Copper Toxicity : What the heck?

First, let me say that this page is a work in progress....

Section targetingCopper toxicity is an avenue that we as a family are still exploring so I am going to start by explaining to you how we got here in the first place.

My son's physical health has been a concern for years. When he was born, he was off the charts size wise; 9lbs 2oz and 21 1/2 inches long. Now, at the age of 11 he is barely average for his height, although he does continue to grow taller. But he weighs only 65 lbs, practically putting him off the chart in the wrong direction!

So how did that happen? First one might wonder about his medication's impact on his eating. And yes, there is some of that going on, but really very little. When he was on Concerta it was a huge problem but that was several years ago. The Focalin XR that he currently takes does not really seem to affect his hunger. He claims to be hungry. The issue is he still won't eat!

My parents live in Sedona, AZ. A place known for it's vortex and new age feel. My parents aren't exactly "new age" but being there does open a door to learning about different areas of practice. My mom knew a compounding pharmacy that sells Section targetinghair mineral analysis kits. She suggested that maybe it would be an interesting way to learn more about what my son's body was doing. We have not had much luck with traditional doctors and blood tests showing anything wrong. So this seemed interesting.

The hair analysis kit was easy enough to use. The sample is then sent by the pharmacist to Analytical Research Labs, Inc which happens to be located where we live, in Phoenix, AZ. It is one of only 2 labs in the country that does not wash the hair prior to testing. Something that apparently is vital to getting accurate results.

Keep in mind...I had no idea what to expect. I had never heard of copper toxicity before we started this.

His results come back and the report says things like he has a "high copper level" and he is "exhibiting an adrenal insufficiency" and "adrenal burnout", as well as he is in a "stage of excessive protein catabolism (breakdown) and is being forced to burn his own body protein..." Maybe why he can't seem to build any muscle???

I'm thinking "HOLY CRAP!" This all sounds really serious. Language in the report seemed to explain so much of what we were seeing with him physically. He won't eat, and when he does he craves certain kinds of foods (carbs and sugars). When he gets sores (like bad mosquito bites) they take months to heal. He is stick thin to the point of seeming like he has no muscles. He is completely hypoglycemic. All of this was explained in the report to be a result of his copper toxicity and other mineral ratio abnormalities.

I immediately faxed the report to his doctor. His doctor called and said something like, "Interesting, but that is really outside of my realm of practice and I can't really comment on it." GREAT!

So I wait, and ponder.

I feel like there has to be something to this. I'm confident that medical practice has come far enough to at least know what normal levels of things should be in our bodies so I believe that his numbers are concerning. But I don't know where to go from here so I sit on it.

A couple months later we are at the pediatrician's office getting vaccinations and I mention it to him. From him I basically get "I wouldn't waste your money on it."

So I wait some more, and ponder, some more.

But things don't really change and in fact, dealing with his eating habits becomes more and more difficult. We recently went through mosquito season here and he has sores on his legs that have been there for months, literally. And though he isn't actively loosing weight, he isn't gaining any either and I am becoming more and more concerned by this.

I can't take him off his Focalin because it is absolutely helping get us through the school year. Plus, my mommy instinct tells me this is not the issue. (I have learned to be a big advocate of the mommy instinct!) Medicine can make kids not eat, but it doesn't make them only want to eat certain things or get physically repulsed by other things.

This is biological. It has to be.

So I reread some of the research I had looked at months ago. There are two doctors who are the "pioneers" of copper toxicity; Dr. Larry Wilson and Dr. Paul C. Eck. Dr. Wilson has written very interesting articles on the whole practice. His recently updated Copper Toxicity Syndrome article provides an excellent overview of all the symptoms and conditions that can be associated with the copper toxicity.

I had also found in his research, a list of people in my area that have trained with him and he recommends for addressing the condition.

Recently I called one of the people on the list. She is a certified nutritionist who has been doing this for 25 years. I figured, what have we got to loose? Maybe a few hundred dollars to pay for her time as we work through this. But that is a small price to pay if I can get my son to eat like most children.

So she sent me a new hair kit. It had been over 6 months since the last one. We get the results, sit down with her, and devise a "program."

It is my understanding that a program can consist of dietary changes and supplements. Every persons program is unique to them. And she promised me that even with his food aversions, we can help him.

I am learning that this is a long process (almost a year into it so far and counting) and I don't have any idea how this will turn out but I have devoted this website to all things traditional and alternative that might help our special children.

So with that in mind, check back occasionally and I will update you on how our story is going.

In the meantime, I encourage you to check out Dr. Wilson's article and do your own copper toxicity search.

To avoid this page getting to be too long. I am going to do our updates on a separate page. So check back to the update page and see how we are doing.

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