What is Copper Deficiency
Did I hear you say copper deficiency symptoms? Copper? Well, it is not the same form of copper used in making electrical wires but very tiny amounts needed by our bodies. When this is not present in adequate amounts, the condition is referred to as copper deficiency. But why should you bother yourself with this?
Copper Deficiency Symptoms Exposed
Copper is very essential to our living as a trace material. It is a very important constituent of the cytochrome c oxidase, a respiratory enzyme complex that allows our cells function normally. In a copper-deficient individual, this function is compromised.
What Causes Copper Deficiency
The deficiency of copper in the body can result from a number of causes. These are:
- Bariatric surgery (Gastric bypass surgery):
This surgical procedure is usually done to control the weight of obese patients. However, one of the complications is that copper metabolism in the body is affected.
- Menkes disease:
This is a congenital disease that is responsible for the lack of copper in the body. This disease is hereditary and is based on a defective gene.
- Zinc toxicity:
Here, there is malabsorption in the intestinal tract. Other causes of copper deficiency have been described as etiological meaning not fully understood.
What Are the Commonest Symptoms of Copper Deficiency
According to the Linus Pauling Institute (Micronutrient Research for Optimum Health) at the Oregon State University, anemia is one of the common clinical signs of copper deficiency.
Even though the clinical signs and symptoms of copper deficiency are not easy to come by, the following are observable:
- Neutropenia: An abnormally low number of neutrophils (white blood cells) in the blood.
- Osteoporosis (abnormality in bone development common in children suffering from it).
- Loss of pigmentation.
- Stunted growth.
- A host of neurological symptoms which manifests as difficulty in walking, numbness, tingling sensation in the extremities, vision problems (especially bilateral vision loss and color loss).
What Should You Do When You Have Copper Deficiency
Now that you enough about copper deficiency, what do you do when you have it? That will depend on its cause. If it is related to nutrition, that is very easy to correct as all you do is to consume copper-rich foods.
Examples of these are beef, liver, clams, oysters, crab, shellfish, legumes, beans, cashews, peanut butter, raw mushrooms, cocoa, wheat cereal, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, lentils and others. You can also take copper-based supplements like copper amino acid chelates and copper gluconate.
However, in a case where the cause is not nutritional in nature, you cannot simply cure it with copper-rich nutrients or supplements. For example, if it is as a result of a gastric bypass to correct obesity, more specialist medical attention will have to be sought for. It is very important that you do not take to self-medication in a bid to get rid of copper deficiency symptoms.
Copper Deficiency in Neurodegeneration I YouTube clip
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