MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Copper Toxicity Description Copper Toxicity Frequent Signs & Symptoms Copper Toxicity Causes Copper Toxicity Diagnosis Copper Toxicity Conventional Medical Treatment Herbal Recommendations Diet & Nutrition Recommendations Nutritional Supplement Recommendations Notify Your Health Care Provider Copper Toxicity Supplements & Products
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COPPER TOXICITY DESCRIPTION
Copper toxicity is a buildup of bio-unavailable copper in the body that be high enough to interfere with the health and function of the body systems. While trace amounts of copper are needed to sustain life, excess copper is extremely toxic in the brain. Storage of toxic metals in the brain also contributes to mental illness. When the liver becomes over-burdened with deposits of various metals and cannot safely store any more of these metals, the body begins to store the excess of these metals in secondary reservoir sites. In the case of copper, manganese and iron, the secondary storage area is the brain. Excessive levels of copper in the brain are associated with symptoms ranging from depression, anxiety and mood swings to schizophrenia. An excess of copper can contribute to many symptoms: e.g., depression, spaciness, paranoia, alternating moods, anxiety, panic, fearfulness, schizophrenia, phobias, etc. However, individuals may have any or all the above signs and symptoms of a copper toxicity and yet not have a high tissue copper level on a tissue mineral test.
COPPER ELIMINATION EXPECTATIONS
The first few days are usually rough, but then as the adrenals gain strength a sense of improvement will be felt as energy increases and brain fog lifts. This is the first of many peaks during the long term elimination process of copper. Overall, especially psychologically, effects often worsen before they improve. This can takes weeks to months to even years, depending on severity. As one embarks on a copper detox protocol, it is common for anxieties to increase further before they get better. It should be noted that not everyone will experience copper elimination symptoms, although most people do to varying degrees. Some common symptoms of detox may include increased flu-like symptoms, severe PMS, headaches, paranoia, increased awareness of fears, decreased libido, insomnia, fatigue, depression, digestive problems, emotional detachment (due to an increase in the calcium shell) - the list of symptoms is extensive. Increased anxiety and panic attacks are also very common (as copper is mobilized in the body a temporary hypoglycemic state is created which boosts adrenal secretion and in turn increases anxieties).
As one begins to detox, it is not uncommon for the copper level on the Hair Tissue Metal Analysis (HTMA) to show up at an even higher level than before - this is simply the copper being mobilized and excreted. This however, in turn, can affect the ratios with other minerals (such as magnesium and calcium), and lead one further into a calcium shell. Relationship struggles, even break-ups, are common during this time (as evidenced by the number of stories shared above and on various forums online) and it's important to keep this in mind if you feel your relationship heading down the same path. Remember that you are not yourself during this time. As copper stimulates the old brain and weakens the neocortex, selected parts of reality and the perception of certain people and beliefs can get distorted. Of course this does not happen in all cases as everyone's reactions are different based on severity of toxicity, detox protocol and monitoring, past triggers / programming, patterns and old repressed traumas. As old fears and relationship hurts come to the surface however, they are projected onto the existing relationship - all at the same time that negative emotions are amplified, the rationalizing neocortex is weakened (and subsequently so too are the emotions of higher consciousness), anxieties are sky high, and feelings of romantic love are erased by the numbing effect of the calcium shell. The patient may be left with feeling nothing but the need to get away. By being aware of this common occurrence beforehand, understanding that it is a voice induced by copper and not one's true self, and detoxing through a properly monitored nutritional balancing program, the patient is better equipped to deal with the side effects he or she may be experiencing. Over time, as copper is eventually eliminated, the calcium shell (which previously had numbed the emotions and blocked awareness of what was happening), begins to break apart.
It can be expected that one will feel worse, often through many cycles (or roller coaster 'dips') as the copper is dumped, before eventual long term improvement is achieved. Knowing that detoxing occurs in cycles will help the patient get through the rough times. The detox process usually brings to the surface some of the worst symptoms of toxicity, both physical and psychological. Many of the case histories studied exemplify this. The importance of proper monitoring and support throughout the detox process cannot be over-stated.
As the adrenals strengthen through detox, initially one can 'feel' better both physically and mentally. As the adrenals strengthen, not only will one's energy begin improving, but the ever-present symptom of brain fog may also dissipate (as the brain fog was caused by toxicity in the liver). However, with the strengthening of the adrenals also comes the mobilization of copper. As copper is mobilized, though the patient may be feeling better physically, several things happen psychologically, often without the patient even being aware. The copper released from storage in the blood as a result of detox is now free, unbound copper. Without adequate ceruloplasmin or minerals such as molybdenum to bind to the copper, the mental symptoms will worsen. The mobilization of copper also increases stress on the body and, by raising calcium as a result, amplifies the calcium shell effect and with it a further numbing of emotions and awareness. This is why changes in perception and personality are not uncommon during the detox phase. The calcium shell also helps slow down the previously racing mind while also numbing the patient to what is happening around them, both of which lead to a false sense of improvement. In effect, though some symptoms have improved (mainly physical ones as the liver improves), other symptoms (psychological) are less obvious to the patient and can get worse. This is why detox must be done in a slow, gentle, and monitored way.
As one eliminates copper through detox (even one properly monitored), patients will often experience the effects of copper dumping. The dumping is simply the elimination of copper. Typical symptoms of a copper dump include severe depression, uncontrollable anger, anxiety, panic attacks, and sleep disturbances, as well as increased headaches, paranoia, increased awareness of fears, decreased libido, fatigue, ending relationships, and digestive problems. Often the symptoms are frightening and very uncomfortable, and if the patient is unaware of what is happening they often stop treatment as it is too unbearable. By understanding that copper dumping and the associated symptoms are part of the detoxification process, patients (and their partners) are better able to endure what they are experiencing. Dumping usually occurs in cycles, and life can feel like quite a roller coaster for some time. Detoxing is NOT a quick process, and can usually take 6 months to a year or more, with many up and down cycles, until the health of the mind and body are restored. Women generally have a rougher and harder time detoxing than men, due to their higher estrogen levels and monthly cycles. It should be noted that aerobic exercise, stimulant drugs, and increases in stress while detoxing can further exacerbate symptoms of copper elimination. These activities increase metabolic rate and cellular energy production which in turn can trigger copper dumps from cellular storage.
Methylation is needed in order to convert this toxic amino acid into vital methionine. Improper conversion and the stressors previously mentioned can result in higher levels of homocysteine. Other factors that also contribute to higher homocysteine levels include lack of exercise, processed foods, family history of vascular disease, inadequate levels of bioavailable copper, zinc, magnesium, family history of depression, smoking, and birth control usage. Furthermore, low activity of the gene that regulates the enzyme MTHFR will lead to increased homocysteine. About half the population have a genetic variant of the MTHFR enzyme which predisposes them to increased difficulty resynthesizing methionine. High homocysteine is a primary risk factor for vascular disease and predisposes people to a higher risk of Alzheimer's, dementia, decline in memory and judgment, mental illness, and lowered mood / depression. Most often, homocysteine has accumulated due to a lack of necessary nutrients (most notably the B vitamins, zinc, and folate (folate should be taken together with B12)). TMG is also very helpful in maintaining a healthier homocysteine level.
Copper toxicity and detox, and the methylation cycle, are closely linked. Recommended nutrients for proper rebalancing will, to a small extent, depend on the levels of histamine and homocysteine and the methylation activity. The methylation activity also lends significant understanding to the personality changes that people experience as copper levels rise and neurotransmitter levels are thrown off. Determining your methylation status can easily be done through a whole blood histamine test, assessed by a skilled practitioner in the field.
