Are you Copper Toxic?

First, I’ll answer the question that just popped into your brain: WHAT IS COPPER TOXICITY?

Copper toxicity is a build-up of bio-unavailable copper in the body that gets stored primarily in the liver (initially) and then subsequently in the brain and other organs. As copper accumulates it initially gets stored in the liver, causing the main symptoms of brain fog and fatigue. At high levels of accumulation, however, the mind start racing and the adrenals may ‘burn out’. Following adrenal burnout copper levels then spike even further as ceruloplasmin production declines.  Copper is now being deposited in the brain and other organs, and this, in turn, leads to neurotransmitter imbalances causing brain function and perception to become altered, and schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and pseudo-bipolar conditions can result.

Whew, that’s intense!

I recently met a certified HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis) practitioner who started explaining how much the medical system is missing when they just review our blood tests and especially the harmful and often undetected effects of copper toxicity.  It piqued my interest, especially in my endeavor to learn and share as much as I can on women’s hormone health so I decided to get the details and put them in terms meaningful to me and the women I talk to. Rick Fischer is extremely passionate about his research and sharing this information, as it was initially sparked by the loss of his girlfriend to copper toxicity.

HTMA is a screening test (using hair from the scalp) which accurately indicates mineral toxicities and imbalances and provides the evidence required to design the most effective nutritional programs to bring back balance.


List of Conditions Affected by Mineral Imbalance

* This list is not is not everything, it doesn’t include toxic metals – an additional source of many physical and mental problems. HTMA data provides detailed information on over 30 essential minerals and toxic metals.


Adrenal Health & Energy – the balance between sodium and magnesium indicates the strength or insufficiency of the adrenal glands. When the adrenals are activated, sodium rises.  High sodium and potassium, especially relative to calcium and magnesium, indicate high adrenal activity. A low sodium level, together with low potassium, indicates exhausted adrenals.  High accumulations of bio-unavailable copper are one major cause of exhausted adrenals. With exhausted adrenals, the body will constantly feel fatigued and, in turn, leads to many other physical and psychological conditions.  Adrenal performance can be improved through the balancing of key minerals.

Anemia – iron deficient anemia can develop as a result of bio-unavailable copper. With a deficiency in available copper, iron will build up in storage areas and also become bio-unavailable, leading to anemia.

Anxiety – a high level of copper is a major contributor to anxiety.

Bi-Polar – a mineral pattern showing a high level of calcium to potassium along with a high sodium to potassium ratio, a low calcium to magnesium ratio, and a high level of copper often creates a “pseudo-bipolar” condition that can be ameliorated through the adjustment of minerals.

Blood Sugar – a high level of calcium relative to magnesium leads to increased insulin secretion and a tendency of for hypoglycemia.

Brain Fog – a common occurrence with liver toxicity (and as copper builds up in the liver)…among other factors.

Cardiovascular disorders – low copper relative to zinc allows an increase in LDL and a decrease in HDL.  This imbalance can lead to hardening of the arteries, regardless of the total serum cholesterol or triglyceride levels.  A low level of magnesium is also a major contributor to heart attacks.

Chronic Fatigue  (see adrenal health and energy)

Depression – a high level of copper and calcium, along with the natural effect of depleted adrenals, are all contributing factors to depression.

Digestive Issues / Candida / Yeast – a high level of copper can impair digestion and bowel motility resulting in gas and bloating.  Furthermore, copper is a natural fungicide.  When the copper level becomes too high it becomes bio-unavailable  (creating a deficiency condition), and with this deficiency in bio-available copper, yeast and candida are allowed to flourish.  Meanwhile copper lowers zinc. When zinc is low, digestive enzyme and bile production become impaired.   When protein synthesis is low (a result of low phosphorus), digestion is further impaired.

Emotional Apathy & Relationship Withdrawal  – with depleted adrenals (low sodium and potassium) comes to a natural withdrawal from romantic relationships. Physiologically, sex and romance are forced to be put on hold for the survival of the body.  As stress increases, so too does calcium. A high level of calcium creates a ‘calcium shell’, which effectively blocks emotions and deadens feelings.  This is often in turn a result of copper toxicity, which raises calcium.  Without an understanding of this effect, and left feeling very little for their partner, many people simply walk away from their relationship, believing the relationship to be the problem, rather than a mineral imbalance.

Immune Function – a low zinc level will impair the body’s immune system

Inflammation – high sodium to potassium over a long time leads to chronic inflammation.  The potassium level reflects glucocorticoid activity, and so a low potassium level may be a warning of an inflammatory process in the body.

Kidney & Liver Function – a high sodium to potassium ratio can lead to kidney and liver dysfunction. A high level of copper (or any toxic metal for that matter) can also overload the liver.

Muscle Mass Loss-Any bodybuilder knows the importance of protein for building muscle. A high phosphorus level indicates rapid protein breakdown, while a low phosphorus level indicates inadequate protein synthesis and tissue breakdown.

Muscle Twitches – often a sign of magnesium deficiency

Osteoporosis – though most people understand that calcium is important for preventing osteoporosis, what many aren’t told is that too much calcium, relative to magnesium, will actually increase the risk for osteoporosis. Adequate magnesium is required for calcium to deposited in the bone.  This is why it is imperative that you understand your magnesium level before supplementing with calcium.

PMS type symptoms – one of the many negative effects of excess copper are PMS type symptoms

Schizophrenia & Paranoia – numerous studies show that 1/2 to 2/3 of schizophrenics have high levels of copper.  Combined with copper’s effect on neurotransmitter imbalances and impairing neocortex functioning, paranoia is also a common side effect of copper toxicity. It is the time the mental health community starts acknowledging this important mineral connection rather than simply treating patients with dangerous psychotropic drugs!

