The cases on this page are the tip of the iceberg representing the many thousands of women who've experienced physical, emotional, and psychological changes after becoming copper toxic from the copper IUD, vegan diet, or other causes...as well as some of the reactions to detox.
In the 1st section are stories contributed by a few women who hope their experiences with copper toxicity and/or birth control can offer support, clarity, and hope to others who's health and relationships are being affected.
Below these first 9, the stories continue, with snapshots of the experiences of so many dozens more, all of whose lives were affected, relationships damaged, and health deteriorated as a result of the copper IUD or subsequent detox process.
If you are struggling with copper toxicity, or experiencing changes in your mood while being on the IUD, know that you are not alone.
Women are so frequently denied the support they deserve as countless practitioners continue to dismiss the idea of copper toxicity or that the "non-hormonal" copper IUD could possibly lead to emotional side effects. Likewise, relationship counselors are rarely educated on the destructive role copper toxicity plays in so many relationships. The continuing list of stories below aims to shed light on this area of medical ignorance, providing evidence and education to those counseling (including on relationships), and hopefully too through strength in numbers can serve as a tool of empowerment for women who want their doctors to simply listen.
"I had the coil put in around 6 months ago....From then on...Insanely tired, no amount of sleep is enough...visual disturbances/light sensitivity. Very easily confused, forgetful, DISCONNECTED and emotional...Sudden REGULAR anxiety attacks and heart palpations in non-stressful situations...Random muscle pain all over...gained so much weight in the face and waist ...my doctors seemed to want to deny it and sway me away from removing, as if we make this s**t up and over react!" ~Emma
"While I had the IUD I suffered from extreme dizziness, anxiety, panic attacks, brain fog and some other symptoms. I, too, felt like I had been poisened and as if I was loosing my mind ... and I felt very depressed, just like you described it: unable to feel happy or enthusiastic about anything. During the last month with the IUD I basically couldn't do anything due to my physical and mental symptoms. The first two weeks after having it removed were absolutely terrible for me - I've never experienced that much anxiety in my life. I was absolutely unable to relax and also experienced some paranoia and agoraphobia...My boyfriend was abroad for one month while I suffered most from my IUD. I'm sure that if he hadn't been away the relationship wouldn't have survived. ...Just remember that you are not 100%ly to blame for how you acted towards your boyfriend - you were suffering from copper toxicity." ~Sissi
"I got the COPPER IUD 6 weeks after having my son - 3-6 months later I started feeling “different” and the incessant pain started.. then my friends and family started to see a “Change” in me... WAIT... “ITS NON HORMONAL”...I have been to my doctor every 3 months since ...DIAGNOSIS “anxiety and stress” - multiple times I said “ITS MY IUD”——— response “it’s non hormonal- there is no such thing as copper toxicity” ... I had it removed last week and went in yesterday because I could barely walk... again ... “it’s not your IUD— we will test you for copper but we rarely do it because it’s not likely”. ...I was at the doctor for 4 hours on wed morning PLEADING FOR ANSWERS. DIAGNOSIS——- ANXIETY —- PRESCRIPTIONS—- ANXIETY MEDS. I was screaming at this doctor to “PLEASE LISTEN TO ME” as a HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL MYSELF. One doctor was amazing and tried to find answers but still “it can’t be your IUD” .. the other doctors just pushed me aside. This [IUD] not only TRAUMATICALLY affected MY LIFE- MY KIDS - MY FRIENDS - MY PARTNERS- MY EMPLOYMENT- HOW I HAVE REPRESENTED MYSELF FOR 2 YEARS —— I am livid and so incredibly devastated." ~Anna
"I have lost everything to this shit...am currently going through a divorce over things I did/my behaviour at the height of the copper problem. I take responsibility for my actions but also know I wasn't myself then." ~Jaime
"Mine has been out 14 days ...my marriage almost ended because of my iud" ~Amanda
"I have had my paraguard in since May and I am more and more irritable as the days go on. I do not feel like my happy self." ~Kathleen
"I wish there were more awareness regarding this. I cant believe all the doctors I brought this up to brushed it off and smirked about it. People are really suffering." ~Sash
"I have had the IUD for two years. I don't want to have sex at all. I never think or even want it. It's not that I don't love my husband. I think something is wrong. I easily experience mood swings even when I am not PMS. I have been dieting on a low fat vegan diet. I have a hard time concentration and I just feel like I get worse and worse and I am pushing my husband away. My marriage is falling apart." ~anonymous
"A big part of the side effects for me was feeling numb toward my fiancé, depression, and constant guilt. I felt guilty all the time for not "feeling the love" toward him. However, one night I finally opened up to him about how I felt, and that was the first step of recovery for me. It would be difficult for your fiance to see the connection if she hasn't compared her experience with other women's. I was completely lost and convinced that I was losing (or had completely lost) the love for my fiancé." ~Jennifer
