Signs and Symptoms of Copper Toxicity; Depression & Anxiety
copper overload symptoms zinc deficiency symptoms

Copper Overload and its Physical and Neurological Symptoms

Copper overload, also known as copper toxicity or copper excess, occurs when there is an accumulation of copper in the body that exceeds the body's ability to regulate and excrete it. This can occur due to various factors, including genetic mutations that affect copper metabolism, exposure to high levels of copper through diet or environmental sources, or impaired liver function that affects copper regulation.

One way to assess copper overload is by measuring the ratios of copper to ceruloplasmin, copper to zinc, and total copper levels in the blood. Ceruloplasmin is a copper-binding protein that helps regulate copper levels in the blood, so a low ratio of copper to ceruloplasmin may indicate copper overload. Similarly, a high ratio of copper to zinc may suggest that there is an imbalance of these minerals that could lead to copper excess. Total copper levels can also be measured to assess copper overload, but this alone may not provide a complete picture of copper metabolism.

Free copper can be particularly problematic in cases of copper overload, as it can lead to oxidative stress and damage to cells and tissues throughout the body. Free copper can also facilitate the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine, which can disrupt neurotransmitter function and lead to mood and behavioral symptoms.

Low zinc levels can also contribute to these symptoms, as zinc is required for the production and regulation of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Zinc deficiency can lead to impaired dopamine function and an increase in norepinephrine production, which can lead to symptoms of anxiety, hyperactivity, and reduced motivation.

In addition to neurological symptoms, copper overload can also cause a range of physical symptoms, including fatigue, joint pain, and skin problems. These symptoms may be related to the oxidative stress and inflammation that can occur in cases of copper overload.

Addressing copper overload typically involves reducing exposure to dietary and environmental sources of copper, supporting liver function, and using specific supplements to help regulate copper levels and support antioxidant function. Zinc supplementation may also be helpful in balancing copper levels and supporting neurotransmitter function.

Signs and Symptoms of Copper Toxicity

Mood and Behavioral: Inflammation:
Increased Anger and Rage Blood sugar dysregulation or sugar cravings
High Anxiety, Stress Intolerance Adrenal and Chronic fatigue
Postpartum Depression and related psychosis Hypothyroidism
Depression Fibromyalgia
Bipolar Disorder Anemia
Paranoia or Paranoid Schizophrenia Loss of Hair
Panic Attacks Candida overgrowth or yeast toxicity
Racing Thoughts and Restlessness Seasonal Allergies, Asthma
Spaciness or Numbed Emotions Digestive Disorders
Poor Concentration and Focus Migraines
Insomnia Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
SSRI's drugs worsen anxiety Skin:
Autism Acne
Estrogen Dominance: Skin sensitivities to rough fabrics, cheap metals
Severe PMS Other:
PCOS Adverse effects on oral contraceptives
PMDD Intolerance to chocolate or high copper foods
Endometriosis Obesity
Fibroid polyps and cysts
Estrogen intolerance