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Walsh Discusses Overmethylation Biotype

 

Serious conditions such as panic disorders, Biopolar disorder and schizophrenia are often suffering from overmethylation. Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are elevated in these persons. It is possible to diagnose this condition through a whole blood histamine test or else through a SAM/SAH methylation ratio test. Higher levels of these neurotransmitters can cause anxieties, disorders and in some cases psychosis and maybe lead some to suicide. Fortunately supplementation can reverse the symptoms associated with overmethylation. The goal is to reduce the methylation effect of elevated neurotransmitters and lower oxidative stress.

Pyrrole Disorder and Depression

Among 10’s of thousands of individuals tested with depression, 15% turned out positive for pyrrole disorder known as kryptopyrroles. 

Biotype Pyrrole Depression

Patients who present with pyrrole disorder often are high in oxidative stress, suffer from severe mood swings and explosive anger, have extreme anxieties and fears, have poor short-term memory, and may have little or no dream recall. Depression strikes this subgroup usually because their kryptopyrroles are lost to their urine, which carries away the much needed B6 and Zinc.  Therefore these persons benefit greatly and often quickly from supplements of Vitamin B6 and P5P , both crucial to serotonin synthesis, and zinc supplementation. Pyrolurics also need more Omega 6 fats such as animal fat, borage or primrose oil  instead of Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oils.  This inflammatory condition also benefits greatly from antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.

Diagnosed with AD(H)D?  Anxiety?  Bipolar?  Depression?  It could be Pyrrole Disorder.  A high incidence of Pyrrole Disorder is found in individuals with depression, anxiety disorder, ODD, , bipolar disorder and AD(H)D.  Pyrrole Disorder is associated with elevated pyrroles in urine and severe deficiencies of zinc and pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6) throughout the body.  Ask yourself if you are experiencing symptoms of pyroluria. 

 
Testing for pyrrole disorder:  
Second Opinion Physician will arrange to have urine test kits sent to your home to determine your level of urinary pyrroles. 
 
Pyrrole Disorder Treatment:
 
You will be given a customized supplement plan that you may take to your local vitamin supplier or else use our recommended professional sources online. Second Opinion Physician provides product codes, dosages and times per day each supplement should be taken for your specific level of imbalance.
 
Temper Dysregulation Disorder 
 
Many children with severe temper tantrums, learning disabilities and oppositional defiant disorders actually suffer from pyrrole disorder. 
 

Symptoms of Pyrrole Disorder vary but may include:

                Urine

Elevated kryptopyrroles

Mauve colored urine

Digestive

Morning nausea

Tendency to delay or skip breakfast

Very dry skin

Affinity for spicy and salty foods

Body Features

Pale skin, inability to tan

White spots in nail beds

Sensitivity to bright lights

Sensitivity to loud noises

Poor wound healing

Joint pains

Premature graying of hair

Psoriasis

Delicate facial features

“Fruity” breath and/or body odor

Coarse eyebrow hair

Sretch marks (striae) on skin

Long arms, legs and fingers

Mood and Emotions

Extreme mood swings

Severe inner tension

Severe anxiety

Tendency to stay up very late

High irritability and temper

History of underachievement

Histrionic behavior

Severe depression

Fear of airplane travel, tornadoes, etc.

Obsessions with negative thoughts

Dreams and Memory

Little or no dream recall

Poor short-term memory

History of a reading disorder

Immunity and Inflammation

Autoimmune disorders

Severe oxidative stress

Poor growth

Delayed puberty

Spleen-area pain

Frequent infections

Abnormal EEG

Hormonal

Abnormal fat distribution

Abnormal or absent menstrual periods

Poor muscle development

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Natural Remedies for Mood Disorders

Pioneers in the field of Nutrient Therapy, such as Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD and William J. Walsh, PhD, President of the Walsh Research Institute, have found abnormalities in and elevated or reduced levels of histamines in the body to be central to many different behavioral or mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and even classical paranoid .  The effects of being over or under methylated or of having abnormalities in histamine levels are vast and often debilitating… but the good news is that there exists completely safe and natural remedies for these imbalances!  And the power, speed, and efficacy of these natural remedies can be a source of great hope and relief for sufferers of mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, and other upsetting conditions that are not uncommon in an increasingly toxic and often stressful modern way-of-life.