"Broke up with my boyfriend because of the mental issues that the Paragard caused and almost lost him completely." ~Tamara
"I’ve had my iud out for about 4 months now. ..The copper dumps were literally unmanageable, I’d lay in bed and sob, day and night, hating my life, my marriage and my husband, and plotting my divorce and escape. (I love my husband and we have a great marriage. No it’s not perfect but I don’t feel this way AT ALL about him.) All the not-perfect things were screaming at me and lying to me and it was just so terribly bad. I can honestly see how copper ruins relationships. I felt like I could feel my brain literally going insane. ~Lindsey
"I was fine for the first 5 months (besides heavier periods) but after that chronic fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, panic attacks, skin issues, extreme brain fog and tiredness crept up. Panic attacks got so severe." ~Daniella
"i have had my copper IUD for over 3 years, since then i've had many health issues including acne, anxiety, carpal tunnel, and LOTS of digestive issues." ~Yasmine
"I had it put in in July 2017 and by September I started having terrible anxiety and other symptoms. I'm wondering how you explain this rollercoaster to those close to you? My severe depression, fatigue and anxiety have hurt my relationship with my friends, family and fiance. I am finally feeling clear headed and I'm trying to repair my relationships and get back to the old me." ~Sheli
"I have been on birth control for about 10 years. Two years ago I had the Mirena IUD and then 1 year ago I had the Mirena removed and Paragard put in. My life has devastatingly changed for the worst. I have brain fog, memory problems, weight gain, terrible acne, concentration issues, extreme fatigue, awful mood swings, crippling anxiety and just recently bad dark thoughts. These symptoms are not what my life consisted of 3 years ago. I am a happy, healthy, energetic and confident 27 year old- usually. I have been diagnosed with...ADHD, depression, anxiety, stress...the list goes on. I know my body and I know something is terribly wrong. I’m not crazy, doctors have just not listened to me... I want to fight this and get better for my wedding in 11 months. I want to be the happy wife to my husband. ~Lindsey
"I had the IUD for four years and my relationship went through multiple breakups because of my anxiety - I'm one month off and still suffering but am also starting to see how hard it's been on him." ~Margarita
"Have had it 9 months. It has completely changed me as a person. ..I am always tired, im always on an emotional rollercoaster up and down, mainly down angry and weepy, no sex drive, bloated, cant lose weight just staying the same give or take afew lbs, sore head and fogginess all the time, nauseous, heavy periods the list goes on and on... I feel so sorry for my husband and kids. Its like living with a demon for so long now." ~Keevavlr
"I can not think how different my life would have been if I hadn't had this stupid coil put in. My fiance (ex) left me 3 months ago after struggling for the 2 years that we were together with my absolutely crazy behaviour...anxiety, nausea, fear, depression, stress, tiredness that was all consuming, fainting, low libido (which for a new relationship was quite awful), and an absolute confusion about what was going on. I had it out in february and started feeling better almost immediately. 4 months down the line I had the worst copper dump I had had... doctors were saying that the coil wasn't the issue that I needed therapy and professional help." ~ Rowenna
"I've had my paragard IUD in place since August of 2012... and have had many, MANY complications since. I started gaining weight, anxiety and depression, and just an almost constant feeling of dread like something bad was going to happen. ...it is absolutely mind boggling that this has been happening to so many woman and hasnt been more publicized....A list of some of the symptoms I have noticed:Periods of deep depression. Anxiety. Like horrible anxiety. Periods of insomnia. Fatigue. (I can drink a whole pot of coffee and still feel absolutely exhausted. A crippling feeling of doom. Like I dont want to leave the house because a fear of something bad happening but sitting at the house worrying about something bad happening. Almost a complete loss of sex drive." ~Mandi
"For six months, I've been experiencing increasingly debilitating, similar symptoms without knowing where to turn - especially when all conventional sources point to the "officially acclaimed" promises of ZERO side-effects outside of stronger cramps" ~Anastasia
"Just had my copper IUD taken out and my doctor kept talking to me like I was basically making up a correlation between my health issues and the IUD ... She legit was making me feel bad and trying her best to hold herself back from talking me out of it." ~Jennifer
"I had [my copper IUD] for 8 solid years. I’ve had some really bad behavior health going on the past 5 years, so bad to where I got a divorce and became a single mother, then remarried. About two years ago I started having super bad anxiety, depression, and I couldn’t shake it. Everything would throw me over the edge. My new husband and I decided that we wanted to have a baby, so we went down and had my IUD removed. It hasn’t even been 2 weeks and I feel like a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT person! I am off all anxiety and depression medications, with no issues at all! That IUD ruined my first marriage, and started to ruin my new one." ~Sandra
