I first discovered I had very high amounts of copper after I took a urine essential elements test. The results showed that my copper was in the 97th percentile range- way off the charts! My naturopathic doctor didn’t seem concerned by it, but when I got home I started doing some research. I was amazed to discover that high copper could be causing many of my symptoms.
Some of the symptoms of high copper include: fatigue, headaches, depression, insomnia, skin rashes, and PMS. I found out that women are especially prone to developing high copper due to birth control pills, IUDs, and adrenal fatigue. If you have been on birth control for a number of years, it’s possible high copper may be contributing to your depression. Men can also be affected if they have been exposed to copper environmentally, especially through contaminated drinking water pipes.
My research led me to the book called “Why Am I Always So Tired?” by Ann Louise Gittleman. It explains the causes of copper overload, as well ways to get your levels of copper balanced and back to normal. I highly recommend it if you suspect you may have copper overload.
Because I didn’t have a health practitioner who was knowledgable in this area, I attempted to decrease the copper on my own using zinc, the natural antagonist to copper. I started to increase my zinc levels, but at one point took too much. This led me to experience what is known as a “copper dump” where too much copper was released into my body at once and my body just couldn’t handle it. I was extremely sick for several days.
If you have a qualified practitioner who can guide you through the process of balancing your nutrients, that would ideal. If you want to attempt it on your own, a great resource is the free information presented by Dr. Lawrence Wilson. Here he explains how to safely eliminate copper from your body. There’s also a support group on Facebook called Copper Dysregulation and Re-balancing.
There are many other root causes that may contribute to depression, including pyroluria, parasites, adrenal/thyroid issues, infection, genetic pre-dispositions, methylation issues, toxins, and others. I will be writing future posts on these issues as well.
A quick reminder: although I am a certified holistic health practitioner, I am not a doctor and cannot treat or diagnosis any illness, including depression. Please work with your doctor or a certified natural health practitioner to order appropriate tests to determine if high copper may be an issue for you.