Stress tolerance– During the alarm stage of stress, sodium rises relative to potassium. With high Na/K, the person is easily overwhelmed by the slightest stress or irritation and can over-react.  This response by-passes the higher cortical intellectual functions, so you can’t verbally counsel a person out of this.  Instead, you need to balance the Na/K, and this will allow the person to better control their emotions and awareness.  If left uncorrected, eventually the body’s adrenals will exhaust themselves from the stressor and low sodium together with low potassium will result, an indicator of adrenal exhaustion.

Thyroid Health & Weight -Calcium slows down the thyroid while potassium speeds it up. The balance between calcium and potassium is a great indicator of the efficiency of the thyroid gland, which can, in turn, lead to both energy and weight challenges.


Why should I use HTMA testing rather than blood tests?  Why doesn’t my doctor recommend them?

Blood testing isn’t an accurate indicator of mineral levels because the blood works quickly to remove excess minerals, and this excess gets stored in tissues, which is then evidenced in our soft tissue, such as hair. Medical Doctors seem to have a lack of acceptance of HTMA because they simply have not received any proper training on assessing HTMA charts. Understanding HTMA charts is not as simple as just looking at a mineral level. An advanced understanding of mineral ratios and their various effects on physical and personality changes is required.


HTMA offers the following key benefits:

  • Sampling is simple and non-invasive
  • Mineral levels are much more accurately detected in hair than in blood* Blood serum tests are misleading because excess minerals are not stored in the blood, they are stored in tissue!
  • Since hair is a non-essential, excretory, storage, soft tissue of the body, the body tends to deposit more excess minerals and dangerous metals here than in many other tissue areas of the body.
  • HTMA provides key ratios & indicators which can detect imbalances that individual mineral ‘levels’ don’t show.
  • Hair remains stable for biopsy for months or even years
  • It is extremely cost effective, accurate, and reliable.

IUD-copper toxic


•    Taking calcium supplementation while you are magnesium deficient (as many people are), could, in fact, be making your bones even more brittle.
•    A very high ratio of calcium to potassium indicates a slow thyroid, with a tendency toward weight gain, fatigue, even constipation.
•    Vitamin D supplementation lowers potassium levels. We hear all the time how healthy Vitamin D is, but this is not the case when it negatively affects certain mineral balances.
•    Toxic levels of copper will weaken the adrenals resulting in fatigue and brain fog, and can eventually alter neurotransmitter levels in the brain, alter perception and lead to schizophrenia.
•    Vitamin D can also cause a deficiency in magnesium.
•    High levels of calcium relative to magnesium lead to calcification, cell death, and increased risk of blood clots.
•    Women with excess estrogen (and consequently copper) generally require more zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese.
•    As stress increases, zinc and magnesium levels drop while copper and calcium levels rise.
•    A high level of sodium to potassium intensifies the fight or flight response, increases the emotions of anger and fear, reduces higher intellect cortical function, and shortens one’s fuse (increasing agitation to the slightest irritation)
•    ADHD stimulant drugs tend to lower magnesium and increase the sodium to potassium ratio.


Are you interested in getting tested?

*Cost for Testing and Full Analysis with Rick Fischer (Certified HTMA Practitioner)  $195 


(*Please note that I am not affiliated or responsible for your results or experiences with Integrative Health coaching, I am purely recommending his services and wishing you the best of experiences in your continual journey to health.)


More reading…


Real women, real stories – Here’s how HTMA saved their lives.


An elderly woman recommended to take calcium to prevent osteoporosis:
A physician recommends to an elderly female to take Calcium supplementation in order to prevent osteoporosis. She has low magnesium levels (as many people do), yet the doctor has not verified this through testing.  By increasing her calcium supplementation, this increases the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the body.  A high calcium to magnesium ratio results in the calcium not being properly deposited in the bone, and instead it gets stored in cells and tissues, leading to a hardening of the arteries (calcium plaque) – leading to possible stroke or heart attack – and a further weakening of the bone.  This vital calcium to magnesium ratio can only be properly determined through an HTMA test, and the magnesium level should first be known before given any calcium supplementation is given.

A young healthy female given a copper IUD:
A young, healthy female has a copper IUD inserted. A few months later her adrenals burn out, her personality changes, and she becomes numb to her relationship. Her physician recommends a blood test, which shows elevated copper, and subsequently her IUD is removed. A second blood test later then shows a ‘normal’ copper level; she is advised she’s now fine, and subsequently divorces her husband because she realizes she no longer ‘feels anything’. This not uncommon scenario plays out all too often with physicians failing to recognize that excess bio-unavailable copper is stored in tissues (primarily the liver and the brain), and not the blood. After the IUD is removed, blood levels quickly return to normal, and subsequent blood testing completely ignores stored bio-unavailable copper in the tissues which can lead to severe psychological changes, compounded with the already severe symptoms and changes that occur after adrenal burnout. This stored copper increases calcium levels (creating a calcium shell effect that numbs feelings leaving a person dead emotionally), lowers magnesium and increases sodium (both of which in turn increases the stress response and negative aspects of ones personality, along with anxiety, anger, and panic), and can lead to wide range of psychological problems, many of which are easily recognizable through HTMA results. Had an HTMA test been done, the patient would have understood that, contrary to what the blood test showed, her copper levels were still high, and a proper, corrective detox and nutritional balancing protocol could have been advised based on her specific mineral levels as determined by the HTMA.

->Here’s where you can order your HTMA Lab Analysis

*Cost for Testing and Full Analysis with Rick Fischer (Registered HTMA Practitioner) is $195 (subject to change)


(*Please note that I am not affiliated or responsible for your results or experiences with Integrative Health coaching, I am purely recommending his services and wishing you the best of experiences in your continual journey to health.)









What are your thoughts on this, dear?