For over-methylators, B12, niacin amide, DMAE, choline, manganese, zinc, omega-3 essential oils (DHA and EPA), folic acid, and vitamins C and E are often recommended, while methionine, SAMe, inositol, TMG and DMG are avoided. Meat can also be greatly reduced in favour of more vegetables, and especially if a MTHFR defect is found. Folate is found naturally and largely in cooked dark green veggies. MTHFR defect reduces the ability to convert folic acid into the active form of the vitamin (folate). At least 1.5 cups of cooked greens three times weekly is needed to overcome a copying defect. Supplementing with methylfolate however, for the overmethylator, should be avoided as it further increases methyl. There are 50-plus variants of the MTHFR enzyme (polymorphisms) which affect the effectiveness of MTHFR. The MTHFR variants are not a defect in the gene per se, but rather a transcription error which is widely caused by zinc deficiency, copper toxicity and mercury.
Under-methylators generally need to correct an underlying deficiency in calcium, magnesium, methionine, B6, and B12. SAMe and TMG can be beneficial, and organic meat sources should be increased. Methyfolate can be given, but generally not for more than 2 or 3 months at which time it may worsen symptoms. B3 (niacin) should be avoided as it drains an already low supply of methyl.
When high histamine is present, then any supplements that raise histamine should be avoided or limited. This includes niacin, folic acid, and B12. Taking antihistamines will help. Magnesium and Vitamin C are natural anti-histamines. Focusing on gut health will also help, as will increasing intake of antioxidants. To lower homocysteine, folic acid with B12, B6, as well as TMG supplementation have effectively been used commonplace for decades.
While biochemically there exists very good scientific understanding of the methylation process, there is less clarity behind using methylation in a practical approach to clinical nutrition. While understanding one's methylation status can certainly be useful (as addressed above), it can also be a costly distraction from working with the fundamentals of nutritional balancing of which minerals should take primary importance. In fact, as mineral levels come into better balance, so too can one's methylation improve. With slow oxidizers, one gets biounavailable copper problems. Here one has a combination of too much free copper floating around, but a deficiency of available or bound copper. This may be due to adrenal exhaustion causing impairment of ceruloplasmin synthesis in the liver, and perhaps deficiencies of other copper transport proteins such as metallothionein.
SERUM BLOOD TESTING
Unfortunately there is still far too much reliance on serum blood testing to diagnose copper toxicity or evaluate re-balancing progress. As a result, misdiagnosis is common. Copper, as it builds up in the body and becomes more and more bio-unavailable, gets either excreted through urine or stored in soft tissue. It does not stay in the blood. The homeostatic nature of blood removes excess minerals and toxins quickly. A blood test will show what the body is being exposed to hour by hour (what is circulating), but the blood level shows very little correlation to stored amounts of copper in tissue - one of the primary indicators of copper toxicity. Copper toxic individuals therefore very often receive blood tests results that show 'normal' and are diagnosed as 'healthy'. Copper being held tightly in storage will not show up in the blood or blood test results unless it is being released. If the source of copper exposure is removed, and the body is not releasing copper, then the blood level will show normal, regardless of how much stored copper there is. A urine test on the other hand shows what the body is excreting. When the body is excreting copper, then elevated copper levels will show on a urine test. If the urinalysis is performed during this time of excretion, it will catch the copper toxicity problem. But once again, what is being excreted is very different from what is being stored. The stored copper is not being excreted, rather it is tightly stored in various organs and soft tissue of the body, particular the liver and the brain, yet will not show up in a urine test.
There is a difference between serum mineral levels and red blood cell mineral levels. As mentioned, the blood works very quickly to eliminate copper as it must maintain a relatively tight homeostatic range. Serum levels are thus maintained at the expense of levels inside cells and tissues. Most health practitioners and labs just test serum levels and patients are told their levels are normal (especially once the source of the copper exposure has been removed). The blood test is also only reliable in a very short window of time. As an example, if a patient with a copper IUD in place has a blood test, it will likely show a high copper level as copper is being "fed" into the body at that very moment. But if that copper IUD is removed and a blood test performed a few days later, the blood test will likely show a normal level of copper. In fact, it may even show copper deficiency, because the copper is bio-unavailable. Again, this serum level completely ignores the stored bio-unavailable tissue copper in the liver and brain and other organs, yet the diagnosis is given that the patient is "fine". Copper needs to be bound to a transporter protein (either ceruloplasmin or metallothionein), otherwise it becomes bio-unavailable, does not enter the cell where it needs to be, and instead gets accumulated in a bio-unavailable form in the body's tissues. The problem again with the standard blood serum testing procedure is that it ignores not only the accumulated bio-unavailable copper stored in the tissues, it also ignores the copper content within the cells.
A serum test for copper is actually worse than ineffective, because a test result that is within normal limits lends a false sense of security about the status of the mineral in the body. It also explains why health care providers do not recognize copper deficiency; they assume serum copper levels are an accurate measure of all the copper in the body.
HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS (HTMA)
A Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis may be the most important health test that exists. Only when you and your health care provider know for sure your mineral status and important ratios can you adapt your diet, minerals and supplements to work toward proper balance. Copper toxicity is among one of the most misunderstood conditions in the world today. It is a tragedy that many of those practitioners we entrust our health to have very little understanding of copper toxicity or how to test for it and detox. The very fact that blood testing is still done so prolifically as the primary determinant of toxicity - with almost no mention of HTMA - goes to show a most basic lack of understanding behind copper toxicity on the part of practitioners. Sadly, HTMA has been suppressed through various smear campaigns for the past 30 years, and as a result has cost people dearly who could have benefited from proper testing. While media and medical journals widely advertised the 'results' of these anti-HTMA studies (data that is decades old from 'studies' which involved just 1 or 2 person samples and violated almost all proper testing protocol), they largely ignored the thousands of peer-reviewed references that support HTMA, or the fact that HTMA is used routinely by various heads of government and world class athletes who have access to the very best medical care. Though human hair has been accepted as an effective tissue for biological monitoring of toxic heavy metals by the US Environmental Protection Agency and is being used for this purpose throughout the world, when it comes to copper toxicity suddenly this fact becomes ignored.
Furthermore, the interpretation of HTMA results is very complex, and exhaustive training is required to fully understand what the charts indicate. Without being able to understand HTMA data, it is very difficult to understand, or treat for that matter, copper toxicity. Understanding HTMAs is not as simple as just looking at a mineral level. An advanced understanding of the interconnection that mineral levels have on each other, mineral ratios, as well as their various effects on both body and mind is required. However most practitioners do not receive this training - even many who attempt to offer HTMA. Any doctor is able to open an account at a testing lab and run hair tests on patients. However prescribing supplements based on simply looking at which mineral levels are high vs low will give very poor results. As an illustration of this, lets assume a patient shows a high Mg (Magnesium) level with an extremely low K (Potassium) level. Looking simply at Mg, Mg would therefore not be recommended. However, with a deeper understanding of how to interpret HTMA, the low K relative to sodium represents an increase burn rate of Mg, leading to Mg deficiency, and thus Mg for this patient is required!). In the end, incorrect interpretations of HTMA results has led to poor improvement in patients, and health practitioners without proper training in this field therefore dismiss HTMA as not being an accurate tool. In effect, they have dismissed a very accurate screening tool based on their own lack of understanding how to use it.
