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What does a Four Highs Pattern Mean on An HTMA

What does a four highs pattern mean on an HTMA test

What does a four highs pattern mean on an HTMA test

Many individuals undergo hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) primarily to identify potential deficiencies or heavy metal toxicities. However, HTMA can reveal even more significant patterns that provide valuable insights into one's physical and emotional health. We have previously discussed certain patterns like the Bowl Pattern, Step Up Pattern, and L Pattern. In this article, we'd like to focus on the Four Highs Pattern, which sheds light on what's happening within your body on both physical and emotional levels.

Understanding the Four Highs Pattern

The Four Highs Pattern is identified when all four primary electrolytes - calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium - are elevated and beyond their normal range. This pattern is primarily observed in adult slow oxidizers, particularly in women, and may have several variations. For more information on slow oxidation, refer to our article here. Additionally, some individuals may exhibit a related pattern called the Three Highs, in which only three out of the four electrolytes are elevated. This can look like:

  • High calcium, magnesium, sodium low potassium
  • High calcium, magnesium, potassium, low sodium
  • High calcium, sodium, potassium, low magnesium
  • High magnesium, sodium, potassium, low calcium

Another variant, showing similar symptoms and physiological implications, is known as the 'Wrong Two Highs'. In this pattern, only calcium and sodium levels are elevated which differentiates it from the usual 'Four Highs' and 'Three Highs' patterns.

The Two Key Factors of a Four Highs Pattern

In essence, individuals exhibiting the Four Highs Pattern are principally navigating through two distinct physiological scenarios:

  1. They have a high calcium and magnesium levels which is essentially showing that the oxidation rate of energy has severely slowed down and the person is in an exhaustive state of stress. When this happens, the body is in a state of burn out where it cannot even make energy for the stores it has (like our fat and glucose stores).

    2. They also have high sodium and potassium levels which are a sign of extreme stress and glucocorticoids being fired out. Sodium is a representation of our hormone aldosterone, as well as inflammation, infection or stress, whereas high potassium levels signal excess cortisol secretion. 

It's fascinating to see that these two conditions coexist, as it's rare to witness an extreme stress response in a state where the body's reserves are so depleted that it even signals stress. Typically, an individual might be in an acute or compensatory stress phase where the body still has sufficient adrenal or thyroid reserves to function, or it has simply become too exhausted. However, in this instance, the body is reacting in what could be analogous to a 'second wind' response amid ongoing stress. It's important to note, however, like all 'second wind' instances, they are finite and usually culminate in a burnout state.

How a Four Highs Pattern Feels

What does experiencing a Four Highs Pattern entail? It can be quite complex since it can mimic the traits of both slow and fast oxidizers concurrently. For more information on fast oxidization, click here.

Those with slow oxidization often contend with symptoms such as chronic fatigue, a constant craving for sugar, difficulties in blood sugar level regulation, depression, brain fog, constipation, the tendency to socially withdraw, light-headedness, low blood pressure, dry skin, and hypothyroidism. They may also find it challenging to sweat, experience aching in their bones or joints, have cold sensitivity, or struggle with weight gain, particularly around the hip and thigh area.

Conversely, those exhibiting fast oxidization symptoms might face anxiety, irritability, restlessness, an aggressive demeanor, or identify as having a "Type A Personality". They may also struggle with a racing mind, loose stool, unexplained weight fluctuations primarily around the belly, high blood pressure and sugar levels, excessive sweating, and heat intolerance. Skin-related problems such as oily skin or degenerative issues like osteoporosis or arthritis could also be a troubling caveat in their overall wellbeing

Typical Symptoms of a Four Highs Pattern

Within the realm of physiological responses, the Four Highs Pattern stands out due to its unique combination of symptoms. This pattern intertwines the characteristics of both fast and slow oxidizers, resulting in a complex set of manifestations. While it may appear complex, it's crucial to recognize other characteristic signs indicative of a Four Highs pattern:

  • Drastic mood swings, specifically irritability, anger, straight to depression or anxiety
  • Inflammation such as pain, high blood pressure, fluid retention, weight gain
  • The need for carbohydrates, whether it’s sugar, breads, pasta, potatoes and struggling to balance blood sugar levels
  • Insulin resistance
  • Low thyroid function
  • High adrenal activity
  • Tired but wired
  • Easily getting hurt such as easing bruising, pain

Causes of a Four Highs Pattern

A Four Highs Pattern doesn't exactly seem like a pleasant experience, does it? So, what might trigger a Four Highs Pattern on a HTMA?

The primary suspect, in this case, is heavy metals. These metals could irritate the system, causing a stress reaction marked by elevated sodium and potassium levels while also further depleting and exhausting the body, leading to high calcium and magnesium levels. Additionally, minerals like copper and iron may act similarly to heavy metals if imbalanced. Aside from these elemental factors, certain lifestyle stressors can also play a role. Overworking, engaging in chronic high-intensity exercise, undereating, and living in a stress-induced environment are all potential contributors.

Moreover, dietary patterns, such as consuming a high carbohydrate diet, especially in the form of grains, can impact the emergence of a Four Highs Pattern. Nutritional deficiencies and psychological factors or trauma should also be considered as potential causes.

Can The Four Highs Pattern Cause Emotional Shifts?

From a mental and energetic perspective, a Four Highs Pattern might represent an individual who suppresses their emotions, particularly anger or frustration, and immerses themselves in a hectic lifestyle. They may resort to substances like coffee or alcohol, or engage in activities that keep their body active and occupied, such as HIIT workouts, running, excessive cardio, or overworking. This behavior stimulates the adrenal glands (leading to elevated sodium and potassium levels) but can eventually become degenerative (causing high calcium and magnesium levels). Essentially, they are "running away" or "ignoring" their personal problems, traumas, or issues. When they finally decide or are forced to slow down, it often results in a sudden crash and extreme fatigue.

In conclusion, the Four Highs Pattern observed through HTMA offers valuable insights into an individual's physical and emotional well-being. This pattern signifies a unique combination of symptoms, with an interplay between stress responses, mental and emotional suppression, and lifestyle factors. Recognizing the complex dynamics of the Four Highs Pattern can enable a deeper understanding of one's health, guiding more effective self-care strategies for holistic well-being that addresses both physiological and psychological factors. By identifying and addressing the root causes, individuals can begin their journey towards improved overall health and balance.

Should you identify with any of these symptoms, emotional states, or patterns, we strongly recommend scheduling an HTMA with us here. This can help confirm whether you're experiencing a Four Highs Pattern and allow us to devise a strategy to restore your mineral balance effectively.

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