BIOTYPE 1 – Undermethylators (38% of depression population):

Some of the common characteristics of this depressive group are: OCD tendencies, calm exterior but high inner tension, competitive, perfectionistic, addictive tendencies, and high libido.  Undermethylators may be benefited by SSRI medications, but often with side-effects.  The Nutrient Therapy approach would most likely include the addition of methionine or SAMe. These amino acids contribute a methyl compound and increase total serotonin production.  Other important supplements include inositol, B6, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Folic acid is absolutely not recommended for these types.

BIOTYPE 2 – Overmethylators (or “Low-Folate Depressives”) (20% of depressed population):

Some of the commonly recurring characteristics within this population are: high anxiety, panic, noncompetitive in sports or games, food/chemical sensitivities, high musical or artistic ability, underachievement, sleep disorders, and low libido.  This subtype tends to do poorly with methylation and in fact do very poorly with SSRI antidepressants. This is because they have plenty of serotonin, but they lack B12 and Folic Acid. Likewise, SAMe and methionine are not recommended.  An effective nutrient therapy would seek to enhance acetylation and suppress methylation for these patients, folate and niacinamide being excellent supplements for this.

Excellent Podcast Below Featuring William Walsh PhD on Bulletproof Radio Discussing Methylation

One-carbon (methyl) groups are integral to the synthesis of neurotransmitters, genetic expression, metabolism, and other crucial biochemical reactions.  Methylation, also referred to as the methyl/folate ratio, turns cells on and off through histone bodies which are connected to the .  DNA is responsible for the production of proteins which can express in the form of enzymes, hormones, inflammatory cells, neurotransmitters, and more.  Methylation affects anything that is produced by the differentiated cells of the body.  As far as brain function is concerned, methylation is a major player in the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters whose proper balancing and healthy levels are essential for the maximized functioning of our brains and for the maintenance of a healthy emotional life.

In overmethylated patients there tends to be an abundance of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine whereas undermethylated patients tend to be depleted in these essential neurotransmitters.  Within the realm of behavioral disorders, what is crucial is the enzyme which is responsible for returning serotonin to the originally releasing neurotransmitter (a process referred to as reuptake).

  • When methylation is high (“”), the enzyme levels that return serotonin back to the releasing neuron are low and there is increased serotonin activity.  When methylation is low (“”), the enzyme levels will be in excess and the serotonin activity will be low.
  • Additionally, overmethylation inhibits expression of the genes, of each cell in the body. It does this by causing a folding of the DNA structures. Undermethylation will cause DNA to unfold, making it more expressive.  Folding of the DNA diminishes the activity of that DNA which are responsible for the daily producing of critical hormones, enzymes and other types of proteins etc. All of these factors contribute to conditions ranging from autism to alzheimers, depression and anxiety. Understanding this new science gives us an opportunity to more successfully utilize natural remedies for mood disorders and healthy brain activity in general.

More than two decades ago, Dr. Pfeiffer studied the metabolism of over 20,000 patients suffering from schizophrenia and kept running into the phenomenon of severely deficient levels of histamine in these patients, later referring to this low histamine syndrome as “histapenia”.  Histapenia was found to be common in his classical paranoid schizophrenic patients, as well as those suffering from anxiety and panic disorders.  The histamine deficiency also coincided with nutrient deficiencies, specifically folic and and/or B12, and with an overload of copper.  Based on these findings, Dr. Pfeiffer enacted an aggressive therapy regime using B12, B3, and folic acid for these patients… and had tremendous success!  The patients experienced dramatic improvements, and Dr. Pfeiffer attributed the success to the elevation of histamine levels.  Ensuing studies have pointed to the role of the methyl/folate ratio and its normalization as being critical to these favorable outcomes.

