One of the important mineral ratios revealed on a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) test report is the sodium to magnesium ratio, or Na/Mg ratio. The Na/Mg ratio is known as the Adrenal Ratio in nutritional balancing science, and is useful for assessing adrenal gland function. This is because sodium levels are linked to the normal functioning of the adrenal glands. Aldosterone, a mineral corticoid adrenal hormone, controls sodium retention in the body. In general, the higher the level of sodium, the higher the level of aldosterone.

The sodium to magnesium ratio is also a measure of energy output, because the adrenal glands (along with the thyroid gland) regulate the rate of metabolism. Analytical Research Laboratories’ founder, Dr. Paul C. Eck, explains the numerical Na/Mg ratio on a Hair Analysis Test report as follows:

  • A Na/Mg ratio greater than 16 indicates that the adrenal glands are extremely overactive.
  • Between 8-16 indicates moderately excessive adrenal glands.
  • Between 4.17 to 8 indicates mildly increased adrenal activity.
  • 4.17 is the ideal Na/Mg ratio.
  • 2 – 4.17 indicates sluggish adrenal activity.
  • 1 – 2 – Adrenals are moderately sluggish.
  • Below 1 indicates – Adrenal insufficiency.

An extremely high Na/Mg ratio, greater than 10-20, indicates an excessive adrenal effect at the cellular level, whereas a lower Na/Mg ratio, less than 2.5, typically indicates a decreased adrenal effect at the cellular level.

Symptoms of an underactive adrenal gland include: fatigue, decreased stamina, allergies, weight fluctuations, depression, weak digestion, and hypoglycemia. 

Symptoms of an overactive adrenal gland include: increased drive and stamina, impulsiveness, aggressiveness, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, and Type A personality.

It is important to understand that the results of adrenal hormone blood tests or blood panels may differ from the results of a hair analysis, which is a tissue reading. Many people have reported getting adrenal blood tests that showed normal adrenal functioning but an abnormal adrenal ratio on their HTMA report. Besides adrenal issues, many medically unexplained symptoms can be easily observed and explained by the Na/Mg ratio and other mineral level ratios provided on a hair analysis test report.