causes. This may be due to a chemical imbalance which can only be detected by a very noninvasive test-a simple hair analysis. Only one tablespoon of hair is necessary (near the root is best for current analysis on your body now)

Some say this is the best way to check your system since a blood test shows what is in your blood at that exact time-not an overall example of what is happening steadily. Hair is current waste. Your hair contains all the minerals present in your body, including nutritional minerals and toxic heavy metals. It is a laboratory test that measures these levels of mineral content in your hair and portrays a vivid picture of your internal system. Your nutritional status can be seen and it shows how well your body is functioning, absorbing and eliminating everything you ingest. This can also show deficiencies in your body and tells you what supplements you need without guessing.

Everyone's nutritional needs are different-a multivitamin can give someone more of something than they need or can eliminate.

This test can be used as a nutritional guide for the consumer to help what to eat or not eat for your system. This is a preventive health test to avoid illness although some do it after they are ill and don't know why. Hair dyes and soaps can cause changes in the test, but usually only in the individual element it affects. Bleaching can affect the calcium. If you do not know which minerals you have in excess and avoid them, they can antagonize others-zinc can antagonize Vitamin D-which can then affect calcium. Many other interactions are also possible. All ages can be tested simply.

While you may take vitamins and minerals for your health too much of something may put you at the same risk factor as too little. Some people have copper excess from the water they drink out of copper tubing. Many things affect the quality of our food and our ability to absorb it. Soil is a big factor as are the chemicals used on them and our inherited characteristics and genetic predispositions. Your metabolic type can also be determined as some minerals speed us up and others slow us down. Weight, however, may not be an indication of what type of metabolizer you are if you have poor digestion or absorption. Glandular imbalances may also be involved. Mineral patterns in the hair can reveal vitamin status although vitamins are not found in the hair. You may have imbalances without symptoms. Medications can also affect the hair such as steroids for pain can affect calcium. Excess iron can cause damage to cells. It has been said that chelates are better than other supplements. It is also best to avoid things that cause allergies such as wheat, yeast, alfalfa, milk or corn, salt, sugar, wax, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives or hydrogenated oils. Hair analysis is a test that can provide you with knowledge as your body changes. I have seen ultrasensitive hearing apparently caused by a magnesium deficiency disappear after vitamins were taken as I have seen copper cause nervousness and upset which was thought to be from menopausal symptoms be relieved after vitamins to alleviate the copper excess were taken. People often think that regular medical tests and blood tests would show these things, but, often these particular things are not tested for at all. I recently attended a luncheon at a unique place called the "Michael Field's Agricultural Institute” in East Tray, Wisconsin where they research food and the farming involved. A Future column will give you information from their researcher about the foods we eat and how we need to help farming to help ourselves. For further info on hair analysis contact Karon Gibson RN at or call 815-773-4497.  Karon is co-author of “Nurses On Our Own”.



Solutions for Nursing Shortage

by Karon Gibson, RN

After 35 years as a Registered Nurse practicing in many diversified areas; an emergency room Nurse,a psychiatric charge nurse, an occupational health Nurse, a movie location set nurse, an amusement park Nurse and Health and safety manager and a home care Nurse and Executive as well as an entrepreneur and business owner and currently a television producer and host of healthcare programs, I have experienced some very diversified opportunities in my career.

Through these varied experiences and coauthoring the book Nurses On Our Own, I have heard many other nurses' opinions and of course formed my own. It seems Nurses do not speak out their opinions so I hope to be able to give a voice to my own opinions and some of theirs.

Hospital Nurses especially deserve our admiration because they are in the most stressfull and skilled knowledgeable positions that exist in Nursing. Their education is often underestimated and their assignments are often an overload. We need them most of all to care for us and our families at the worst and best times of our lives. It is in this column that I hope to speak out with problems and offer some possible solutions to many traditional optional and alternative health care problems and give some ideas for the public to think about. You are welcome to contact me at or 815-773-4497 Karon Gibson RN CCM (Certified Case Manager).

Places you might not expect-insurance offices, recreational and leisure facilities, spas, legal offices, concerts, inventing new surgical instruments, creating healthcare computer programs and hosting TV shows. There are millions of us in this diversified satisfying career which has now opened so many opportunities that hospital jobs have been abandoned. This is a danger to us all. We need nurses in hospitals more than anywhere else because it is the most acute need; yet, nurse's opinions, skills and requests are taken too lightly in these institutions. This is the cause for the fear that there won't be enough nurses. What is the solution?

First, Nurses should be able to determine their own abilities. A Nurse should not be expected to care for an entire unit which could mean 30 patients and know all the patient's medications, procedures, diagnosis, psychological needs and treatments required by each. Could you meet 30 people at a party and know their history, illnesses, religion, medications, family situations?

Often Nurses are asked to "float" to new units and care for patients they have not become familiar with and must perform immediately to care for these patients. Nurses should be able to determine how many patients they can safely care for and be paid accordingly as is done in home care with one patient. Nurses who are comfortable with a bigger caseload can choose bigger assignments Flexible hours are another big factor and a greater asset when chosen by the Nurse. Many Nurses are Mothers and could work a few hours during school. I hired many Nurses at my company whose talents were much appreciated and they covered convenient hours to allow others to be off. It may be a scheduling headache yet it solves shortages.

How can you help? Call your local hospital and find out patient ratios to nurse-how many are each nurse expected to care for? As a consumer, you should chose the hospital that cares most about patient care and safety. Do not wait until you are ill to question these institutions. Call administrators and tell them your concerns. Some states are mandating how many patients can be assigned to a Nurse. Nurses really care about people. They are the Rose of No Man's Land-make sure they are there when you or your family needs one. Remember, celebrate Nurses Day, May 6 every year. If you know anyone searching for a rewarding, multidimensional career; remind them to consider becoming a Nurse.