  • Elevated histamine indicates undermethylation, and there are symptoms which may point to this being the case for an individual, for example: seasonal allergies, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, being strong-willed, perfectionism, and high-libido, just to name a few.
  • Some conditions associated with undermethylation are OCD obsessive compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, oppositional-defiant disorder, competitiveness, bulimia, anorexia, impulsivity (gambling/shopping disorders, etc), depression, schizoaffective disorder, and delusions.

On the other hand, overmethylated persons typically suffer from food/chemical sensitivities, dry eyes, and a severe intolerance to SSRI medications (such as Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, etc), and have strong association with anxiety and panic disorders, low motivation, paranoid schizophrenia, hyperactivity, anxious depression, learning disabilities, and even hallucinations.

At Second Opinion Physician we request labs to be done for all patients (appropriate to the information gathered at initial consultation) in order to assess nutrient levels, and which includes testing for methylation levels, so that we might then effectively prescribe natural remedies for mood disorders.

  • If a patient is found to be overmethylated we typically treat with folic acid and B12, plus a focus on dietary considerations (for example, perhaps recommending an increase in animal skin, cartilage, and gelatin consumption in order to provide B vitamins and proteins which naturally counter excess methylation).  B12 and folic acid therapies can noticeably slow down methylation symptoms within 2 weeks to 2 months.
  • If methylation is low, we strive to increase serotonin production naturally, with supplements/nutrients such as B6 and Zinc and may recommend adding methionine to the patient’s diet, which comes naturally from muscle meats.  We may also recommend the addition of SAMe, which is a fast-acting and more readily available methylator.  Patients may see major effects with methionine in about 1-3 months, and even more quickly with SAMe treatment.

Methylation and histamine-level balancing is just one example of the nutrient-based approach to health taken by Second Opinion Physician.  By using natural remedies to balance brain chemistry and improve methylation status we can tackle even the most tenacious mood disorders, behavioral disorders, combat anxiety, and treat depression naturally to create more overall health and emotional balance for otherwise suffering individuals.

Listen to William Walsh PhD Podcast with Bulletproof Radio:

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Treating Depression Naturally

…by gaining control over your brain’s biochemistry

Dr. William J. Walsh, PhD is the president of the Walsh Research Institute, an organization “dedicated to unraveling the biochemistry of mental disorders and [the] development of improved clinical treatments through scientific research”.  Dr. Walsh received his PhD in Chemical Engineering, but while working as a prison volunteer he was given the opportunity to study the brain chemistry of convicts and violent offenders and, because of the astounding discoveries made, decided to devote the rest of his career to Nutrient Based Psychiatry & Nutritional Medicine.  Dr. Walsh is very influential and highly regarded in his field, and has become a major proponent of treating depression naturally, as well as using Nutritional Therapy to combat many other mental and behavioral disorders.

Around 1965-1975, there was a revolution in mental health happening around the world.  Psychiatry was shifting its focus from a Freudian-based one, which speculated that children were born as a “blank slate” whose behavior and personality were then formed by their experiences and environment, into a paradigm which acknowledged family history, chemical imbalances, neurotransmitters, and the overall molecular biology of the brain as major factors in “bad behavior”, mental illness, , etc.  Dr. Walsh wondered if this molecular biology could explain much of what was driving the violence and/or mental illness of the convicts that he was working with at the time.  This inquiry led to years upon years of experiments and the accumulation of massive amounts of data, all pointing towards a surprising conclusion… chemical imbalances, and improper levels of trace metals in particular, do indeed account for many of the tendencies of violent criminals and the expression of mental and behavioral disorders.

One example Dr. Walsh gives of a trace metal that has a huge impact on brain function is copper.  Copper is a key factor in the transition of dopamine to norepinephrine, so not having the right amount of copper in your system will lead to unhealthy levels of norepinephrine.  Additionally, it is very important that our bodies have the ability to regulate these levels by flushing excess copper from our system.  Some people do not have these regulatory abilities, and Dr. Walsh was surprised to discover that almost all of the convicts/offenders he was working had copper imbalances… those with who had episodic violent tendencies had very high copper levels, and the sociopathic types had very low copper levels.  This is just one example of the remarkable and pervasive findings of these revolutionary studies.

