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Copper

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
So how do we tell if we have too much or too little? If we have too much, it will block zinc, B1, folate, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin C. So even if we are getting enough of those from our diet, or are taking supplements, if we have too much copper it will block the absorption of those nutrients. Is that correct?

So from this link we won't be able to make serotonin and melatonin.

How do we know if we have too much copper? Blood test? Hair test? Is there something about nursing/pregnancy that makes tests less accurate?
post #2 of 67
Thread Starter 
This link says that hair tests for copper are not accurate due to external contamination. It says that a 24-urine copper test or a blood serum test are the best means of testing.

This copper/zinc profile from Great Plains lab is a blood test. Gosh, how do you tell what blood tests are most worthy? It seems like there is a different test for all these issues.

However, zinc seems like it is a vital first step to a lot of these pathways, and copper is one of the main ways zinc is blocked, so this seems like one of the basics.
post #3 of 67
I can attest to the fact that Cu definitely block absorption of Zn, 5 HTP and all the other nutrients you mentioned cuz I have chronic insomnia and my Cu is really high
post #4 of 67
Thread Starter 
How do you know it's high? Did you have a blood or urine test?
post #5 of 67
Unknowingly, I supplemented my self with excessive cu. My hair mineral b/f excessive supplementation showed normal level of cu but later hair analysis showed very high cu.
post #6 of 67
Thread Starter 
Wow, I'm so sorry about that. Was it in another supp you were taking? That's scary. That link did say that hair test are not as accurate because of external contamination, but it sounds like you have other confirmation on it with symptoms, and knowing you took it as a supp.
post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
Wow, I'm so sorry about that. Was it in another supp you were taking?
I was using Alpha lipoic and it retains Cu and chelates mercury. At that time I didn't know any of this and basically I was using it for energy and as a antioxidant. It definitely helped me in those areas but on the downside gave me real problems with cu and redistribution of Hg.... Only if I knew then...didn't have time and energy to google my symptoms. Isn't it unbelievable???


Quote:
That link did say that hair test are not as accurate because of external contamination, but it sounds like you have other confirmation on it with symptoms, and knowing you took it as a supp.
They can say whatever they want, but if your cu is off the charts and your hair is turning grey at the speed of thought then it is definitely not from external contamination. Just my personal experience.... unless you soak your hair in some thing that is loaded with cu, just a thought...
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgirl View Post
They can say whatever they want, but if your cu is off the charts and your hair is turning grey at the speed of thought then it is definitely not from external contamination. Just my personal experience.... unless you soak your hair in some thing that is loaded with cu, just a thought...
Sorry to go off topic but this really caught my attention and I'm afraid if I do a spin-off it might get moved to the regular health forum.

Both DH and I have majorly grey hair. I would say we are between 50% and 75% grey. His mother went grey early and I started when I was 17 so we hadn't been too concerned about it but I've started wondering about it since the greying has increased significantly in the last few years.

We do have a lot of stress in our lives (I don't know if that is just a myth or not) and our diet isn't the greatest. We have not had any copper testing done so I'm unaware of those levels.

We both have environmental allergies. DS1 has asthma, env. allergies and eczema. He is also in the process of being evaluated for autism/ADHD and he has significant sensory issues. I have ADHD myself. I'm not aware of any issues DH has but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he was diagnosed with Asperger's.

So, getting back to the grey hair - where would I start looking to get more information about this and the relation to copper?

TIA

Martha
post #9 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgirl View Post
I was using Alpha lipoic and it retains Cu and chelates mercury. At that time I didn't know any of this and basically I was using it for energy and as a antioxidant. It definitely helped me in those areas but on the downside gave me real problems with cu and redistribution of Hg.... Only if I knew then...didn't have time and energy to google my symptoms. Isn't it unbelievable???

That is just what I've been worried about with all this detox pathway stuff/ I want to get to the bottom of things, but I don't want to start supp'ing with something that might cause imbalance of something else, or that might be a problem if a certain pathway is blocked somewhere.
post #10 of 67
Thread Starter 

Gray hair

When I started this thread I didn't even realize that gray hair could be related. ???? Are you kidding me?? I was just about to start another thread about gray hair too! I started getting gray hairs in my late 20's but they were very few. In the last few years (I'm 37) I have gotten significantly grayer,a d I believe it must be nutritional. I really need to get my Cu tested.

kittynurse, I'm not sure where to tell you to start, other than to jump in on the detox threads here in the allergies forum. There seems to be some debate, because the Cutlet book says the hair test for CU is accurate, more accurate than blood test. I am leaning towards getting the Doctors' Data hair elements test for myself as a starting point.
post #11 of 67
I think gray hair is a zinc issue. Mine really started to turn gray when I became hypothyroid because I didn't have enough zinc for my thyroid to function properly. This type of issue runs in families--my mom turned gray early too, and she has copper/zinc issues just like me, and for the same underlying reason, the mercury in our fillings.

