Our nutritional assessment is based on what may be called nutritional symptomatology. These are bodily signs of nutrient deficiencies, imbalances or other problems, appearing long before a specific nutritional disease or metabolic disorder. These signs are heralds of disease, and can be read on your body. Such signs do not have the accuracy of laboratory tests; but they are often more reliable and relevant. Laboratory tests may be accurate, but they may be neither reliable nor relevant. This is partly because they usually refer to a norm, which is a statistical average. But you are neither a norm, nor an average. You are a unique individual from every point of view, with all the pluses and minuses that nature, your ancestry, your environment and your eating and living habits have endowed you with. Uniqueness is not subject to the average, the typical, the standard or the mainstream. This may perhaps be better grasped from the following more detailed description of other methods used in nutritional evaluation.Food questionnaires
Food questionnaires may be helpful in showing persistent feeding errors, or the causes of nutrient imbalances. But they cannot assess either the quality of the food, or your own absorption capacity - it is not what you eat, or even what you digest, but only what you absorb that counts. Nutritional symptomatology can and does assess these variables, showing the early results of nutrient constraints and metabolic disorders. These are the best early warning signs, because they are so numerous, reliable, and significant.
Blood tests can tell us many things, accurately. They are also often ambiguous. A lot of people are walking around with thyroid hormones in their blood, pronounced normal by reputable laboratories. Yet not a few may have an acute thyroid problem. This is because no one told them that they need certain enzymes for the conversion of the hormones to useful compounds, and that nobody bothered to measure these enzymes. Besides, thyroid hormones are only partly transported via the bloodstream. This is a very simple example of a much more complex problem. There are many others one can quote here, but they are even more complex and longwinded.
Urine tests are also accurate. But urine contents fluctuate through the day according to the foods eaten and the levels of stress. These change continuously and unless the urine sample has been collected on a 24-hour basis, it is bound to be unreliable. When was the last time you had a 24-hour urine sample? Equally, some minerals can be reliably measured in the urine, but many important nutrients including selenium cannot.
The recent development of hair analysis is useful for measuring heavy or toxic metals. The method is less reliable for beneficial minerals. Thus calcium, magnesium and zinc found high in hair, may be low in our tissues. Phosphorus, potassium and sodium in hair may have no relationship with either food intake or body stores. Toxic chromium cannot be normally distinguished from nutritional chromium, and so on.
Nutritional symptomatology is not accurate in the way blood, urine and hair analyses are; it cannot be expressed mathematically. But it is infinitely more relevant and reliable, because it picks up the actual numerous tell-tale signs of early nutritional problems, when there is still time to do something about them. It is the first positive step to preventing a health condition, that has already made itself known. It is not a series of values referred to some average, which may be totally irrelevant for you or for your possible nutritional imbalances. That is why we warmly recommend it.