Copper Deficiency: These Are The Symptoms

Copper is one of the vital trace elements and is ingested with food. If the absorption is disturbed, a copper deficiency can occur, which triggers various symptoms.

Symptoms of copper deficiency are rarely noted but do occur. Copper is almost exclusively ingested through food. In the case of a copper deficiency, the causes often lie in the correct utilization and digestion of the food. If there is a disorder, the trace element can no longer be absorbed into the body. This leads to a copper deficiency, also known as hypercupremia.

Causes of a copper deficiency

The following causes can favor a copper deficiency:

  • Gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease: If the intestine is permanently inflamed, the copper can be absorbed more poorly and is missing for the metabolic processes in the body.
  • Zinc Intake: Taking zinc as a dietary supplement can inhibit adequate absorption of copper. This is especially true if zinc is taken in amounts of more than 50 milligrams daily over a longer period.
  • Artificial nutrition: If people have to be artificially fed in the long term due to an illness, special attention should be paid to the copper supply. Artificial nutrition can mean that copper is not sufficiently utilized and copper deficiency symptoms appear.
  • Menkes Syndrome: A very rare but serious cause of copper deficiency is an inherited form known as

Menkes Syndrome. It occurs mainly in boys and shows itself from the third month of life with symptoms such as developmental delays, gray hair, muscle weakness, feeding difficulties, movement disorders, and epileptic seizures.

What are the symptoms of copper deficiency?

Since copper is involved in many processes in the body, a copper deficiency becomes noticeable through a variety of symptoms. For example, it can lead to anemia. Together with iron, copper produces red blood cells and also promotes the absorption of iron in the body, so a copper deficiency can also result in an iron deficiency.

Other possible symptoms and consequences of a copper deficiency are:

  • tiredness and lack of concentration
  • Pigment disorders in skin and hair
  • depressive moods
  • brittle bones (osteoporosis)
  • Disorders of lipid metabolism
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • Nerve damage and nerve pain

What is the treatment for copper deficiency symptoms?

To treat copper deficiency symptoms, the cause must first be known. It does not help to take copper additionally if it cannot be properly utilized in the intestine, for example. If the cause is treated, the copper deficiency can be compensated. Most of the symptoms of a deficiency then disappear completely. However, nerve damage can be permanent.

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