Copper is an essential mineral in the human body and in its bio-available form plays many important roles. While these benefits are widely reported, the dangers of high levels of bio-unavailable copper go widely ignored. It is this duality of copper's nature that makes copper toxicity one of the most misunderstood conditions today. As unbound levels get too high, the promoted benefits of copper reverse, leading to a lot of misunderstanding (additional explanation here), and making copper a powerful reactive toxin to both the body and mind. This has been documented since the 1970's with 40-plus years of research.
Copper Toxicity is a build up of bio-unavailable copper in the body that at high levels affects both physical and mental health. Typical symptoms initially show as brain fog, mind racing, and increasing fatigue. Copper toxicity plays a direct role in weakening the adrenals, and at later stages symptoms can include adrenal burnout, schizophrenia, depression, personality change, and emotional numbing. One of the most significant effects of copper toxicity is what it does to the emotions. Copper at high levels can completely eradicate feelings of love. While a normal, healthy level of copper is needed for feelings of love, the opposite happens with high levels of copper. Anyone who becomes highly copper toxic will begin to experience a deadening of his/her feelings. Too much copper leads to adrenal exhaustion. It is a marker in almost two-thirds of all schizophrenics, decreases awareness, increases depression. Too much copper leads to a calcium shell, the numbing of emotions and damage to relationships. It leads to a slowing of metabolism. Copper raises calcium and lowers potassium, leading directly to a slowing of thyroid activity. Gut problems, Alzheimer's, and even cancer are also linked.
COPPER FOR HEALTH
Copper is an essential trace mineral needed for good health and wellness. Small amounts of copper is essential for life and for the human body. A number of biochemical processes depend on copper to function properly, plus copper is involved in the function of the nervous system. The liver and brain contain the largest amounts of copper in the body. Other organs contain smaller amounts.
It is centeral to building strong tissue, maintaining blood volume, and producing energy in your cells. For all of its critical importance, the amount of Copper found in your body is barely more than the amount found in a single penny (which are only 2.5% Copper by weight). Even a mild case of copper deficiency impairs the ability of white blood cells to fight infection. Copper is necessary for proper absorption of iron in the body, and it is found primarily in foods containing iron. If the body does not get a sufficient amount of copper, hemoglobin production decreases and copper-deficiency anemia can result.
Various enzyme reactions require copper as well. Copper is needed as a cross-linking agent for elastin and collagen, as a catalyst for protein reactions, and for oxygen transport. It is also used for the metabolism of essential fatty acids.
For the body to work properly, it must have a proper balance of copper and zinc. An imbalance can lead to thyroid problems (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism). Low copper levels may also lead to iron deficiency anemia and impaired iron absorption, affects collagen formation and thus tissue health and healing. Cardiovascular disease (aneurysm, increased risk of hemorrhagic strokes), cholesterol, skeletal defects (increased slipped, herniated, or rupture risk of lower back discs associated with weakening of connective tissue) related to bone demineralization and poor nerve conductivity - including irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias, dysrhythmias) - might all result from copper depletion. Copper deficiency results in several abnormalities of the immune system, such as reduced cellular immune response, reduced activity of white blood cells, chronic inflammation, and, possibly, reduced thymus hormone production, all of which contribute to an increased infection rate.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Copper Deficiency
COPPER & EMOTIONS
As excess copper and calcium increase in the cells and tissues, a calcium "shell" will build that will tend to block more and more feelings until the person no longer is aware of what is being felt and experienced. Such a person often talks of "not feeling anything" or being "numb" and "dead" emotionally. As the calcium shell builds, a person's perception and awareness diminish. The overall psychological effect of excess copper is a loss of emotional control and awareness accompanied by diminished feelings and numbness.
COPPER TOXICITY FREQUENT SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Too much copper in the system can cause a variety of ailments, including:
However, as with all trace minerals, excess amounts of copper in the body can be toxic. As with mercury and lead, high levels of copper are also associated with mental and emotional disorders.
- High systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- Tender calf muscles. Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- Kidney disease.
- Premenstrual syndrome.
- Sickle cell anemia.
- Stomach pain.
- Hemolytic anemia.
- Severe damage to the central nervous system.
- Constant fatigue.
- Insomnia (frequent difficulty falling asleep, unsound sleep).
- Hair loss.
SYMPTOMS OF COPPER OVERDOSE
Black or bloody vomit. Blood in urine. Coma. Diarrhea. Dizziness or fainting. Headache (severe or continuing). Heartburn.
Loss of appetite. Lower back pain. Metallic taste. Nausea (severe or continuing). Pain or burning while urinating. Vomiting. Yellow eyes or skin.
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some individuals. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care practitioner. Call your practitioner for medical advice about side effects.
PRECAUTIONS: Do not take copper supplements and zinc supplements at the same time. It is best to take your copper supplement 2 hours after zinc supplements, to get the full benefit of each.
SIDE EFFECTS: Along with its needed effects, a supplement may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Check with your health care provider immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
COPPER TOXICITY CAUSES
Copper is a heavy metal that is toxic in the unbound form. Almost all of the copper in the body is bound to proteins, thereby reducing the concentration of unbound copper ions to almost zero. Most healthy balanced diets contain enough copper (2 to 5 mg) to prevent a deficiency and not enough to cause toxicity. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that 10 to 12 mg per day may be the upper safe limit for consumption. If as little as 2 grams of copper salt are ingested, usually with suicidal intent, the resulting copper-induced hemolytic anemia and kidney damage are generally fatal.
Copper toxicity is usually due to excessive supplementation or low levels of other necessary nutrients. Low levels of zinc will result in raised levels of copper. The increasingly common problems of low levels of zinc in the diet. Copper and zinc compete with each other for absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Patients with ulcerative colitis may absorb excess copper in their intestinal tissues which can lead to intestinal disorders, impaired healing and reduced resistance to infections. Copper toxicity has been the subject of greater concern in recent years. This is primarily due to reduced zinc in the diet and the switch from galvanized to copper water pipes. Acidic water such as rain water, left standing in copper plumbing pipes, can be a source of toxicity when consumed.
Contaminated food and drinking water due to contact with metallic copper can result in copper toxicity. Sources of copper include beer, tap water, and pasteurized milk, and various foods. An acidic food or beverage can dissolve milligram quantities of copper sufficient enough to cause acute toxicity and symptoms. Copper cookware, copper cooking utensils, all contribute to contamination of foods and drinking water.
Molybdenum deficiency in the diet may be a risk factor for copper toxicity. The exact mechanism by which molybdenum prevents copper toxicity is poorly understood, however, it is known that an insoluble complex of copper and molybdenum can be formed in the gastrointestinal tract thus reducing copper absorption. This theory is substantiated by the fact that increasing the dietary copper is an effective treatment of molybdenum toxicity.
External exposures such as industrial wastes, using a copper IUD contraceptive device, accidental agricultural overspray (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides), swimming pool chemicals, and permanent wave hair solutions. Tobacco use can cause a rise in the amount of copper in the body.
Elevated levels of estrogens. Low progesterone or estrogen dominance is a risk factor for copper toxicity. Elevated estrogen levels often increase the serum copper levels to more than double normal values, while at the same time red blood cell levels, where copper is important, may actually be lower. This may contribute to some of the psychological or other symptoms seen during pregnancy. The use of estrogen-containing oral contraceptives (birth control pills) contributes to the rise in the amount of serum copper in the body.