"Within 48 hours of having the IUD inserted, I had a distinct yellow hue on my face, which was pointed out to me by others. It faded soon after. After those first two days, the roller coaster started. Symptoms included: depression (suicidal thoughts), anxiety, moodiness, over-sensitivity, weight gain, bloated face, increased appetite, "stress eating," heavy bleeding and cramping, lines on my face, muscle weakness, fatigue, brain fog, inability to make even the smallest decisions, inability to plan two steps ahead, inability to think creatively, and feeling totally overwhelmed. I cried all the time. This was very unlike me. I am not prone to depression. I tried to take zinc, thinking it would counter the copper. I stopped taking it, however, because zinc made all the symptoms worse." ~Laurie
"I had my IUD taken out 5 days ago and I can't believe the affect it had on me! After researching I know I got copper toxicity from it and it ruined the best relationship I ever had. I only had it 4 months and had the horrendous cramps and periods but didn't realise the toll it was taking on my mental health, it basically turned me into a psychotic, stressful, emotional person which I didn't understand what was wrong with me but I knew I wasn't myself." ~Helen
"Copper ruined my life for years. I had no idea that the birth control pills that I was taking (since I was 16 years old) were causing my body to increase retention of copper. All I knew was that I was dealing with extreme fatigue, anger, anxiety, painful periods and insomnia that made me feel like I was completely losing my mind. I saw Doctors, Naturopaths and Nutritionists and not one of them considered copper toxicity as the driving force behind my experience." ~Kendra
"Copper IUD turned me into a raging b*tch. I’m a lot nicer now that it’s been 3 months since the removal. My fiancé even commented on it." ~Katya
"first time i got copper coil after a few months i started suffering really bad with panick attacks and really bad anxiety, depression.... racing thaughts, not wanting to socialise and i was always a very sociable person...As time went on i started getting yeast infections, bacterial infections down there. Bad acne. Stuttering when speaking,low comcentration.unable to pull myself out bed in morning... i was like a zombie and on another planet....I had no sex drive at all. was like getting blood out of a stone. I use be oppisite before it,couldnt get enough." ~Edel
"I have had the iud copper coil in for 3.5 months and honestly didn’t make the connection until last week - I have felt so unlike myself...my brain so foggy, such a short temper and an exhaustion I haven’t been able to describe. I have had almost constant diarrhoea and have been unable to get a good night sleep, and a constant nausea / morning sickness type feeling. Urgh. But I think the most scary symptom has been my inability to feel excited about anything. I felt I was losing my mind." ~Holly
"The worst of it all is to realize how damaged my relationship with my bf is. He has seen the improves since I got the iud out, but my way to make this decision really hurt him and now the relationship is very hard. The clearness that’s coming to my mind to see how my behavior during these months, punched the relationship and his good will to help me, is making me grow up. I still wish none of this IUD thing happened in the first place." ~Sue
"I have been suffering a lot [with the IUD]. My boyfriend is very upset with me. He loves me a lot. But he is unable to cope with my mental, emotional imbalances." ~Manisha
"I had my IUD for 3 years, the first majority of it, I suffered from the IUD problems (unaware at the time) but the mental symptoms went from bad to severe in the last 6 months of that 3 year period. My partner of 1.5 years has stuck through it with me and...I am looking back on so many fights and hard moments we had struggled through because of my knee jerk reactions, my pessimistic outlook on my future, my anger flashes, crippling anxiety, memory loss, paranoid and anxious mind racing constantly... and I feel so sad. I do not feel bad, I know it was not me and not my fault and I have been seriously reflecting on the past. I have been in constant communication with him, I express my thankfulness to him a lot, for standing by my side and not abandoning me. I express to him how sorry I am, not for what I did, but for having to also be a victim of a cut throat medical world who would do anything just to make a buck, because they surely aren’t apologizing to anyone." ~Rachael
"I only had mine for 4 weeks. And I’ve been working closely with a functional medicine doctor and I’m a holistic nutritionist and 8-9 months later I’m still not 100%. I’ve had to treat two viruses from it. One in my liver and one in my uterus. I’ve had to treat hypothyroidism , Candida overgrowth and then lastly overall balancing of hormones vitamins and minerals ! It’s a process but the damage these IUDs cause is unbelievable." ~Cassie
"Must be detoxing or something cause every night my back and arms start itching?? my thoughts are all over the place and I am pretty sure my boyfriend is leaving me...Panic attacks out of nothing and so so emotional...lack of sleep isnt helping either." ~Annemieke
