What happens when a healthy diet isn’t? Shock and dismay.
I was perturbed when my “healthy diet” turned out to be pumping me full of copper. Who would ever suspect this down side of whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds?
In the fog of my fatigue, my Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis revealed, among other things, my copper was higher than my zinc. Copper and zinc balance each other when they are in the correct ratio. All the minerals interact and impact each other to varying degrees. Each mineral is a wonderful ingredient for our body, we have the proper amount of it.
Here’s the scoop about copper excess, zinc deficiency.
For a Slow Oxidizer like me (80% of the population), a high copper, over time, can make you feel yucky and fatigued.
Copper excess will diminish potassium, increase calcium and calcifications, slow the thyroid, deplete the adrenal glands, sap the energy, and can cause depression, anxiety, OCD, and/or pseudo bipolar disorder in some people.
In fact over 30 symptoms may relate to copper excess: fatigue, brain fog, headaches, mood swings, PMS, dry skin, cold hands, allergies, constipation, yeast infections, poor concentration, panic attacks, a racing mind, insomnia, eating disorders, postpartum depression and more.
- Copper excess is especially a problem for us women, because estrogen increases copper.
- The copper IUD, birth-control pills, hormone replacement therapy, all cause serious copper overload. Some people may have copper in their dental fillings.
- Copper water pipes may increase our exposure to copper, especially with a water softener, which leeches more copper from the pipes.
- New generations of babies are winding up with insidious copper excess, because high copper mothers pass the same minerals to their babies. Of course some of those babies are over 20 years old by now.
- Stress lowers zinc and raises copper. Stress is likely the biggest issue of all here.
Excess copper will further slow down metabolism for the Slow Oxidizer. Over time this will diminish the HCL in the stomach needed to digest animal protein. So the person is less and less comfortable trying to digest animal protein. They go vegetarian.
Ironically, animal meat is the main food high in zinc which could correct the excess copper.
But a person like me, who stayed away from red meat for the past 10 years and leaned into a vegetarian diet, tends to accumulate more and more copper unbalanced by zinc.
Then, to make us extra crazy, our body begins to crave high copper foods, so we eat more of them. I was inhaling avocado, nuts, beans, chocolate, sugar and tea every day. Growing just a tad more coppery, zippy and fatigued as I munched along, oblivious.
After Hair TMA and coaching, here’s the copper part of my personal treatment plan:
|Avoid my high copper favorites:
Beans (especially canned beans)
Chocolate, Coffee & especially Tea
Dried fruits, raisins
Nuts (yes, virtually all nuts)-:
Shellfish, Shrimp (lobster, oysters)
Soybeans, soy, tofu, tempeh
Sugar (and all Alcohol)
Whole grains, especially whole wheat
(Lots of other foods are also high in copper, not listed here.)
Eat more high zinc foods:
Land animal meats, especially Beef
dried lentils & split peas – some zinc
take extra zinc, vitamins (see below)
Manage STRESS Effectively . . .
Slow down, Breathe, Have Fun, Relax
Land animals are of course those who walk or fly on the land. My big beef eating husband is overjoyed that I will finally indulge in red meat with him again. Who knew?
Supplements used to treat copper excess are:
Zinc (starting at 10 to 20 mg but not more than 45 mg per day; don’t take w fiber foods)
Vitamin C (ascorbate vitamin C is preferred – and it is rare and fizzy)
Vitamin B6 (50 to 200 mg per day)
Manganese (5 to 15 mg, not more than 30 mg per day)
and other supplements according to your own Hair TMA results
So if you find out you have excess copper but you’re a vegetarian, zinc supplements will surely help. You don’t necessarily have to sit down with us at the meaty barbecue. Eat a lot more pumpkin seeds.
On the other hand, if you want to add meat after years of not eating it, go gently and get yourself some digestive enzymes that contain HCL. Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) is a natural part of digestion in the stomach, but many of us are lacking in it. Take your digestive enzyme capsule about 15 minutes before eating, for best effect.
While most of us are Slow Oxidizers who may tend toward excess copper, Fast Oxidizers (20% of the population) may have low copper. A lack of copper will increase potassium and decrease calcium. This makes more stress on the kidneys, increased risks for diabetes, aneurisms, adrenal insufficiency, hyperactivity, ADHD and more.
Once again I would recommend a hair tissue mineral analysis to discover your own mineral requirements. You wouldn’t want to go blindly guessing at your treatment without knowing what your own body is doing at the cellular level.
Be aware that releasing excess copper involves detoxification which may be uncomfortable. These detox symptoms are the same “copper excess” symptoms listed in the 3rd paragraph of this post. Symptoms arise because stored copper is being liberated from the liver, the brain, and other areas. Not like you’ll have all those symptoms. In my case, I have more alertness at night, mild insomnia. But everyone is unique!
For the complete story about copper toxicity, read Why am I Always so Tired? by Ann Louise Gittleman. She covers everything from physiology to environment to menu plans, recipes, zinc and copper content of foods. Her book enlightened me.
The Strands of Health by Dr. Rick Malter is a wonderful guide to Hair TMA (HTMA). Malter has written articles about mineral imbalances which you can read at his website, malterinstitute.org
Rachel Neumann, the empowerment coach who urged me to get my Hair TMA done, can help you get yours in motion. Rachel is partnering with Dr. Malter to offer a package that includes one Hair TMA, a consultation with Dr. Rick and Rachel on the results of your analysis, plus two mineral and nutritional phone consultations with Rachel to implement your personalized remineralization plan. Contact Rachel HERE
or schedule a quick complimentary health-Hair TMA phone conversation with Rachel at https://www.timetrade.com/book/K7SM2
Soon you will be feeling more vitality! Here’s to your greater health!