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Filtering by Tag: copper elimination problems

Is Copper driving you Crazy?

Aisling FitzGibbon


Are racing thoughts disturbing your peace of mind? Is an inner dialogue preventing you from reaching a place of stillness? Do you tend to go on and on about life’s issues? Have you a history of academic underachievement, ADHD, adrenal fatigue, hair loss, high anxiety, sleep problems, poor concentration and focus, low dopamine activity, joint and muscle pains, skin sensitivity and sometimes but not always white spots on the finger nails? If so, you could be suffering from a copper overload. 

High copper levels, especially associated with low zinc, have been linked to a variety of conditions- depending on an individual’s biochemistry will determine how it affects them. Zinc, known as the resiliency mineral, helps to control our stress response. When it's displaced by high levels of copper, our ability to handle life’s stressors diminishes and we can feel overwhelmed, depressed and irritable. Copper tends to build up in the thyroid and wreaks havoc with thyroid hormones T 3 & T4. This is because as copper levels rise there is an increase in calcium which slows the activity of the thyroid gland.

How copper affects our ability to feel

A build -up of excess copper will tend to contribute to feelings of fear and anger in a person. As more and more copper builds up it can shift more towards rage and panic. This leads to a feeling of being out of control. People who have very high copper will often feel driven to push themselves in a highly competitive manner until they reach a point of total exhaustion. When copper increases in the body so does calcium to the extent that a calcium shell begins to form. This calcium shell tends to block emotions making a person feel numb towards others and towards life events. The calcium shell predisposes the person to denial of life’s problems. Copper’s deadening effect can lead to depression, negativity and feelings of inferiority. It can also lead to emotional outbursst and meltdowns. Copper stimulates the reptilian brain to the extent that perceptions can become distorted. Those with high copper levels tend towards neurosis and hypochondriasis. 

Copper is passed down the generations

Copper is passed down through the generations from diets that are lacking in zinc, from stress(stress depletes zinc), copper piping, and birth control methods such as the pill and the copper IUD. Sometimes copper sulphate is added to the water supply to help control algae. When mothers are high in copper and lower in zinc, this mineral imbalance gets passed onto their children. The result is seen in the increase in children with learning difficulties, dyslexia, behavioural problems and aggression. Women who have used the pill and stopped just before trying to get pregnant are high in copper.  Both the pill hormones and the copper IUD will raise copper levels in most women. Women with pre-eclampsia and post-partum depression have been found to be high in copper. Professor Hurley from the university of California has shown that zinc deficiency in pregnant rats can cause still births and birth defects.

How to eliminate safely from copper

It can take up to six months to correct a copper imbalance. Before beginning a copper elimination programme adrenal health needs to be optimal and the liver pathways need to be working. Vegetarians will find it more difficult to detox from copper excess due to their lack of the amino acid taurine, which is needed for bile production and their diet which is lower in zinc than in those who eat meat.

The importance of monitoring a copper detox cannot be overstated as clients need to be aware of possible detox reactions and how to handle them. This is because during the correction of a copper imbalance there can be transitory symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, anger, irritability and nausea. Brain fog can be a sign that copper is deposited in the liver. When the liver becomes overburdened with deposits of copper the excess is stored in secondary sites such as the brain. Excessive levels in the brain are associated with symptoms such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, paranoia and schizophrenia.

With copper elimination, the excess copper from our storage organs is released into the blood.  When this happens, unless the organs of elimination are supported, the mobilised copper simply goes around the body and redeposits elsewhere. As suggested by Dr Carl Pfeiffer, copper is mobilised from storage sites using Zinc, Vitamin B 6, Manganese (under- methylators need to avoid manganese),and Vitamin C. Dr Walsh also advises molybdenum to help to pull the copper out of the tissues. Some people have no problem in taking supplements once or twice a day and others, due to the severity of detox reactions have no choice but to proceed slowly. When copper is eliminated and the calcium shell begins to dissolves there is an increase in consciousness and awareness. However, attempting to detox too quickly can lead to problems and can worsen mental symptoms.

My own experience

I believe that I was genetically predisposed to having high copper levels from my father’s lineage and from my grandfather on my mum’s side who had tuberculous. TB predisposes a person to low zinc and high copper. When I was younger and I was given zinc supplements I would feel temporarily a “little crazy” as the copper went from my tissues and into my blood stream. Vitamin C helped with the symptoms. In my twenties when I underwent a dietary healing programme I took zinc, vitamin B 6 and vitamin C. I felt anxious with the copper release and sometimes had a headache with nausea. However as I was informed what could happen at each stage I proceeded very slowly. I used my infrared sauna a lot to help detox through my skin and coffee enemas to help my liver cope with the circulating copper.

An interesting thing I read somewhere is that when copper is stored in the tissues, what gets stored with it are the energetic memories of fears and old belief systems. This makes sense as when the copper was being eliminated from my body I experienced quite a bit of irrational fears and it was around this time that I began to question societal beliefs and moving away from them. So perhaps it is true that consciousness increases when we eliminate the numbing effects of copper. With the dissolution of the calcium shell we become more connected and engaged. High copper levels tend to keep us in a more childlike state as zinc is needed for the transition from childhood to adulthood.

What tests can I use to check my copper status

Thanks to my training with Dr Bill Walsh, I now offer my clients blood tests to check their copper levels. From my own personal experience and my training I can understand what’s happening to others on their health journey. At every stage I act as a guide, interpreting where people are at and where they need to go. As we recover from deficiencies that could have been incurred from our ancestral line we begin to heal for future generations who will be stronger and healthier because of parents with a more balanced biochemistry.

If you are interested in working with me please fill in my Clarity Call Application