"When I'm around my cycle or my body is able to dump some copper everything gets bad. And I always am paranoid and afraid that my beautiful man is going to leave me. But we get through it, and I know it's just the effects of what's happening in my body. But when you are feeling so crazy it's hard to communicate to the ones you love, especially partners. You don't want to be a burden, especially a burden of this magnitude that you yourself deal with every day. You also know deep down that you are not crazy, but you feel crazy and want support, yet you don't want to sound crazy in asking for love and support through the craziness. All I know is that I frustrate my man, and I watch it almost out of body, and I will try to isolate and hide what's going on inside. But, being aware of whats happening and why it is, is so powerful. You don't have to go crazy all alone and loose treasured relationships in the process of trying to heal from a horrible illness. This is probably one of the worst things we will ever experience, allow yourself grace." Jessica
"My relationship with my boyfriend was perfect until a month ago I began to doubt and I don't know why. I've had the copper IUD a year. My copper IUD was removed yesterday." ~Cynthia
"I just went to the hospital a few days ago bc I had been having an anxiety attack for a month and started having major depression. They put me on Zoloft. I had the iud taken out yesterday. No one believed me that the iud was causing me these symptoms. I've had depression and anxiety before but this was unbearable. I had the iud for three years." ~Jenn
"I had mine removed it will be 1 year next month. It truly ruined me! I am now almost 1 year post removal and I finally feel like me again." ~Shannon
" 'Copper toxicity is unreal. It cannot happen through the IUD' that's what my dr wants me to believe." ~Romayne
"I went with the copper IUD in October 2016. I took it out after 1 year because i pretty much thought I was going crazy with PMS and mood swings, had huge brain fog and couldn't concentrate and had really bad acne. I found out I had excessive copper in June this year after finding a good doctor." ~Cassie
"My IUD made me so sick. My symptoms didn't show up until between 6 months and a year. Here is what I experienced: Chronic fatigue, weight gain (40lbs), Massive hair loss, Random rashes, Food allergies/intolerance IBS, Anxiety, Depression (would cry all the time over nothing), PMS, Brain fog, Joint pain, I wanted to die......You can't tell me the IUD wasn't the cause, because within 3 months of taking it out my anxiety and depression were gone!" ~Shani
"My personality is normally easy going and pretty laid-back, But I noticed I was constantly angry a lot and always in a bad mood and extremely short tempered... I would feel good one moment and then I would be sobbing crying the next moment over nothing. I just wasn’t my normal self at all." ~ Ashley
"I didn't realise until after we'd broken up it was the copper that had basically changed me and ruined our relationship." ~Helen
"My ex and I were together for 3 years- I got the iud as a form of birth control for our healthy sex life. As the symptoms began to take their toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally, I was no longer able to shrug off even the slightest of things. After my body started showing some startling physical signs, I saw two doctors in March of 2018, whom both diagnosed me with adrenal failure and “severe depression”. He left me a few weeks later, 5 days before we were to move in together. He came to my house, several days after we had had an argument. With so little energy or ability to think clearly, i had simply gone silent as a means to an end. He found me in bed late one morning and asked “are we moving in together or not?” Knowing I would be majorly responsible for supporting us and feeling so unstable I simply stated “I don’t know if I should with how I’ve been feeling”. ...I did my best, I am sorry I lost myself, and if I had it to do all over again- I would in a heartbeat." ~Stevie
"I'd never experienced anxiety before I had mine fitted. Within 6 weeks of having it in I was constantly anxious, I felt on edge all the time like I was waiting for something to make me jump. It got worse and worse until I was off work and experiencing suicidal ideation. Within about 4 weeks of having it out I felt 95% better. That was a year ago, I now suffer from horrendous PMT but I'm recovered other than that. Still can't believe what I went through!" ~Gemma
"I’ve been struggling for about 7 months anxiety depression insomnia mood swings like crazy" ~Drea
"really struggling with my fiance [on Yasmin pill]...she becomes emotional, depressed, crying for weird things, then unloving and uncaring about anything. then says she does not feel herself, or does not feel normal, and often confused about her feelings. She left our 15 year relationship end of January for a few days space...She has been off 1 month and she has hardly seen me, and gone from wanting space, to then saying she doesn't love me anymore to now breaking off our engagement. so odd...considering we have always said we are soul mates, best friends and have never had a hint of splitting up in 15 amazing years!" ~rp11
"I had no desire to do anything. My mind swam in the gutter. Mood swings to the point that I had to go back on antidepressants. Intense cramping. So unusual.