HEALTH CONDITIONS THAT SUGGEST COPPER TOXICITY
Mental, Behavioral & Emotional Disorders: Mood swings, clinical and postpartum depression and psychological problems, hallucinatory and paranoid schizophrenia, and tinnitus. Hyperactivity. Childhood hyperactivity. Irritability. Autism. Short-term memory failure, stuttering, trouble concentrating. Senility and senile dementia.
A high tissue level of calcium tends to block natural cellular functioning [and] tends to be associated with emotional blocking, numbing of feelings, depression, low self-esteem, pessimism, and feelings of inferiority. The more need there is for emotional blocking and deadening of feelings, the more the TMA calcium will tend to exceed magnesium. In alcoholic or other dysfunctional families, there seems to be a strong tendency for a child to develop a calcium "shell" as a natural self-protective mechanism which helps to constantly deaden feelings of vulnerability and anxiety. This calcium shell can become a chronic entrenched mineral pattern. Psychologically, a chronic high calcium/magnesium ratio tends to be associated with denial or covering up a problem with which the individual cannot or will not deal.
Excess copper can cause dramatic imbalances in two key neurotransmitters, and may lead to depression or behavioral/learning issues. For example, 68-percent of all ADHD kids have a tendency for very high levels of copper. Excess copper can cause inattention, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Copper is especially problematic for women because estrogen and copper are proportionately related. If you are high in estrogen, you will be high in copper.
It means you are at significantly higher risk of having elevated levels of copper. How 'toxic' it becomes on your body depends on how long you have been following vegetarianism, the strength of your detox pathways, stressors in your life, and if other sources of copper (such as the birth control pill or IUD) are also contributing. Everyone reacts differently, and there are different levels of toxicity. Elevated copper levels however do not necessarily translate into symptoms. The build up may be gradual and silent, until a certain copper threshold is reached. Symptoms will depend on the extent of the toxicity.
Ulcerative Colitis: Excess copper may be absorbed in the intestinal tissues which lead to intestinal disorders, impaired healing and reduced resistance to infections.
Metabolic Disorders: Hypoglycemia, headaches.
Uro-Genital Disorders: Premenstrual syndrome. Estrogen results in increased copper absorption. Eclampsia/Preeclampsia may be associated with copper toxicity.
COPPER TOXICITY RELATED MEDICAL DISORDERS
Most U.S. adults struggle to achieve the Dietary Allowance (DA) or Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for copper intake, so the risk of dietary toxicity from copper is really only seen in a person with a genetic condition that impairs the ability to clear copper from the body, leading to a buildup of toxic levels.
- Wilson's Disease: The most likely reason for this copper toxicity buildup is a condition called Wilson's disease, an inherited genetic mutation. Wilson's disease is both rare (as few as one case per 100,000 people) and very severe. People with this condition, and other similar genetic mutations that affect copper metabolism, are usually diagnosed by the time they reach adulthood. People with Wilson's Disease have too much copper in the body. Copper supplements may make this condition worse.
- Biliary or Liver Disease: Taking copper supplements may cause high blood levels of copper, and dosage for copper may have to be changed.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of dietary supplements. Make sure you tell your health care provider if you have any other medical problems.
COPPER TOXICITY RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
A more common reason to see risk of copper toxicity is due to excessive exposure from the water supply. This is not generally caused by excessive amounts in city water supplies as these are monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but by leaching from old copper pipes and fittings. The amount of copper that is leached into water from old pipes can be significant, but it varies widely. If you have concern about the amount of copper in your tap water, you can take some simple steps to help reduce the exposure risk. First, the amount of leaching is directly related to the amount of time the water spends in the copper pipe. Use the first gallon or so of water in the morning for non-cooking tasks (for example, cleaning or watering plants). In fact, anytime you are getting drinking water from your tap, you can let the water run until you feel it get noticeably colder. Second, hot water will leach more copper than cold water, so if you want hot water for a beverage, you can use cold water and then heat it up rather than getting hot water out of your tap. Finally, you could install a water filter to remove much of the copper. Both activated charcoal and reverse osmosis filters should remove significant amounts of copper from your water. However, before taking any of these steps, make sure that toxicity risk is a greater risk for you than deficiency risk. You do not want to be lowering the amount of copper in your drinking water if you actually need more copper than you are getting from your food.
COPPER TOXICITY DIAGNOSIS
NORMAL LEVELS OF COPPER IN THE DIET
The FDA has never established a Recommended Daily Allowance for copper, but the National Research Council recommends that adults get from 1.5 to 3.0 mg per day, 1.5 to 2.5 for children, and 0.4 to 0.6 mg for infants less than 6 months old. A normal healthy diet will provide the correct amount of copper for most people.
Copper levels can be determined through blood tests, urine samples, and hair analysis. The best means of testing for copper toxicity are the 24 hour urine test or the copper or serum ceruloplasmin level tests.
Normal urine samples collected over a 24 hour period contain 15 to 40 micrograms (mcg) of copper. Red blood cell copper levels may be a good test to measure increased copper levels as well. In people with diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, schizophrenia, or cancer, serum copper levels tend to be high. During illness, copper is released from the tissues into the blood stream to promote tissue repair. High serum copper readings during illness should not be taken to mean that the copper is a cause of the illness; rather, it is an indication that the body's natural repair processes have been activated.
CERULOPLASMIN BLOOD TEST
Definition: Ceruloplasmin is a test that measures the amount of ceruloplasmin (a copper-containing protein) in blood serum.
How the Test is Performed: Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic. An elastic band is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and cause the vein to swell with blood. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight red top vacutainer tube, vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore circulation. Between 1 ml to 0.1 ml of serum is needed for the test procedure once the blood cells have been separated from the serum. Usually about 3-5 ml of whole blood is collected during a normal blood draw. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, the area is cleansed with antiseptic and punctured with a sharp needle or a lancet. The blood may be collected in a pipette (small glass tube), on a slide, onto a test strip, or into a small container. A bandage may be applied to the puncture site if there is any bleeding.
The red vacutainer tube should be chilled prior to blood draw. Once drawn the blood specimen is immediately put on ice and sent to the lab for testing. If the sample is to be stored frozen, the specimen will need to be spun down in a centrifuge to separate the blood cells from the serum. The serum is drawn off and put into a storage vial and either put on dry ice for shipment or put into a -70°C freezer until ready to use. If the test is to be done right away, the specimen needs to be refrigerated until testing. The refrigerated sample is stable for up to 3 days. The frozen sample for up to 4 weeks. Storage at room temperature for longer than 8 hours leads to decreased levels and inaccurate results. The normal ceruloplasmin reference level is for Males: 16.2 to 35.6 mg/dl and for females: 17.9 to 53.3 mg/dl. A normal ceruloplasmin does not rule out Wilson's disease. Serum copper should be measured in addition.
How to Prepare for the Test: No fasting or other preparation is usually needed.
How the Test Will Feel: When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the Test is Performed: This test may be performed when disorders of copper metabolism or storage are suspected. Ceruloplasmin is the major copper-containing protein in plasma.
What Abnormal Results Mean:
Lower-than-normal ceruloplasmin levels may indicate:
Greater-than-normal ceruloplasmin levels may indicate:
- Menkes' syndrome (Menkes' kinky hair syndrome) -- very rare.
- Wilson's copper storage disease (rare).
- Acute and chronic infections.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
Considerations: Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Fainting or feeling light-headed.
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin).
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken).
- Multiple punctures to locate veins.
