How to measure Copper Toxicity

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Measuring copper toxicity is a complex task and requires the assistance of a doctor/practitioner who is well versed in understanding excess copper and its effect on our body. There are numerous tests which can be carried out, including hair analysis, urine, faeces (always a fun test) and blood. The most common tests for excess copper are:

  • Blood Ceruloplasmin Levels,
  • RBC Mineral Test,
  • Hair Analysis/Urine Toxic Metals Test,
  • Kayser-Fleischer Rings Analysis (see picture above for an example),
  • Faecal Toxic Metal Test,
  • Urine Chelation Challenge, and in extreme cases,
  • Liver Biopsy.

It is important your results to these tests are interpreted accurately as, more often than not, the situation is not always black and white.

For example, copper found in your hair tissue may not initially give a high reading, as it is a historic, backward looking test. But patterns of mineral ratios in your hair tissue can reveal the likelihood of hidden copper toxicity. On the flip side, the excess copper in your body might not even get deposited in your hair! Sometimes excess copper can be seen in the rings of our eyes. The complex way our body excretes excess copper is just another reason why it is important to find a medical professional who understands this process.

What to look for in your tests

The obvious thing to look for in your test results is high copper. In addition, a poor zinc/copper ratio and/or low zinc may indicate a copper imbalance.

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