It took me four months of this until I finally connected it back to the possibility that it was linked to the copper IUD I had implanted. I took it out. I went through the sea of even more intense mood shifts for about two weeks afterwards, as my body returned to normal." ~Rivka
"I was on birth control for 10 years, stopped in between two pregnancies but continued after 6 weeks postpartum period. My ob and primary care just kept pushing more antidepressants." ~Carolina
"Got the IUD in July, and started experiencing extreme hair loss in October... Between the extreme hair loss, deep depression, anxiety, joint pain, brain fog and more, I decided to have it removed" ~Sera
"I had my copper iud inserted about 6 months ago...I’ve noticed my mood swings have increased and getting very emotional about two weeks before my period is actually due, food cravings, depression and just anger for no reason." ~Milenka
"I got the IUD put in about two months ago. After about two weeks, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling extremely out of it, racing thoughts, heart racing, panicked… this continued to occur for a couple of weeks. I constantly felt out of it and detached, was experiencing insomnia, fatigue, memory loss, brain fog, depression, anxiety, tingling in my back (and sometimes my whole body), random aches and pains." ~Jessica
"I had my paragard placed after plenty of research and 4 different types of pills all of which made my emotions either crazy one way or the other making me completely numb. I start becoming obsessive compulsive, paranoid and seriously felt like I was a basket case. I was just down right hateful and angry for no reason just felt like hurting something or screaming or whatever I could to get it out. I am also experiencing depression, irritability, constant racing thoughts, dread, just anything negative and I am usually a very positive person so I am disgusted with myself. I explained it to my fiancé that I knew I was supposed to feel sorry for being mean to him so I said I was sorry but I couldn’t FEEL it!!" ~Michelle
"i had the copper coil fitted about 6 months ago , and i have been suffering with depression and panic attacks also i have breast pains and cramping pains, always bloated and no sex drive" ~Laura
"Crazy that after 9 months the headaches, mood swings and heart palpitations kicked in big time and I don't even feel like myself anymore! It's been affecting my relationship, so it's time to get this thing out!!" ~Colleen
"I opted for the Copper Coil, as it was hormone free I thought I would be fine. WRONG. Apart from the ridiculous amounts of constant discharge...it was the mood swings, PMT, tiredness and low sex drive that made me get it removed yesterday. The PMT was so bad I have literally have felt like Ive wanted to divorce my husband and some days couldnt even muster the energy to get out of bed and get dressed." ~Kelly
"3 years of IUD copper coil...my mind is always in disaster mode, the pain got worse to the point that in the last few months I have to have painkillers in my bag all the time... lately I can't even sleep which is why I'm not able to control overwhelming feeling and panick... I thought I was getting completely crazy, unable to take any decisions anymore, not able to withstand any change and just thinking the only option is to go on medication or to kill myself because it felt I am just getting worse with time. The quality of my life changed dramatically because I stopped and closed the door to anything who could upset me and lately everything and everyone does. Me and my partner are deciding to live separately because the situation is unbearable, and I am thinking that I won't be able to move out without medication" ~Betty
"My partner suffered from my mood swings and it made us argue constantly. Too add to this I was tired and had no energy..." ~Asa
"I had the copper coil in for last 2 years after birth of my last baby and I just had it taken out last week. I feel like I have completely lost my mind. I am normally a resilient, energetic, extremely upbeat, motivated person. Since I have had this in i'm anxious, negative, easily overwhelmed, very low energy, no sex drive, feelings of doom, irritable and quick to anger. GPs trying to put this down to post natal depression" ~Libby
"I've been in and out of the hospital non stop since i started using the copper iud... I used to be so happy and full of life and optimistic and now it's like I'm possessed or something." ~Lacey
"The mood swings are so bad that I get really bad headaches. I can't do it anymore. It is affecting my relationship with my husband and kids because they all think I am going crazy. I got this, so I could be free from the hormones. I guess that is wrong" ~Brittani
"I’ve had the Paragard for exactly a year now ...I’ve noticed that in the last few months I get irritated very easily (especially before my period), can’t seem to stop crying once I start, have anxious/depressive thoughts, and feel foggy-minded, such as not being able to speak as eloquently or not working as efficiently as much as I’d like to think I’m capable of." ~Tess
"I’m in recovery from copper toxicity. It plays terrible tricks in your mind, like total insanity. I’ve had awful suicidal depression. After a complete collapse of my body, brain and mental health, I can start to feel some mental clarity at times, adrenal and thyroid function returning, and learning so much about minerals and health." ~Irene
"Argghhhh I went to my Doctors with all of the information on copper toxicity after having a horrendous time with it... they referred me to gynaecology. Just come out of that appointment where the consultant said he’d never heard of anything I was saying in 28 years... suggested I went on the pill. I was made to feel completely stupid and ridiculous. I’m sitting here feeling like maybe I just imagined everything because of the way he spoke to me." ~Karen
"My experience is mostly about depression and anxiety, but paranoia came as a "bonus" I guess you could say... I was pushing all my loved ones away, and just couldn't understand how my boyfriend could put up with me in that state.. I was crying and felt a horrible sorrow every single day... I had depression induced by the combi pill 1 year ago, so I was familiar with the symptoms and knew it had to be the coil as that's the only thing I had brought into my life recently. Of course, when I went to the doctor they told me that it wasn't the coil, that its not possible to get such side effects and basically told me I was crazy" ~Madalina
