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Case Study: 17 yr old, Mood Disorders, Weight Struggles

Background: ​ ​ This client is a 17 year old male with a history of anxiety, ADHD, and mood disorders. He suffers with stomach pain and discomfort, and has a sensitivity to dairy.

He works out almost everyday, with heavy weights. He currently eats a minimum of 3000-3500 calories a day, and struggles to maintain his weight.

He is interested in changing his food habits, from eating a mostly Standard American Diet, to one with a more balanced protein/carb/fat ratio. Money is a barrier, so we have spoken about sourcing his proteins and vegetables/fruits within his budget. It’s always best to come from a good/better/best standpoint and encourage the best choices within someone’s means in these cases. I applaud his willingness to be open to change!

This client is interested in attainable lifestyle goals that are free or budget friendly. He was open to a few digestive supports. ​

HTMA Results:

-Slow 4 Metabolic type, parasympathetic dominance, increased thyroid and adrenal activity, and a mild inversion.

  • 7 copper imbalance indicators present: Improperly stored copper (in the liver and brain) can frequently be seen in those clients suffering from anxiety, ADHD, and mood disorders.

  • Low calcium and magnesium, which are sedative minerals. Low tissue calcium levels can point to calcium being excreted in the alarm stage of stress.

  • Phosphorus levels are below ideal, which is an important digestive fire mineral, necessary for protein breakdown. This points to a need for some digestive support, given he eats high levels of protein regularly.

  • Cobalt levels are low, which indicates stomach acid may be low, correlating with his digestive symptoms.

  • Arsenic is present, and may be contributing to his low sulfur level, which is an antagonist.

  • Aluminum and Zirconium are elevated, most likely due to the use of a conventional deodorant. We talked about detoxing his underarms, and possibly switching to something without an antiperspirant.

  • Lithium levels are low, which is often seen in people with mental health issues and behavioral health disorders.

  • Mild inversion, low Na/K ratio: The body is not able to properly burn glucose for energy and can begin to break down tissue. This is also concerning, due to his heavy workouts which are stressing his body excessively. I suspect these may actually be a loss, partially due to stress.

  • Low Ca/K ratio, showing the cells may be excessively permeable to hormone uptake. This can look like anxiety, irritability, and hyperactivity.

  • Elevated Na/Mg ratio: the high sodium level correlates with aldosterone levels, indicating excessive adrenal activity. This can manifest as inflammation in the body, and aggressiveness.

App Info:


I suspect this client will be switching to Fast oxidation on his next test, or another form of metabolic transition. Keeping in mind he is a teenager, I wanted to create a sustainable protocol that he would really buy into, to see some health changes!

  • Learn to eat in a parasympathetic state, chew thoroughly, not use the phone or tv

  • Apple cider vinegar shots and digestive enzymes right before meals

  • Sea salt and lemon in water between meals

  • Reduce stimulants such as coffee, pre-workout, too much refined sugar, energy drinks

  • Increase red meat and other zinc rich foods

  • Topical magnesium to support stress and raise magnesium level

  • Chlorophyll and aloe water to soothe the gut and increase minerals

  • Reduce blue light, especially at night

  • Add in probiotic and fermented foods to balance healthy gut bacteria

  • Focus on healthy fats, eliminate seed oils

  • Try EFT/Tapping, and continue with current therapies

  • Take a de-load week at the gym. This will allow his nervous system to reset, and tendons/muscles to recover. He agreed to either cut workouts in weight and intensity, or take a full break for a week.

I am very impressed with this client’s commitment to learn about functional nutrition and health, and his continued progress with his health. He is seeing changes already, with his digestion and stress levels. He continues to ask lots of questions about diet and how to support his nervous system. I look forward to seeing his next test!

This case study was prepared by Instant HTMA Team Member and HTMA Mentor, Amber MacDonald

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