Coolgirl--it KILLS me that they don't have huge warnings on ALA. I'm using it now to chelate mercury and if you have a mercury issue, it'll knock you on your a$$! It's strong stuff, and it doesn't have a huge warning on the label. I'm shocked.

I'm sorry you had such a bad time with it--how are you doing now? I'm supping a lot of zinc, both for my deficiency and for dealing with chelating.

Martha, do you have fillings? I have health problems from the mercury in my fillings, and both my kids are affected. I probably got a fair amount of mercury from _my_ mom, because she's affected by this stuff as well, but it was when my fillings went in that more obvious issues (like environmental allergies and anxiety) started, and then it kept going for 20 years and now I'm here. My son tends toward sensory issues--not enough for a diagnosis, but I started us all on supps when he was 14mos old when I realized what was going on with my health.

Stress is somewhat involved in that our bodies use more nutrients when we're stressed, and in general zinc is hard to get enough of dietarily, but mercury specifically throws off zinc. I've been supplementing my kids for 20 mos now, and they're still both low (looking at them symptomatically).

eta--just realized I wasn't very clear. Copper and zinc are antagonists. If you eat a lot of one, you'll reduce absorption of the other. There are a lot of dietary sources of copper, and fewer of zinc, and processing foods reduces zinc a lot more than copper. And phytic acid in grains reduces zinc absorption as well (and I don't think it affects copper). That's why I started this post with zinc.
post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
I'm sorry you had such a bad time with it--how are you doing now? I'm supping a lot of zinc, both for my deficiency and for dealing with chelating.
What protocol are you using for chelating? Is it helping
post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgirl View Post
What protocol are you using for chelating? Is it helping
The Cutler approach, so when I'm taking it (roughly every other weekend, but sometimes life interferes, so it hasn't been that regular), it's low doses every 3 hours round the clock. The frequent dose chelation group is a great resource for Cutler-style oral chelation. They recommend people start at doses around 10 mg per dose, so a lot lower than most products out there. And I'm working with a HCP who's given me recommendations on how to make this go faster/easier. I'm taking higher dosages, but still only 50mg per dose, and that's with a lot of supportive work.

You don't have amalgam fillings, do you? ALA will pull mercury out of your fillings and make you sicker (or sick if you weren't before).

For me, getting my fillings out and chelating (I used DMSA every 4 hours, every other weekend at first, and then added ALA and changed to every 3 hours, every other weekend) has been really significant for my health.

You can read more than you want to know in this thread...
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...435848&page=30
post #14 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
I think gray hair is a zinc issue. Mine really started to turn gray when I became hypothyroid because I didn't have enough zinc for my thyroid to function properly. This type of issue runs in families--my mom turned gray early too, and she has copper/zinc issues just like me, and for the same underlying reason, the mercury in our fillings.

Coolgirl--it KILLS me that they don't have huge warnings on ALA. I'm using it now to chelate mercury and if you have a mercury issue, it'll knock you on your a$$! It's strong stuff, and it doesn't have a huge warning on the label. I'm shocked.

I'm sorry you had such a bad time with it--how are you doing now? I'm supping a lot of zinc, both for my deficiency and for dealing with chelating.

Martha, do you have fillings? I have health problems from the mercury in my fillings, and both my kids are affected. I probably got a fair amount of mercury from _my_ mom, because she's affected by this stuff as well, but it was when my fillings went in that more obvious issues (like environmental allergies and anxiety) started, and then it kept going for 20 years and now I'm here. My son tends toward sensory issues--not enough for a diagnosis, but I started us all on supps when he was 14mos old when I realized what was going on with my health.

Stress is somewhat involved in that our bodies use more nutrients when we're stressed, and in general zinc is hard to get enough of dietarily, but mercury specifically throws off zinc. I've been supplementing my kids for 20 mos now, and they're still both low (looking at them symptomatically).

eta--just realized I wasn't very clear. Copper and zinc are antagonists. If you eat a lot of one, you'll reduce absorption of the other. There are a lot of dietary sources of copper, and fewer of zinc, and processing foods reduces zinc a lot more than copper. And phytic acid in grains reduces zinc absorption as well (and I don't think it affects copper). That's why I started this post with zinc.

aaargh, see I keep thinking I don't have mercury issues because I never had fillings, not even in baby teeth, but I never thought about that I might have gotten some mercury from my mom's fillings!! She has a ton, I'll have to ask her if she got them before or after my birth.

