"High cellular copper levels, along with related sulfur deficiencies, can be considered to be one of the most prominent causes of many physical and mental health problems" [30]

"If there is excess copper in the body, then a wide array of psychological and physiological symptoms and conditions can also develop like Tourette’s, schizophrenia, bipolar, mania, autism, asperger’s, anemia, hair loss and much more. Extremely high copper levels can result in a psychotic break."[13]  ~ Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed

Copper Deficiency or Toxicity...

Before discussing excess copper symptoms, the relationship between excess copper and deficient available copper needs to be understood.  Many people who are copper toxic, after searching online, discover they have symptoms that resemble copper deficiency.  They will also likely come across the slew of online articles out there that ad nauseam promote the idea of copper deficiency and associated symptoms - yet very few of those authors understand that most copper deficiency in the West is actually caused by copper toxicity!  And that distinction makes a world of difference - the difference between leading the public to believe that more copper consumption will do them well, instead of helping people understand that too much copper exposure is at the root of many of their health symptoms.  True dietary copper deficiency in the West is rare.  

"At the Princeton Brain Bio Center, where serum heavy metal concentrations are routinely assayed, only three cases of hypocupremia have been documented from over twenty-five thousand patients treated, and these were precipitated by excessive zinc ingestion. In contrast, 64% of all female patients and 37% of all male patients exhibited copper intoxication and subsequent zinc deficiency in 1982. From a clinical standpoint, it is these symptoms and signs with which the physician should be familiar." [64]

(Note: Ample evidence exists to suggest the prevalence of copper toxicity today far exceeds that seen in the 80s).

Thus, though a minority of the population do have a true deficiency, the majority of people have a deficiency of bioavailable copper stemming from excess exposure / accumulation.  Excess copper acts as an excitotoxin (as further explained on the Emotions page), and as the copper level builds up, the adrenals eventually weaken from over stimulation. This in turn leads to an eventual decline in the liver's production of ceruloplasmin (a protein which binds to copper to make it bioavailable); and without adequate ceruloplasmin to bind to the copper, excess copper then gets stored in a bio-unavailable form in soft tissue - creating a deficiency condition.  In other words, the more copper the body accumulates (toxicity), the more likely the eventual deficiency of bioavailable (usable) copper.   Dr. Malter, Ph.D, one of the leading researchers in this field for over 40 years, uses the great analogy of copper toxicity being akin to being stranded in the middle of the ocean and dying of thirst.  There is lots of water all around, but none of it is in a form that can be used to drink. As a result, the copper toxic patient's symptoms may simultaneously reflect that of both copper deficiency and toxicity.  (Again though in a small percentage of the population, a true copper deficiency does exist).

Most Common Symptoms of Copper Toxicity

  • fatigue and exhaustion, adrenal depletion
  • hypothyroid
  • nausea
  • racing mind (feeling wired but tired)
  • panic attacks
  • depression
  • hair loss and/or whitening of hair
  • brain fog / spaciness
  • concentration and memory problems
  • high anxiety
  • irritability
  • emotional numbing / apathy / despondence

  • ruminating negative thoughts
  • personality change
  • loss of sex drive
  • OCD and Relationship OCD (ROCD)
  • withdrawal / isolation
  • chocolate cravings
  • anemia (similar to iron-deficiency anemia)
  • allergies and mold sensitivity
  • lowered immunity
  • insomnia
  • increased PMS
  • constipation
  • (manic) mood swings
  • despair, hopelessness

  • candida / yeast infections
  • joint aches and pains
  • depersonalization
  • infertility
  • hypoglycaemia
  • ​headaches
  • reduced metabolism
  • confusion, disorientation, paranoia
  • decreased self awareness
  • ADD
  • pseudo bi-polar disorder
  • schizophrenia / disperception of self or others

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