The use of oral contraceptives and/or tobacco can cause a rise in the amount of copper in the body. Excess serum copper is also characteristic of anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, leukemia, hypoproteinemia, and vitamin B-3 (niacin) deficiency. Serum copper levels during pregnancy tend to be higher than normal as well. Wilson's disease is a rare hereditary disorder in which the body is unable to metabolize copper properly, so the metal accumulates in the body.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Wilson's Disease
Hair analysis has been shown to be a reliable test of the copper level in body tissues. It is important to understand the interaction of various metals and proper mineral levels required while reviewing results and possible treatment for excess copper levels.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Hair Analysis
COPPER TOXICITY CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT
HEALTH HISTORY REVIEW
One of the first steps, in addition to being tested for heavy metals, is to have a full health and lifestyle history done. This can offer clues as to where your exposure is coming from (especially if it is not immediately obvious). Identify the exposure source and remove the source immediately.
CHELATION THERAPY FOR COPPER TOXICITY
Heavy Metal Detoxification (Chelation): If copper levels are very high, treatment with DMSA, penicillamine or EDTA may be needed.
Chelating Drug For Copper Salts: Dimercaprol (10% in oil)
Day 1 3 to 4 mg/kg via deep IM injection, every 4 hours.
Day 2 1.2 mg/kg IM every 4 hours.
Day 3 3 mg/kg IM every 6 hours.
For 7 to 10 Days Until Recovery: 3 mg/kg IM every 12 hours.
Chelating Drug For Copper Salts: Penicillamine
Dosage: 20 to 30 mg/kg per day in 3 to 4 divided dosages (usual starting dosage is 250 mg 4 times daily) to a maximum adult dose of 2 grams per day.
Amino Acid/Protein: Methionine is a useful treatment for copper poisoning and for lowering serum copper.
Mineral Therapy: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Zinc and Manganese all interfere with copper absorption. Since high levels of copper in the body or diet may result in Molybdenum insufficiency and cause low uric acid levels, reducing copper toxicity can result in normalizing uric acid and molybdenum levels. Intake of molybdenum at doses as low as 0.54 mg per day has been associated with an increased loss of copper in the urine.
Vitamin Therapy: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) (see mineral therapy). Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) at a daily dose of 50 mg daily without supplemental copper is suggested to increase copper excretion.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Chelation Therapy
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness - Nutrition Basics: Chelation Agents
Hair analysis can be used to determine levels of copper in the body. With knowledge of how minerals interact in the body, it is possible to lower the amount of copper in the body and maintain a proper mineral balance.
If you have an extremely high level of copper, you may require medical treatment with Chelation Therapy which removes toxic metals from the body and can be used to remove excess copper. If the copper levels are higher than normal, but not extreme, this can often be managed with supplements.
If copper levels are very high, treatment with DMSA, penicillamine or EDTA may be needed.
The trace minerals Manganese, Molybdenum, and Zinc can prevent excess copper from accumulating in the body.
Many people with schizophrenia have been found to have high levels of copper and iron, combined with deficiencies of zinc and manganese, probably as a result of lower than normal excretion of copper. Increasing the intake of Zinc and Manganese, whether through the diet or supplementation, increases elimination of copper and helps return copper levels to normal.
See Environmental Toxicity and Wilson's Disease for more information on these subjects.
Foods and herbs that can generally help the liver and the detoxing process include:
You should consult with your health care provider before beginning any herbal supplementation.
- Pomegranates as well as Brassicaceaes Vegetables (Cabbage family).
- Milk Thistle (very important for liver detoxing).
- Stinging Nettle (nettle infusions).
- Cod Liver Oil.
- Dandelion Root Tea
- Kombucha Tea (binds to and helps remove heavy metals from the body).
- Diatomaceous Earth (binds to and help remove heavy metals from the body),
- Castor Oil packs.
- Desiccated Liver.
- St. John's Wort. St. John's Wort, also is effective with decreasing serum estrogen (high estrogen from birth control pill use raises copper retention).
DIET & NUTRITION RECOMMENDATIONS
DIETARY REVIEW & ASSESSMENT
While under the supervision of a Mineral-Nutritional Balancing practitioner, make any necessary dietary changes. Certain nutrients will need to be added to help support the liver and clear out toxins from the gut. Maintain your supervision throughout the course of the detox so that side effects, both physiologically and mentally, can be monitored and properly explained. Having a whole blood histamine test will also give invaluable advice concerning methylation and which will affect detox protocol.
If you suspect that you have a copper toxicity or high levels of copper, decrease or eliminate your intake of foods rich in copper, such as legumes (especially soybeans such as tofu, tempeh, miso, etc.), nuts and seeds (except for pumpkin seeds), cocoa and chocolate, black pepper, seafood such as shellfish, raisins, molasses, avocados, whole grains (wheat), coconut, coffee, leafy greens, and cauliflower. To help recover and detox, these foods should be limited.
Have your drinking water tested. Drinking water can be a source of copper. The level of copper and other minerals in household drinking water can be tested by special labs. If there is more than 1 part per million of copper in your drinking water, an alternate source of water, such as bottled water, is advisable. If this is not feasible, always run the water at lease 2 minutes to clear out some of the impurities.
Do not use copper pots or other copper-containing cooking utensils.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a sulphur containing amino acid binds with heavy metals such as copper, iron, mercury and cadmium. Being both water and lipid (fat) soluble it has good bioavailability in the body. This can be taken with synthetic or natural chelating agents.
Increase your intake of sulfur, found in such foods as Eggs, Onions, and Garlic. These help to rid the body of copper. In addition, supplement your diet with Apple Pectin, which can be found in apples.
THE VEGAN-VEGETARIAN DIET
In terms of diet changes, it is widely accepted that vegetarian diets exacerbate copper toxicity, and vegans/vegetarians should strongly consider slowly reincorporating some form of animal protein back into the diet (despite the strong resistance to this that will be felt by many with copper toxicity). It will be almost impossible to properly detox otherwise. This is not meant to promote meat or animal protein products - the modern Western meat based diet is far from healthy and plant based diets have great health benefits. However, if you are hoping to fully recover from copper toxicity, despite personal objections to eating meat, it is of almost paramount importance to add at least some meat back into the diet. This does not need to be a lifelong commitment. Certainly though it can help speed up and make more effective the period of detox, and may be the make or break decision determining a proper recovery - physically and psychologically. Organically raised grass fed meat is recommended. Organic or not though, foods that have high enough zinc levels to counterbalance the high copper should be increased, these being red meat (best source) such as beef, lamb, and venison, chicken, eggs and pumpkin seeds. Fermented foods and certain Herbs can generally help the liver and the detoxing process.
Most vegetarians/vegans have too low a metabolic rate for copper to show up in a blood test (unless there is a current and direct exposure to copper (such as an IUD)) because the copper is not being released into the blood. Thus, without an HTMA, many copper toxic individuals go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Even when a vegetarian takes zinc supplements, copper can easily accumulate, especially in the presence of tired adrenals and stress. Furthermore, the vegetarian diet is high in phytate-rich grains, which further lowers zinc (even though grains (though particularly high in copper) contain zinc, the zinc is neutralized by the phytates and oxalates). Without adequate zinc, they lack the ability to retain potassium. Adequate potassium is necessary for hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach - a deficiency of which will develop a distaste for animal protein, solidifying further the vegetarian's belief that they feel better eating vegetarian food. No matter how much potassium the individual eats through vegetables and fruit, it is not being retained. This lack of available potassium is a common cause behind many vegetarian complaints including apathy, underweight, and depression. The answer is not to simply eat more potassium, but rather help the body make it useable by strengthening the adrenals and metabolism. Otherwise, the vegetarian will continue to crave stimulants such as chocolate (high in sugar, copper, and oxalic acid) or running/jogging which temporarily whips up the adrenal glands making the person feel temporarily 'more alive' - all the while depleting their energy reserves further and allowing copper to rise.