"I had the copper IUD for past 5 years. That's also more or less the time when all my problem started. I strated being very confused and more sensitive. It even reached a moment when I had burn out and very very strong panic attacks. I broke up wit my boyfriend and started getting back to life. However I always felt pretty detached from the world....I have very low energy, always fatigue, depressed...my memory got immensely worse. I stopped smiling. I hate everything around me (including men)...aggressive and rude to others. I need help." ~Alina
"No appetite for two years, yet gaining weight, knees hips and finger joints are killing me, and a general feeling of tiredness! I just have to say that I experienced the paranoia, anxiety etc for two years, it nearly ruined my 21 year relationship." ~Anita
"I currently have had a Paraguard IUD for nearly a year. After 3 months from insertion, I noticed some changes in my behaviour and mentality... my hair was falling out, feeling fatigue, excess of white hair growth, muscle aches, abdomen pain, lower back pain, anxiety, depressive thoughts, etc." ~Suneet
"I just had the copper IUD inserted about two months ago... I have become the meanest angriest person. I can't remember anything, my skin is unbearable to look at." ~Zanele
"My story with the Paraguard copper IUD is a complete nightmare. I had it put in 8 years ago...I am now at a point in my life where my marriage is almost over because for the past 8 years I have had the worst PMS and mood swings." ~Kimmy
"I wasn't prepared for the side effects that would accompany the removal of this coil...I can honetsly say the first two months were absolutely awful. I was suicidal...first time I've ever experienced that. I developed social anxiety and could barely stand to be around other people. I would go through bouts of extreme lethargy and then uncontrollable rages. It killed me to see the looks on my children's faces when I was going through these irrational moments." ~SV
"I have had copper issues ever since I got the copper IUD. (Don't listen when they say it's impossible to go copper toxic on an IUD. It iS! And for me, it happened within a few months.) I am not IUD free, but still feel the effects as it's difficult to copper detox. When I had the IUD, I had horrible anxiety almost every day. It was a marked difference from my pre-IUD days." ~Solara
"I had about 8 months of intense, horrifying mood swings and anxiety attacks. I was definitely suicidal at time and could swing from that to complete RAGE within minutes. It cost me one major friendship and very nearly ruined my relationship." ~Anonymous
"I had the IUD input in January of 2012. Since then my health has gone to the lowest peaks of my life. Mental wise...I have started have debilitating anxiety, depression (landing me in the hospital), panic attacks, irritability, irrational behaviour, loss of focus concentration, loss of sex drive, all these things have almost ruined my relationship, job and over all outlook. The doctors have diagnosed me with multiple things (ADD, bipolar, depression) throughout the last two years been on who knows how many medicines none of which work just make everything worse." ~Nancy
"After insertion in November 2012, I immediately felt horrible pain and cramping...I started feeling "off" in my mind. My reality felt unreal. These spells of unreality prompted my first panic attack; I believed I was dying, that my reality had shifted and I was stuck in some sort of hell... when I asked my doctor, I was prescribed Xanax...and she said it was impossible that my IUD was causing these symptoms. My boyfriend, who has been wonderful for the last 4 years, was as supportive as he could be but I knew that he was terrified of what was happening to me." ~Anonymous
"Anxiety, hair loss, fatigue, horrible cramps, I didn't wanna be near my kids or husband I was borderline depressed and hated life!!!" ~Brittany
"My husband and I have been going through this exact same thing, we've been close to calling it quits. We have raging fights...I don't know where all the anger comes from...the only reason that I believe we are still together is that we were together pre-IUD so he knows that I have not always been this way." ~Nancy
"I've had my paragard since July 2011, and since then I've had tons of problems...literally I feel at times I can't control my anger, I scream at my kids, everything bothers me. So confused, and my doctor doesn't believe that my IUD could do any of this." ~Allison
Given all these experiences, these being just the tip of the iceberg, is it not time that the fields of women's health, mental health, and relationship counseling start paying attention and addressing this IUD / copper connection?
Melanie (late 30s, Female, UK)
Childhood / Background: N/A
Copper IUD: YES
Major Post-IUD Symptoms: brain fog, anxiety, panic, numbed feelings, irrational thinking, personality change
Effect of Relationships: Shut out family members for many months while detoxing
What has helped: nutritional balancing based on frequent HTMA monitoring
Summary: Had copper IUD for 4 months. One week post insertion came feelings of intense rage. Two months after insertion she was experiencing hair loss, anxiety, and dizziness, along with increasing brain fog and fatigue. After removing IUD and starting detox (which initially focused on increasing zinc and vitamin C), the psychological symptoms worsened. She adopted a viewpoint at that time that 'nothing was wrong with her, only others'. The detox made her copper levels rise. A calcium shell formed and for certain important people in her life she "didn't care or feel anything", and this was further corroborated through HTMA results which showed very high levels of calcium. She has been detoxing for 2 years, during which time both physically and emotionally she has been riding the 'copper dumping roller coaster' - at times showing improvement but then falling worse again, repeating the cycle. For the past year+ she has been monitoring her supplementation and progress through regular HTMA tests. Two years post IUD removal her levels are now coming back into balance, her calcium shell has dissolved, and for the first time in over 2 years she is truly feeling better.
Arianne (early 30s, Female, USA)
Childhood / Background: N/A
Copper IUD: Unknown
Major Symptoms: depression, anxiety, paranoid thoughts, leaky gut, food sensitivities, brain fog
Effect on Relationships: Lost or compromised most relationships.