I am thinking now that I probably have zinc deficiency too, but it's a cycle, so if you have too much copper, it will continue to block your absorption of zinc, so how do you get rid of the excess copper? Or do you get rid of the excess copper by increasing the zinc and it happens consequentially?

I am DOING the Doctors Data test THIS WEEK. I keep putting this off, and it's the easiest one of all to do. Yes, I am getting gray, but I have a lot of hair, and it's really thick, and I wouldn't miss a little sample section of it being gone one bit. So I have no excuse!
post #15 of 67
I'm getting into this conversation late, but I'm sure you've already seen my comment in the chat thread about the hair/blood tests for Cu.

Tanya beat me to it- I was going to say that I've seen gray hair related to low zinc. But of course low zinc goes hand in hand with high copper.

Speaking of copper - chlobo, if you're out there - I keep forgetting to post this for you. I'm reading the Nutrition Almanac right now for some 101 nutrition education, and this caught my eye in the Bioflavonoid section:
Quote:
There are also indications that rutin, in oral doses of 60 milligrams, raises blood histamine and lowers serum copper in the body, helpful for certain schizophrenics.
Not that you're a schizophrenic... but I remembered that your copper is high. And I don't know that raising blood histamine would be good or bad for you... I'm sure WhoMe would have some good thoughts about that. My brain hasn't caught up to all the detox stuff yet.
post #16 of 67
Momofmine--many people have low-level zinc issues, it really is hard to get a good amount just via diet and we have lots of high-copper foods (liver, nuts, legumes, chocolate are the most common in our diets) and most people who have a poor balance just have it via diet, maybe their hormonal BCP when they were younger added to the poor balance (it depletes zinc, I didn't know that when I took it), lots of little things can add up. So it's not a surety that you have any real mercury issue--we've all got some mercury, it's just that some of us have lots and lots.

The easiest way to lower copper is to supp zinc. Sonnambula says 30-40 mg, higher with a healthcare provider you're working with. I am always willing to go fairly high with supps on my own, and I've used higher by myself. Mainstream sites talk about inducing copper deficiencies by supp-ing 50mg/day of zinc, so for people willing to fiddle on their own, that's a starting point. And it _is_ possible to have okay stores of zinc but really high copper, so that's a risk--more reading needs to be done by the individual to decide how to do things, but this is the most common way to address it.
post #17 of 67
Thread Starter 
Okay thanks Tanya, yeah that makes a lot of sense for me now. I also did BCP for about 8 or 10 years! Never would have knowing what I know now. A gynecologist prescribed them for me when I was barely 15 or 16, for major heavy periods. I had periods that were very far apart, like months and months, and when I did have a period, it lasted a long, long time, and was very heavy and painful. I would pass huge clots of blood, and I remember one time sitting in class taking a test when I knew that I had suddenly and completely soaked through my clothes into my seat. I had to walk out of the classroom, sideways, luckily everyone was busy looking at their exam. So of course, the answer to that problem was that I was deficient in birth control pills.

It seems to me now that it is very, very likely that I am low in zinc. Plus, when on SCD years ago, we ate a lot of nuts, so probably had higher copper dietary intake back then too.
post #18 of 67
Thread Starter 
cs, I'm kind of lost in that chat thread, but did we decide that that the DDI hair test is at least somewhat accurate for copper?
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
cs, I'm kind of lost in that chat thread, but did we decide that that the DDI hair test is at least somewhat accurate for copper?
Yep. Well, at least according to Cutler the hair test is the most reliable for copper.
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
The Cutler approach, so when I'm taking it (roughly every other weekend, but sometimes life interferes, so it hasn't been that regular), it's low doses every 3 hours round the clock. The frequent dose chelation group is a great resource for Cutler-style oral chelation. They recommend people start at doses around 10 mg per dose, so a lot lower than most products out there.
I had amalgams for 10 years but got them out last year. Do you take ALA 50 mg in the middle of the night then how do you go back to sleep. I have studied their info on the web and started for my son who has egg allergy and many other food allergies.

Quote:
And I'm working with a HCP who's given me recommendations on how to make this go faster/easier. I'm taking higher dosages, but still only 50mg per dose, and that's with a lot of supportive work.
Are you taking hydro cortisone for adrenals? cuz almost all on freq dose are taking HC. Are you referring to supplements when you say "Supportive work"?
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