Another problem the vegetarian faces is potential sulfur-deficiency, which then makes proper detoxing even more difficult. Sulfur is found in certain vegetables (i.e.: garlic, onions, beans) as well as in meats. It is most abundant however and in a more usable form in meat. This creates a serious problem for many vegetarians and vegans as sulfur is essential for liver detoxification and removing heavy metals. Without enough meat-based sulfur sources in the diet, vegetarians will be even more prone to the build-up of heavy metals, as well as experience a much harder time chelating those metals and detoxifying the body.
BALANCING DIETARY MINERALS
Beyond dietary suggestions, there are other steps that can be taken as well while under nutritional and detoxing supervision. The patient should work with a Mineral Balancing and/or Functional Medicine expert who can offer proper testing (through Hair Tissue Metal Analyxix (HTMA), guidance, and ongoing monitoring of your condition. The specific diet and supplementation for you can only be accurately established after first having an HTMA test done which will show the various balances / imbalances across a spectrum of minerals. Remember that it is not just about correcting the copper level, your recovery will also be determined by the balancing of other key minerals and ratios. Those minerals that are deficient in relation to others will need to be increased through diet and supplementation, while other minerals in excess may need to be reduced. Without HTMA results to use as a guide, any supplement or detox program would be nothing more than blind guesswork, and certainly not in the best interest of the patient.
COPPER-FREE MULTI-VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS
Do not take a Multivitamin and/or Multimineral supplement that contains copper. Read product labels carefully. See Copper-Free Multivitamin Supplement Products
COPPER BALANCING SUPPLEMENTS
In terms of supplementation, for the slow metabolizer copper toxic individual, these vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended to help with copper balancing and breaking up the calcium shell.
- Magnesium Regarding magnesium, both copper retention as well as stress are contributors to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency not only causes a myriad of symptoms (including clouded thinking, irritability, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, and personality changes), it also further adds a toll to the adrenals.
- Vitamin A (Retinol form rather than Beta-Carotene). Vitamin A is particularly important to produce ceruloplasmin which copper can bind to in order to make the copper bioavailable.
- Vitamin B-1 Helps reduce elevated copper levels.
- Vitamin B-2 Helps reduce elevated copper levels.
- Vitamin B-6 Helps reduce elevated copper levels.
- Vitamin C (Whole Food Source). Vitamin C is helpful for chelating copper from the liver and the brain. It is important to use whole Vitamin C and not synthetic Ascorbic Acid. Ascorbic Acid unbinds copper from ceruloplasmin which then actually increases unbound-biounavailable copper, potentially making things worse. Whole Vitamin C, on the other hand, contains Tyrosinase as well as copper ions which the liver needs to produce ceruloplasmin. The adrenal glands require large amounts of Vitamin C, and as copper stresses the adrenals more, the greater the need for Vitamin C in order to eliminate the excess copper. Stress depletes Vitamin C from the tissues, especially from those of the adrenal cortex. The goal is to increase both bound copper as well as ceruloplasmin.
- Manganese can help release copper from storage.
- Molybdenum helps bind free copper in the blood, especially useful when copper is being released from storage and entering the blood (without the binding of free copper, the mental symptoms can worsen.
- Sulfur (MSM.
- L-Taurine is an amino acid which helps bind copper.
Vitamin B-12 is also extremely important, especially for copper toxic vegetarians/vegans. While copper may not directly lower Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-12 deficiency is common is many copper toxic individuals, especially those who are vegetarian / vegan. In fact, Vitamin B-12 deficiency is inevitable for the vegan/vegetarian unless otherwise supplemented. Decades of studies show that Vitamin B-12 deficiency is common in patients with emotional disturbances and mental illness. Vitamin B-12 deficiency has been blamed for the hospitalization of many patients in mental institutions.
In cases where the patient shows a high calcium level or low potassium (as is common with copper toxicity / slow metabolizers), Vitamin D should be avoided as it will make the negative side effects even more pronounced. In such cases Vitamin D further increases calcium (numbing emotions), lowers potassium (which slows the thyroid, lowers energy, and increases depression), raises the sodium potassium ratio (which threatens the stress response, and lowers (calming) magnesium.
Keep in mind, however, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation that can be given here. The detox and nutritional plan is a highly personalized plan that must be properly assessed and monitored.
COPPER DUMPING - DETOXING
While the aforementioned supplements are generally recommended, keep in mind that they will likely trigger copper dumping (along with all the negative associated effects, both physically and mentally). The detox stage brings about some of the worst symptoms of copper toxicity, and you have to decide if you are willing to face it. Minerals can be a double edged sword if not introduced to the system properly. For example, zinc is necessary for balancing copper, magnesium helps with fatigue, while calcium can also help alleviate some of the effects of copper dumping. However, if any of these are introduced too quickly (or too much), it can make matters substantially worse. It is for this reason again that you work closely with a Nutritional Balancing expert trained in copper detoxification for all specific supplementation and dietary advice. Furthmore, your methylation activity and histamine / homocysteine levels will determine a further need for, or avoidance of, certain nutrients.
In cases where high copper and low zinc levels have altered the brain (ie: high copper induced schizophrenia), the following is one treatment protocol. The treatment program consists of the administration of Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-3 (Niacin), Vitamin B-12, and Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9). The rationale underlying the treatment is that Folic Acid in conjunction with Vitamin B-12 injections raises the blood Histamine while lowering the degree of symptomatology. Zinc and Manganese allow for the normal storage of histamine in both the basophils and the brain. With this treatment the high blood copper is slowly reduced and symptoms are slowly relieved in several months time. Zinc and Manganese with Vitamin C remove Copper from the tissues. The largest tissues of the body, namely the liver and muscles, are flushed of their Copper first so the serum Copper may rise to aggravate mental symptoms. If this occurs then the dose of Zinc should be reduced.
OTHER LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS
In addition to diet, there are some basic things you can begin doing at home that can help, including:
- Reduce Stress. Find which areas or events in your life are causing you stress, and reduce or eliminate them. Taking on new projects, workloads, or hard exercise all increase stress. Stressful events cause the adrenals to weaken further, making it even harder for the body to excrete excess copper. Find ways to relax and be at peace.
- Meditate or do Tai Chi.
- EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) EFT is a powerful, drug-free, easy-to-learn and easy-to-use technique that can reduce stress or painful emotions associated with thoughts, past experiences, etc. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are several points on your body that are tapped gently with the tips of the fingers on one hand, whilst repeating certain relevant phrases at the same time. The theory behind this technique involves the body's energy field, or "meridians", so named by the ancient Chinese. Whether you believe in energy fields or not, you might be curious enough to try this the next time you feel negative emotions - and be surprised by the results.
BASIC EFT STEPS
1. Define the negative emotions (or issues) that are causing you problems, then identify its intensity by assigning a level from 0 to 10. 0 would be "non-existent" and 10 would be the most severe.
2. Clarify your setup phrase, which must be specific. For example, "Even though I feel tense and angry when strangers look at me, I totally and completely love, forgive and accept myself anyway". Or, "p;Even though I fly into a rage when someone makes fun of my green hair and three heads, I totally and completely love, forgive and accept myself anyway". Or, "Even though I feel hurt, sad and devastated that (name of person) has dumped me, I totally and completely love, forgive and accept myself anyway". Get the idea?
