Three Lows

The hair analysis pattern called three lows or three low electrolytes was not part of Dr. Eck’s original work.  However, it is an important hair analysis pattern.  It may also be named overwhelming stress, skidding, one foot in the tunnel, or almost four lows.  It is a common pattern.

Definition: The pattern is present when three of the four major electrolytes – calcium, magnesium, sodium or potassium – are below their ideal values, and one of them is above the ideal.

Ideals.  The ideals we use at present are calcium of 40 mg%, magnesium of 6 mg%, sodium of 25 mg%, and potassium of 10 mg%.

Hair washing. The hair must not be washed at the laboratory for this pattern to be valid.

Four types.  Four types of skidding pattern are possible:

  1. Calcium is high and the other electrolytes are low.This is common and often found in slow oxidizers and those with sympathetic dominance.  Often, with this pattern, the calcium/magnesium ratio is high.  If this ratio is between about 9.5 and 13.5, it usually indicates that a person is eating too many carbohydrate foods (starches and/or sugars).  If the calcium/magnesium ratio is above about 13.5, it indicates that a lifestyle factor is interfering with one’s health and that the person is defending this lifestyle factor or attitude when one should let go of it.
  2. Magnesium is high and the other three are low. This means the calcium/magnesium ratio is somewhat low.  It is perhaps a bit more acute than the first variant.
  3. Sodium is high and the other three are low.The name given to this pattern is four lows under stress, especially if the sodium level is just slightly above 25 mg%.  It means that the person is close to a four lows pattern, but there is so much inflammation or irritation that it keeps the person out of four lows at this time.  This pattern is often associated with sympathetic dominance pattern.
  4. Potassium is high and the other three are low.This pattern is more common in children and in adult men.  It is always associated with a low sodium/potassium ratio, which is another indicator for adrenal exhaustion or burnout.  It is also usually associated with a fast oxidation rate, which is more common in children, and in adult men rather than women.

In whom.  The three lows pattern is seen most commonly in adults.  It is not as common in children, although it can occur in children.


As the name implies, this pattern indicates some degree of adrenal exhaustion, and that a person is moving toward a four lows pattern.  This is very important because four lows is a collapse.  Most people never exit a four lows pattern and instead develop serious illness in this pattern.  So anything that can be done to keep a person out of four lows is helpful.

With a three lows pattern, the body is malnourished and usually quite toxic.  Either one has a lot of toxic metals or too many nutrient minerals that are in a toxic form.  This is usually due to  The Amigos – Iron, Manganese and Aluminum.  The “amigos” are usually oxides that are very irritating.

Both excessive toxic metals and amigos are usually present.


  1. The level of the mineral that is elevated above the ideal.A three lows pattern can be very close to a four lows pattern if the one mineral that is elevated above the ideal level is just slightly above the ideal level.  This indicates that the person is almost in a four lows pattern, and this is usually more serious or concerning.

In other cases, the one mineral that is elevated is quite high, and this indicates that the person is not as close to a four lows pattern, which is generally a healthier pattern.

  1. The levels of the three minerals that are low.The three minerals that are low can be just lightly below the ideal values, such as a calcium level of 38 mg%, magnesium of 5 mg%, and sodium of 22 mg%.

However, one or more of the minerals that are low can be extremely low, such as a potassium level of 1 mg% or a sodium level of 1 or 2 mg%.  This usually indicates that a person is closer to adrenal burnout and probably nearer to a four lows pattern.

Three lows pattern can also coexist with a fast oxidation pattern, a slow oxidation pattern, or a mixed oxidation patter