Summary: Has a long history of leaky gut, and has followed a long-term strict vegan diet since teen years, the latter she believes being the primary cause of her copper dysregulation. Throughout her 20s symptoms of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and food sensitivities increased. Suffered a heavy copper crash weeks after giving birth, along with PPD. After her 2nd child, symptoms worsened. She was starving nutritionally, and was found to have high copper with very low zinc, as well as low Mg, B-vitamins, and molybdenum. She stopped being able to think and make decisions. At this point was put on liquid ionic zinc, but would throw it up. Symptoms worsened with the zinc, compromising or losing most relationships, and leading to isolation, withdrawal, lack of ability to feel love, and increasing judgment of others. Her memory has become quite affected.
Karen (late 20s, Female, USA)
Childhood / Background: n/a
Copper IUD: YES
Major Symptoms: brain fog, anxiety, paranoia, calcium shell, loss of emotion
Effect on Relationships: Suddenly ended an otherwise happy 2 year relationship
Summary:Had been vegetarian for many years (a high copper diet). Two months after having a copper IUD put in however, she began experiencing negative symptoms, including really bad fatigue, and joint pain. Six months after the IUD was inserted, she ended an 18 month relationship that otherwise was a happy one. With the increasing anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, and paranoia she felt, she was suddenly "just done with him" and left. For the next 5 years she lived in what she believed later was the calcium shell - going through life numb, like a zombie, creating a whole life for herself with work and a new relationship (which turned out abusive) just to 'find' some happiness. Her calcium shell began dissolving after 5 years, at which point she became aware of what had happened. During the calcium shell "I don't think anyone could have gotten through to me". After discovering the connection copper played in all this she then began supplementing with zinc. This opened the floodgates and brought out a lot of negative emotions. Taking the zinc "I got to a point where I didn't want to care for anyone". Adding meat back into the diet has helped. Initially it increased the copper dumping symptoms, but month by month she is showing improvement.
Paige (late 30s, Female, Australia)
Childhood / Background:
Copper IUD: N/A
Major Post-IUD Symptoms:
Effect of Relationships: broke up with partner
What has helped: adding meat back into diet, adding minerals based on HTMA monitoring
Summary:Has had a history of digestive issues and IBS. Long term vegetarian. Drinking (well) water upon being tested was found to contain copper. Suffered from migraines, but doctors dismissed them as simply 'stress-related'. Symptoms worsened with growing fatigue and depersonalization (difficulty relating to people). Her adrenals crashed and thyroid slowed. She broke up with her partner because neither could understand her personality change, and yet she "didn't give a shit" at the time. "I was numb to everything almost like emotions had been shut down and I just didn't feel anything." A death in the family created more stress. An HTMA test showed very high copper and calcium (with the calcium shell), and zinc deficiency. Upon adding zinc and detoxing her symptoms grew worse, with the worst dumping symptoms beginning as she began supporting her adrenals. She experienced the typical roller coaster effect of copper dumping with peaks and drops for over a year. Most important factor in healing has been repairing the digestive tract and adding meat back into the diet. Initially adding meat was difficult because her body had trouble digesting the protein, but after several months it became easy. Noticeable overall improvement now 2 years in.
Bonnie (mid-50s, Female, USA)
Childhood / Background: emotional issues stemming from father, abandonment
Copper IUD: Unknown
Major Symptoms: insomnia, moody, fatigue, depression, borderline personality disorder
Effect on Relationships: divorced husband and has destroyed friendships and relationships
Summary:As a child she suffered from a lot of emotional issues stemming from her father, including abandonment - an anemic, difficult to control child with adrenal issues even then. As a result she pushed herself harder than most to prove she could 'keep up'. Brain fog began appearing in teen years, and in 20s was diagnosed bi-polar, with an explosive temper. In late 20s symptoms worsened after first child (depression, multiple breakdowns, moodiness, loss of sex drive for most of each month, severe fatigue). A copper overload was subsequently discovered. This copper overload was passed on to her child who was then diagnosed with Tourettes, ADHD, and Bipolar II. Divorced husband in an extreme and non-level headed manner. She has been trying for many years to lower her copper levels. Vitamin B6 has been helpful, but anything more puts her over the edge. Copper toxicity has "destroyed my physical and emotional life and relationships."
Sandy (late 30s, Female, USA)
Childhood / Background: abandonment by father
Copper IUD: Unknown
Major Symptoms: fatigue, depression, emotionless
Effect on Relationships: n/a
Summary: Has abandonment issues and trust issues with men, stemming with her father walking out of her life entirely as a child. Had allergies requiring medication from age 6 to 18. At 18, she was diagnosed with depression and has been on anti-depressants ever since. In 20s, she suffered from fatigue along with low zinc and elevated copper. Those conditions, combined with a stressful, traumatic event then led into a calcium shell from age 25-27. During this time she was "emotionless and went through life like a zombie". Has been working on balancing minerals ever since.