3. Repeat your setup phrase while tapping the 'karate chop point' - the soft spot on the side of either hand - just below your little finger. Tap the point around 7 times (although there's really no need to count).
4. Come up with a reminder phrase. This will be spoken aloud while tapping the other meridian points (refer to video below). Reminder phrases will be a brief reminder of the setup phrase, for example "strangers looking at me", "hate being looked at". Or, "(name of person) dumped me", "dumped me!", "feel gutted", etc.
5. Tap through all of the following points, repeating your reminder phrase:
6. Now that you have completed your first round of tapping, ask yourself what level the emotion/feeling/discomfort is at, on a 1 to 10 scale again.
- Inner eyebrow, just above the inner "corner" of the eye, on the bone.
- Outer eye: outside edge of the eye, on the bone.
- Under the eye: below the center of the eye, again, on the bone.
- Under the nose, between the nose and the lip.
- On the chin, right in the middle where the crease is.
- On your chest. Find the "U" shaped bone below your throat, go down 2 inches and then 2 inches either to the right or left.
- Under your arm: where your bra strap is or three inches under the crease of your arm. Guys, make a good guess.
- Some people also like to tap their wrist points at this stage: Insides of wrists facing each other, tap them lightly together.
- Top of head: In the middle.
7. Repeat the process until, at the end of the final round, when you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, it is 2 or less. In that instance, your final setup phrase could be, "Even though I still feel a little bit of anger/sadness/depression about (name of situation), I choose to let it go now as this feeling/emotion no longer serves me."
8 Your reminder phrases can then be "I'm free of this now", "don't need it anymore", "I'm strong and confident", etc.
- Breathwork. Breathwork can be one of the most powerful anti-anxiety and stress relieving tools you can use. One very successful method is the "4/7/8 Breath". To do this, begin by fully and powerfully exhaling through the mouth. Then inhale fully through to the nose to a count of 4. Hold for 7 seconds. Then release and exhale through the mouth forcefully for 8 seconds. Repeat this for 4 breath cycles. Then stop. Do not go longer. Do this twice a day, consistently each day, for at least 6 to 8 weeks.
- Get adequate rest.
- Epsom Salt Baths or Magnesium Chloride Baths
- Avoid excessive exercise (at least until the adrenals have had a chance to strengthen). Heavy and/or aerobic exercise can make copper dumping symptoms worse. On the other hand, it can also stimulate an exhausted person enough that it buries the true extent of the problem, while silently depleting minerals even further.
- Enemas may be recommended. Some people do find this helpful, however the caution here is that while it can help take out some copper, it at the same time will remove other electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium will be lowered, and this can lead to health issues.
- Sweating & saunas offer a gentler and safer approach with a less severe effect than enemas.
- Review recent behavior. Be objectively aware of recent behaviors. Did you make a drastic decision or did your life take a turn around the time you began to detox? Decisions which could be seen as hurtful or have dragged you in a negative or more closed-off direction are often not your true, higher self, but rather are influenced by copper, negative energies, and triggers. Try as best you can to focus on positive, higher conscious behaviors such as forgiveness, love, kindness, compassion, openness. Believe in the real you, which is always positive towards yourself and others.
- It is important to seek support and guidance from those who understand copper toxicity and the detox roller coaster. Copper toxicity is very poorly understood. Though people and practitioners will offer you their advice, they really have no understanding of the extent of changes that copper can cause in an individual. Make sure the actions you take are based on advice from those who have taken the time to really understand this condition. There are also several support groups and forums out there filled with individuals who, like you, are working their way through their understanding and healing. Psychotherapy is recommended to help reduce the destructive effects of the superego (also known as the Judge) which copper gives rise to, and emotional support, are both very beneficial.
- Depending on severity, it can take anywhere from 6 months to several years to correct a copper imbalance, assuming the patient is undergoing a properly constructed and monitored nutritional balancing program. Removing excess tissue copper completely is required, and this requires a long term commitment. Typically vegetarians and those on raw food diets take the longest to recover, not only because the copper has been building up in the body over a long period of time, but also because of the resistance those people will have to adding meat back into the diet. Likewise, the balancing of minerals in general requires a long term commitment, and even under correct guidance can be expected to take many months. Trying to detox too quickly can result in serious side effects both physically and mentally.
- Determine your oxidation type. Oxidation types (or metabolic types) are based upon the work of Dr. George Watson, Ph.D, who was able to detect distinct patterns and differences between what he termed slow oxiders and fast oxidizers (a similar concept to slow metabolizers and fast metabolizers). These patterns are easily identifiable through an HTMA profile, and also show a clear connection with three stages of stress. For simplicity sake, there are two main metabolic types, slow and fast. The fast metabolizer, with an overactive thyroid and adrenals, is releasing energy too quickly, running himself out of fuel. The slow metabolizer is releasing energy too slowly, basically he does not have enough. The slow metabolizer will typically have elevated levels of calcium, magnesium and copper (with low sodium and potassium), while inversely the fast metabolizer will have elevated sodium and potassium (with lower calcium, magnesium and copper). Infinite ratios result of course within these two broad descriptions. It is important to understand that most almost all copper toxic individuals represent as slow metabolizers. Copper not only leads to a slowing of metabolism, but the slowing metabolism in turn spirals the copper accumulation higher as the copper is not being used as quickly as it would be in a Fast type. Simply put, copper accumulates as metabolism slows down. Sluggish adrenals and thyroid will allow copper to build up. As mentioned though, copper is also a major reason why these glands slow down, so it is a vicious cycle. Traits of slow metabolizers often include fatigue, depression, apathy, low blood sugar, adrenal insufficiency, and hypothyroid. These traits are clearly explainable through the various mineral ratios presented on the HTMA profile. The more extreme the slow metabolizer pattern is, the more apparent symptoms of depression, despair, and apathy / emotional numbness become. Understanding one's metabolizer type (and the key ratios within) is paramount to creating a healthy recovery protocol. Although specifics can vary person to person, slow metabolizers typically need more potassium, zinc, vitamin A and Vitamin C, while avoiding calcium, copper, and Vitamin D.
- Copper also affects neurotransmitter production. It actually pushes the conversion of dopamine, that lovely, warm, fuzzy feeling neurotransmitter into that excited neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. So, all that norepinephrine cause the heart to race, it can cause anxiety, it can later cause depression and it can later cause adrenal fatigue.
- For some women, the copper IUD experience is without any significant symptoms, and most OB/GYN's will insist there is no possible connection with the IUD or that an increase in copper levels or psychological changes can occur. However, one must be very aware that the copper IUD is not as innocuous as those promoting it make it sound. As far back as 1975, Dr. Carl Pfeiffer in his book Mental and Elemental Nutrients made the connection between the increasing prevalence of copper 'toxicity' and use of the pill and IUD. After copper IUD insertion, both blood tests and hair tissue mineral tests will likely show an increase in copper levels. Here for example is one case (study) in point. This alone does not lead to problems, as for many women their diet contains enough zinc to balance the increase in copper, and their systems are strong enough to maintain proper regulation. That said, it will not take much searching online to find forums filled with thousands of women who's lives and healths have been utterly ruined after having their IUD put in, and numerous class action law suits have been filed as a result (that alone should be a clue as to the dangers). The copper builds up slowly in the body. For many women symptoms first begin appearing 1 or 4 months after insertion, for others though the time period may be much longer, years to decades. Symptoms initially begin as physical (brain fog, fatigue, acne) as copper builds in the liver, but then once copper accumulations start reaching the brain, severe shifts in personality can occur as a result of increasing bio-unavailable calcium and changes in neurotransmitter production. Be especially cognizant of your energy, behavior and reaction to things in the period 2 to 5 months after insertion. For some people, the simple decision to use a copper IUD can change their entire life trajectory, destroying important relationships, and beginning a cascade of health issues that can take many years to rectify. The Pill, which also raises copper retention by increasing estrogen, can also devastate relationships.
