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Health and Fitness

Copper deficiency: Are you at risk and how to avoid it? 

Yes! What you read was right! Copper is present in our body and the insufficiency of this metal can cause a deficiency. Cuproenzymes plays a major role in the proper functioning of copper in the body. The deficiency of copper is called as hypocupremia. The main areas where copper found in the body includes the brain, muscles, kidney, liver, and bones.

In this article, let’s read and understand more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of copper deficiency. Along with this, we have also listed a few copper-rich foods to improve copper deficiency in the body. Just keep reading the post now.

What are the symptoms of copper deficiency?

It’s little hard to diagnose copper deficiency as most of the symptoms are similar to vitamin B12. Here are a few symptoms of copper deficiency:

  • Skin sores
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Inflammation on the skin
  • Weakened immune system
  • Feeling cold
  • Pale skin colour complexion
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premature grey hair
  • Difficulties in learning and memory
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Anaemia
  • Thyroid problems
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Disrupted mood
  • Delayed puberty

What are the causes of copper deficiency?

There are several factors which may contribute to copper deficiency in humans. A few of them are discussed below in this article:

  • Inability to absorb copper completely in the stomach and small intestine or reduced absorption from the gastrointestinal system.
  • Less intake of copper-rich foods
  • Individuals with chronic diseases may have lower copper content in the body.
  • Elderly and athletes with special needs may require more copper supplementation for their body.
  • Deficiency of copper during pregnancy may cause a deficiency in new-born babies
  • Individuals with hereditary disorders
  • Menkes disease
  • Too much intake of zinc and vitamin C supplements

What are the main functions of copper in the body?

Many major functions in the body require copper for proper functioning and a few of them are discussed below:

  • It helps in making red blood cells
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps in iron absorption
  • Maintains neurologic function
  • Prevents oxidative damage
  • Improves collagen formation
  • Helps in building connective tissues
  • Involves in energy production
  • Delay or prevent arthritis

The daily required dosage of copper in the body:

The recommended intake of copper per day include:

Infants: 220mcg/day

Babies between 1 to 3 years old: 340 mcg/day

Kids between 4 to 8 years old: 440 mcg/day

Children’s between 9 to 13 years old: 700 mcg/day

Teens: 890mcg/day

Adult: 900 mcg/day

Pregnancy: 1000 mcg/day

Lactating mother’s: 1300 mcg/day

Are you at the risk of developing copper deficiency?

It is a rare condition, but can develop in individuals who have had gastric bypass surgery. This may result in poor absorption of nutrients from the food. Dietary modifications and healthy lifestyle practises may improve copper absorption. Also, the deficiency can be managed with the intake of 2 mg of copper supplements or by taking multivitamin supplements. Order your OTC products from a trusted online medicine website and get them delivered directly at your doorstep.

Diagnosis of copper deficiency:

To diagnose your deficiency, the doctor may ask you about the intake of any supplements and the symptoms you are going through. Based on our existing health conditions, your doctor may suggest a blood test (to measure ceruloplasmin, blood copper, free bound copper levels) and urine tests (to check ceruloplasmin levels) to check out for any deficiencies.

Tips to avoid copper-deficiency:

  • Drink copper-infused water to manage copper levels in the body.
  • Include foods such as oysters, organ meats, leafy greens, dried fruits, cocoa, black pepper, beans, nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, and whole grains.
  • Oral copper pills and supplements may help to manage your levels in the body.

Side-effects of too much copper levels in the body:

Too much copper content in the body may be toxic. Yes! The metal poisoning may cause:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If you are having any of these conditions after the intake of supplements, then speak to the doctor immediately. If medicines are prescribed to ease the issue, order them from the best online pharmacy store in India at the comfort of your home.

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Lakshmi Krishnanunni

She holds M.Sc., M.Phil in Biochemistry and has strong proficiency in the areas of Immunology, Biomolecules, Cell biology, and Molecular biology to name a few. She has more than 10 years of Research experience in the field of medicinal plants research and Nanotechnology. Her expertise in research has greatly assisted in writing medical, health and research articles. As a writer, she aims to provide research-based information to the readers in more detail. In her spare time, she loves cooking and experiments with various cuisines, painting, travelling, listening to music and gardening.

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