Lisa (mid-20s, Female, Canada)
Childhood / Background: adopted at birth, unhealthy adolescence in teen years
Copper IUD: YES
Major Symptoms: extreme fatigue, loss of passion for life, addictive behaviour, anxiety, irritable, withdrawn
Effect on Relationships: withdrawn, challenging
Summary:Growing up she had an unhealthy adolescence, drank, and used recreational drugs moderately. Considered to have an addictive personality. Used birth control pills from age 14 to 15, and subsequently the copper IUD for almost 4 years from age 15 to 18. Strict vegetarian diet from 18 to 19. History of emotionally abusive partners in her teen years through to her early 20’s including the father of her child. All major current symptoms began around age 22 while pregnant, these including: extreme fatigue, loss of passion for life, lack of interest in anything, social anxiety, easily overwhelmed, hard to finish projects, addictive behaviour, extreme sugar cravings, withdrawn, impatience, quick to anger, mood swings, lack of self worth. From age 24 she has been seeing a therapist to improve her habits, cognitive behaviour, emotional challenges and instability. HTMA testing reveals a Slow Metabolizer with a 4-low pattern and copper dysregulation.
Maddy (late 30s, Female. UK)
Childhood / Background: n/a
Copper IUD: YES
Major Symptoms: racing mind, brain fog, fatigue, auditory hallucinations, paranoia, personality change
Effect on Relationships: Severe toll on husband
Summary: After having the copper IUD put in, Maddy began experiencing brain fog and increasing fatigue. After removal, she began detox, and this is when her most severe symptoms began, including insomnia, paranoia, auditory hallucinations, strange sensations, and distorted perception. She has become very mistrusting of her husband, though he stands by her. She has lost interest in recreational activities she used to very much enjoy before beginning detox. She shut out many of her friends, cutting them off completely. At the time of this posting she has been detoxing for 3 years. Symptoms are still severe, yet she is aware of what is happening. She is now allowing those previously excluded friends back into her life, not because she feels anything for them or feels bad for them, but only because she feels it's the right thing to do by societal standards (ie: no emotion behind the decision). Her 3 year struggle has been very hard.
Reese (late 30s, Female)
Childhood / Background: n/a
Copper IUD: YES
Major Symptoms: fatigue, loss of emotion, anxiety, fear, irritable,
Effect on Relationships: n/a
Summary:Became vegetarian at age 14, and was on the estrogen pill for the latter half of her teen years. From age 20 to 25 she had a copper IUD. One year after insertion she became flat emotionally and fatigued. These symptoms have not subsided. In early 30s her life became very stressful, and her reactions to the stress would be characterized as 'abnormal' - reacting to things that normally would not bother her. Racing thoughts, horrible images, and a psychotic episode led to prescription anti-psychotics and anti-depressants. This only made things worse. After a couple of years she went off those medications and onto anti-seizure meds, and this seemed to help. However the racing mind, fatigue, irritability, and disconnected feeling still continued. At 35 her fatigue became extreme, and at that point she was finally diagnosed with copper toxicity. While still seeking solutions, zinc citrate, St. John's Wort, and wormwood seem to exacerbate symptoms.
Barb (early 20s, Female, USA)
Childhood / Background: N/A
Copper IUD: YES
Major Symptoms: depression, anger, irritability, sense of overwhelm, fatigue
Effect on Relationships: almost divorced husband
Summary:Had copper IUD for 1 year. The first few months were fine, but 5 to 6 months in physical and mental symptoms began. Everything became overwhelming and irritating to her. Negative thoughts prevailed. No patience for her husband, couldn't stand being with him, he didn't understand the changes he was seeing, and this led to constant fighting. Relationship almost ended in divorce. Four months post removal she became pregnant, with pregnancy ending in miscarriage which she feels was caused by the effects the copper IUD had physically on her body.
Raegan (mid 30s, Female, Canada)
Childhood / Background: N/A
Copper IUD: YES
Major Symptoms: fatigue, depression, psychosis, anxiety
Effect on Relationships: divorced husband
Summary: Over 10 years on various birth control pills, all the while struggling with increasing anxiety, depression, sense of numbness, developed IBS, and even attempted suicide. After having children, she had a copper IUD inserted. 4-6 months after insertion she became apparent of increased negative emotions, irrationality, anxiety, and numbing of emotion/ loss of attraction toward her husband which led at the time to her divorcing him. She later had the IUD removed, and a year post-removal, though feeling calmer and more at peace, is still dealing with copper toxicity and various associated symptoms as she begins a re-balancing program.
Susan (mid 30s, Female)
Childhood / Background: n/a
Copper IUD: YES
Major Symptoms: mental issues, mood swings, fatigue
Effect on Relationships: Lost friends and hurt family
Summary:Has been on various firms of birth control since age 16. However at age 32 she had the copper IUD inserted. This began a horrible cascade of mental and emotional issues, including constant mind racing, fears, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable mood swings. Post-IUD removal and beginning detox, she found that any supplements or heavy detox made the symptoms worse. It took a severe toll on her husband, children, and friends. She began re-introducing meat back into her diet, and together with an overall balanced diet, has begun feeling herself again after 2 years post-removal.
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