In 1979, Karl E. Mason, PhD, wrote, "the continued use of oral contraceptives has been, and will continue to be, an important factor in influencing copper homeostasis in women." And yet, 40 years later, women continue to be given misleading advice from practitioners that insist that birth control could have no correlation with copper toxicity or their presenting copper-related symptoms.
- Retracing during detox. Another thing that can happen during detox is something known as "retracing". Retracing stems from a subconscious association of memories with biochemical patterns. If you suspect copper toxicity, it is imperative that you work with someone experienced in treating not only the condition itself, but also someone properly trained Mineral / Nutritional Balancing and / or specializing in Functional Medicine, and begin by having an HTMA done. If your well-intentioned health practitioner/ homeopath/ naturopath offers you a detox protocol, make very sure before you begin that they have successfully treated even extreme cases of copper toxicity and understand the psychological implications of copper. Most health practitioners do not understand the importance of HTMA data, nor do they make the connection with methylation and neurotransmitter imbalances. Without such experience and having a full understanding of what copper does to the body both physically and psychologically, as well as understanding that it is not the copper level in a serum test that indicates the level of copper toxicity but rather various other mineral patterns and ratios that present themselves as a result, even the best intentioned care give r can make the condition and symptoms in some areas many times worse. If your health provider cautions you against HTMA work, that is a sure sign to also look elsewhere, as such a view means they do not adequately understand the complexities of copper toxicity or how to properly treat it.
RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
COPPER DEFICIENCY NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
Unless otherwise specified, the dosages recommended in this section are for adults. For a child between the ages of 12 and 17 years, reduce the dose to 3/4 the recommended amount. For a child between 6 and 12, use 1/2 the recommended dose, and for a child under the age of 6, use 1/4 the recommended amount.
NUTRIENTS Supplement Suggested Dosage Comments Important Vitamin C
1,000 mg 4 times daily. Copper chelators. Use whole foods Vitamin C. Plus Rutin 60 mg daily. A bioflavonoid that is a byproduct of buckwheat and lowers serum copper. Zinc 50 to 80 mg daily. Do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements. Needed to balance with Copper. A zince deficiency predisposes one to excessive copper levels. Use zinc chelate form. Helpful Calcium 1,500 mg daily. Binds with metallic ions in the body. Or
Calcium Disodium Edetate
As prescribed by health care provider. Used by health care providers to treat heavy metal poisoning.
See health care provider for this supplement. Available by prescription only. Magnesium 750 mg daily, at bedtime. Works to balance with calcium. L-Cysteine
As directed on label, on an empty stomach. Take with water or juice. Do not take with milk. Take with 50 mg Vitamin B-6 and 100 mg Vitamin C for better absorption. Aids in elimination of Copper from the body and protects the liver. Manganese 2 to 4 mg daily. Take separately from Calcium. Aids in excretion of excess Copper. Molybdenum 30 mcg daily. Prevents accumulation of excess copper in the body.
NOTIFY YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
If you have a copper toxicity or suspect a copper toxicity and may need professional consultation and hair analysis testing for verification.
You have any increase of symptoms or other signs of copper toxicity.
You have any unexpected or unusual symptoms. Some people may have sensitivity, allergies, or other health conditions which would prevent them from using certain herbs or other treatments.
HELPFUL RELATED LINKS
Merck Manual: Copper: Mineral Deficiency & Toxicity
Copper Toxicity Syndrome
LabCorp: Ceruloplasmin Laboratory Test
COPPER TOXICITY SUPPLEMENTS & PRODUCTS
Information and supplements to help with environmental Copper toxicity and help with detoxification.
Alpha Lipoic Acid Products Apple Pectin Products Bioflavonoids Supplement Products Castor Oil Pack Products Cod Liver Oil Products. Dandelion Herbal Products Desiccated Liver Products. Detox Foot Pad Products Diatomaceous Earth Products Flaxseed Herbal Products Folic Acid Supplement Products Garlic Herbal Products Kombucha Herbal Products Manganese Supplement Products Milk Thistle Herbal Products
Multimineral Supplement Products Multivitamin Supplement Products Nettle Herbal Products Onion Herbal Products Pomegranate Herbal Products Potassium Supplement Products Rutin Supplement Products St. John's Wort Herbal products Vitamin A Supplement Products Vitamin B-3 Supplement Products Vitamin B-6 Supplement Products Vitamin B-12 Supplement Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Zinc Supplement Products
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
FTC Advertising & Affilate Disclosure: This website has an affiliate relationship with certain merchants selling products and we recieve commissions from those sales to help support this website. Any products listed here are not listed by any rating system. We do not rate any product or post any feedback about products listed here. We leave this to the individual merchants to provide. We do not provide product prices or shopping carts since you do not order these products directly from us, but from the merchant providing the products. We only provide the link to that merchant webpage with all related product information and pricing. The products are listed here by merchant, product use, quantity size or volume, and for nutritional supplements - dosage per unit. All product descriptions are provided by the merchant or manufacturer and are not our descriptive review of the product. We do not endorse any specific product or attest to its effectiveness to treat any health condition or support nutritional requirements for any individual.
DETOX FOOT PAD PRODUCTS
Amazon: Detox Foot Pad & Patches Products
The Japanese and now many Americans have are using these detox foot patches to cleanse the body of unwanted toxins. The foot patches literally suck the toxins out of the body to help the body function better. Removing body toxins helps support liver function, and helps combat fatigue, attention deficit, allergies, and poor circulation, while increasing metabolism and enhancing sleep. Any time you can remove unwanted toxins from your body you support your body's wellbeing. The detox foot patches are designed to maximize the removal of toxins in the body. They are easy to use, and work quickly.
Suggested Use: One self sticking detox foot patch is applied to each foot nightly for five days, and then repeated for 5 day periods for up to thirty days. For continued maintenance cleansing a foot patches may be applied one to two times per week. Patches may be applied on the heal, center or front of the foot. Best when used at night when sleeping. Complete application instructions and use are included in each box.
1) The visual evidence of removed toxins is apparent after each application of the detox foot patch. The physical progress is apparent when used over a few consecutive days.
2) Samples used detox pads were sent to SRC Analytical Lab, a highly accredited Environmental Laboratory. Their test results showed that the detox foot pads absorbed Nickel, Arsenic and Mercury into the pads.
3) Multiple detox pads removed from various individuals were analyzed by using a syncrometer. The syncrometer is an electronic device used to detect numerous toxic substances. The following toxins have been identified in the used detox pads: benzene, isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, aluminum, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, thallium, arsenic, asbestos, DAB dye, fast green dye, sudan black dye and PCB (plastic byproduct).
4) Extensive research in Japan has been conducted with the use of Thermography (infrared technology). The detox foot pads have been tested for their ability to stimulate circulation by means of these thermographic sensors.
5) Further research was conducted on the healing and relaxation properties of the pads through measurement of alpha brain waves.
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.