Copper Deficiency Symptoms & Treatment Options

› Risk factors of copper deficiency

• Low copper intake

Low dietary intake is rare because copper can be found almost in every food around us. People in starvation, famine, or homeless may suffer from low copper intake along with other nutrient deficiencies.

• Celiac disease

It is a disease characterised by the inability to digest gluten, which is the protein in wheat. Studies show that people who undergo a gluten-free diet and have celiac diseases are at risk of developing copper deficiency along with other mineral deficiencies because of the inability to absorb them by the intestine.

• Gut surgery

Patients who undergo surgery in the upper section of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, the first, and the second part of the intestine are at a higher risk of suffering from copper deficiency. Copper is absorbed after getting in contact with stomach acid, in the first section of the intestine.

• Total parenteral nutrition

Total parenteral nutrition means that the patient receives all of his nutrition through the veins. Copper deficiency occurs in these patients because the total parenteral nutrition is devoted to copper, which should be taken as a supplement during this period.

• High levels of zinc supplements

Zinc and copper are absorbed in the same area of the intestines, which causes competing between them and reduces their absorption. People who take more than the recommended zinc supplements take zinc supplements along with copper supplements or copper-rich food may suffer from copper deficiency.

• Menkes Disease

It is a rare disease caused by gene mutation, more common in females, which will affect copper absorption. Children with Menkes disease die at the age of three if not treated. Early copper supplements will reduce the symptoms of the disease and improve patient outcomes.