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The Relationship Between Copper Toxicity and Hypothyroidism

Numerous people with hypothyroidism have a copper toxicity problem, and in this article I’m going to discuss some of the common causes of copper toxicity, and what you can do to correct such a problem. In addition to relating to a hypothyroid condition, a copper toxicity problem can lead to other health issues as well. Other symptoms people with a copper toxicity problem might experience include increased PMS symptoms, migraines, allergies, and depression.

Here are five common causes of copper toxicity:

Cause #1: Adrenal Gland Problems. This is not only a cause of copper toxicity, but is also a major cause of hypothyroidism as well. The adrenal glands normally produce a copper-binding protein. However, when the adrenal glands are compromised, the ability to produce this protein is affected. Because of this the copper isn’t able to bind, and as a result of this, copper will accumulate in the tissues, copper kattle thus potentially causing a copper toxicity problem.

But how can weakened adrenal glands lead to hypothyroidism? Well, when the adrenal glands are compromised, this puts the body into a state of catabolism. This means the body is breaking down, and in order to prevent this from happening the body will try to compensate for this. And the way it does this is by slowing down the metabolism, which as you probably know, is the function of the thyroid gland. So when the thyroid gland slows down, this causes a hypothyroid condition to develop.

So hopefully you understand how having strong adrenal glands is essential for proper thyroid function, and how it can prevent a copper toxicity problem from developing.

Causing #2: Drinking Tap Water. Many water supplies have a high amount of copper. This is due to the addition of copper sulfate. So while many people try to avoid drinking tap water due to lead, chlorine, and other toxins, most don’t realize that drinking tap water on a regular basis can also cause or contribute to the development of a copper toxicity problem. In addition, many homes also use copper plumbing. This will of course make the copper levels in the water even higher. So if you don’t drink purified water on a regular basis, hopefully you’re beginning to realize why it’s important to begin doing so.

Cause #3: Oral Contraceptives. Millions of women take oral contraceptives, which don’t contain copper. However, taking “The Pill” has been shown to raise the copper levels in the body. So if you are currently taking oral contraceptives then it’s probably a good idea to receive the appropriate testing to determine if you have a copper toxicity problem.

Cause #4: Zinc Deficiency. Many people have a deficiency in zinc, which can lead to excess copper levels, thus causing a copper toxicity problem. So you also should find out if you are deficient in zinc, and if so, address this deficiency.

Cause #5: Copper IUDs. What’s the deal with contraceptives? First you learned that taking oral contraceptives can raise your copper levels, and I’m about to tell you that having a copper IUD inserted can lead to a copper toxicity problem as well. Most doctors of course don’t realize this, which is why many of them will recommend this form of contraception to women.

How To Detect A Copper Imbalance

Determining whether someone has a copper imbalance can be done through a hair mineral analysis. This is a test which involves taking a small sample of hair, and then sending the sample to a lab to have the levels of the different minerals analyzed. I personally use the company Analytic Research Labs, as I have been pleased with them, and unlike some of the other hair analysis labs, they don’t wash the hair beforehand. This is important, as washing the hair after it is cut can wash out the water soluble elements, which obviously will affect the results.

Even though the test lists the levels of copper, along with other minerals, it’s important to understand that having low levels of copper in the hair doesn’t always mean you have low levels of copper in the body. In order to determine this you need to look at some of the other minerals, specifically zinc. As a result, someone can have low copper levels on a hair mineral analysis but still have a copper toxicity issue. This is why it’s best to consult with a competent holistic doctor who has experiencing reading these types of tests. A hair mineral analysis can be extremely accurate if done by the right lab, but it also needs to be interpreted correctly as well. And although the test itself is easy to conduct, analyzing it on your own can be a challenge.

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