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Female Physiology and Copper Metabolism


Female Physiology and Copper Metabolism

Women who manage copper normally present the fewest complaints regarding female health issues.  There is a subset of estrogen dominant women that usually have impaired copper excretion.  This tends to be an inherited pattern seen mostly in the maternal female line.  There may be a family history of disorders such as moderate to severe PMS, heavy menstrual cycles, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, moderate to severe postpartum depression, chronic fatigue, and adrenal fatigue.  When additional estrogen is introduced (in the form of estrogen-based birth control, hormone replacement, and hormone-based IUDs), these women experience adverse reactions.  As estrogen rises, copper also rises and accumulates, causing oxidative stress – human “body rust” that produces inflammation.

Copper is a major influence on electrical charges and neurotransmitter signaling; excess copper can cause the brain to experience a ‘short-circuit’ in neural processing.  This decreases one’s ability to calm oneself when anxiety and panic are provoked by the excess copper.  Cognitive, mental, and sensory processing as well as social engagement and executive function may be impaired.  When copper is elevated, zinc levels also fall, impairing basic functions like immune system support, neurotransmitter production, metabolism, cell growth, hair, skin, and nail health, and DNA/protein regulation, to name a few.  Treatments that regulate copper can improve both cognitive and physiologic symptoms.

William Walsh, PhD has pioneered a natural therapeutic approach for treating copper excess.  At our clinic we have been using this innovative approach and I have often witnessed dramatic improvement in mood disorders as well as physical complaints.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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