A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Copper Toxicity
I had a question the other day about copper toxicity.
Trace amounts of copper are essential for your body.
Since copper isn’t made by your body, you need to get it through your diet.
Many things in your body need copper to work right, plus copper is involved in the function of your nervous system.
But too much copper in your body can be toxic.
This can problems like diarrhea, eczema, hemolytic anemia, high blood pressure, kidney disease, nausea, premenstrual syndrome, sickle cell anemia, stomach pain, and severe damage to your central nervous system.
High levels of copper are also associated with mental and emotional disorders, including autism, behavioral problems, childhood hyperactivity, clinical depression, anxiety, postpartum psychological problems, hallucinatory and paranoid schizophrenia, insomnia, mood swings, stuttering, and senile dementia.
Sources of copper include beer, copper cookware, copper plumbing, industrial wastes, insecticides, pasteurized milk, tap water, and many foods, as well as swimming pool chemicals and permanent-wave solutions.
The daily recommended intake of copper is 900 mcg per day for adults 19-70 years of age.
For children it ranges from 200 mcg for infants under 6 months to 890 for children 14-18 years of age.
Copper levels can be determined through blood tests, urine samples, and hair analysis.
In people with diseases like arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, schizophrenia, or cancer, copper levels tend to be high.
During illness, copper is released from your tissues into your blood to promote tissue repair.
High copper readings during illness means your body’s natural repair processes have been activated.
The use of oral contraceptives and/or tobacco can cause a rise in the amount of copper in your body.
Excess copper is also characteristic of anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, leukemia, and vitamin B3 (niacin) deficiency.
Copper levels also tend to be higher than normal during pregnancy.
Wilson’s disease is a rare hereditary disorder where your body can’t properly metabolize copper, and the metal accumulates in your body.
People with low adrenal gland function or abnormally slow metabolism can develop high copper levels.
Zinc plays an important role in how much copper is stored in your tissues.
In addition, stress can cause a decrease in the amount of zinc available to your body, which can lead to copper overload.
With knowledge of how minerals interact in your body, it’s possible to lower the amount of copper in your body and keep a proper mineral balance.
To deal with copper toxicity it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Grape seed extract is a free radical scavenger and helps protect cells from damage.
*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’s more than 1 part per million of copper in your drinking water, an alternate source of water, like bottled steam-distilled water, is advisable. If this isn’t feasible, run your water for at least 2 minutes before using it to clear out some of the impurities.
*Increase your intake of sulfur, found in foods like eggs, onions, and garlic. These help to rid your body of copper. In addition, supplement your diet with pectin, which can be found in apples.
*Don’t take a multivitamin and/or mineral supplement containing copper.
*Don’t use copper pots or other cooking utensils.
*If you have an extremely high level of copper, you may need medical treatment with chelation to remove the excess copper. Chelation therapy removes toxic metals from your body. If copper levels are higher than normal, but not extreme, this can often be managed with supplements.
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