Additionally surprising was the fact that an entire group of convicts that Dr. Walsh had worked with, when subjected to blood tests in order to assess brain chemistry, returned almost identical results.  All the convicts had Pyrrole Disorder, were dramatically zinc deficient, and all were under methylated (high blood histamine).  Dr. Walsh recalls saying “they’re all the same!” upon receiving results.  This was incredibly surprising news… but also exciting, as these types of imbalances are easily treated with the proper Nutritional Therapy.  These discoveries and more prompted Dr. Walsh to initiate a study of over 500 people, starting with violent offenders and then eventually also taking on children who exhibited violent tendencies.  The treatments were extremely beneficial to the adults, but many would stop compliance after a period of time, thereby negating the positive outcomes.  The children, on the other hand, had extremely high levels of success, with very long-lasting beneficial effects.

One major focus of Dr. Walsh’s is depression.  According to Dr. Walsh, there is a major misconception around depression in the world of Psychiatry.  Depression is usually treated as a “single disorder” whose major foundational factor is low activity in serotonin receptors.  But not all depressions are alike, as Dr. Walsh’s data has shown him.  He points to “five completely different disorders called ‘depression’, only two of which have to do with serotonin”.  It is perfectly logical to conclude that treating depression naturally, thru Nutritional Therapy, could bypass much of the hardship and mishaps which are proliferated by treating each person and each brain as if it were the same… a dangerous approach, as it turns out that undermethylated patients respond very differently to SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, most often prescribed for depression) then overmethylated patients, who respond very poorly.  Dr. Walsh even points to school shooting as one of the devastating offshoots of this type of blanket treatment offered for depression, as 40 out of the 50 school shootings of the past 3 decades have been carried out by young men who had functioned quite normally thru life before being put on SSRI antidepressant medications.  Dr. Walsh speculates that a simple blood test may have helped guide the prescribing physicians towards more appropriate treatment, as it could indicate whether or not a patient was overmethylated and therefore at high risk for adverse effects from the SSRIs.

Dr. Walsh believes that “we’re on the verge of a new era of psychiatry where we’ll be able to fix all these psychiatric problems without foreign molecules.  We’ll be able to normalize the brain, without drugs.  That is the era that is just beginning… and my group is trying to speed that up”.  As a matter of fact, his group at one point studied 700 violent children and adults, treated their specific chemical imbalances thru Nutritional Therapy (thereby “normalizing brain chemistry”) and then published the resulting changes in their violent activity.  91% of the families said that violent episodes had diminished, and 58% reported that violent episodes had completely disappeared.  Astounding results.

Dr. Walsh is very clear in pointing out that he is “not opposed to drugs… psychiatric medications have helped millions of people.  It was the best they had for the last 50 years… but now we’re learning how to do things better and without side effects … normalizing the brain instead of putting powerful foreign molecules into the brain.  As science advances, the need for psychiatric drugs will fade away”.

Second Opinion Physician agrees! And we believe that need for drugs is already fading.  SOP is trained in the Walsh Protocol and can advise patients on ways to use Nutritional Therapy and Supplements to combat mental and behavioral disorders, including highly effective ways of treating depression naturally.

The Role of Pyrroles in Depression

#, also known as pyroluria or mauve factor, is a condition in which elevated levels of urinary due to oxidative stress. It is often brought on or exacerbated by physical and emotional distress. This may be the trigger that causes one to suddenly develop an imbalance in the breakdown of hemaglobin. This leads to chronic and vitamin B6 deficiencies due to the fact that pyrroles are aldehyde chelators and they attract and subsequently deplete zinc and B6.  This is a chronic disorder that affects roughly 10% of the population, and is especially prominent in those suffering from behavioral and mood disorders such as , , , bipolar, and .  Unfortunately, while doctors learned about this condition in medical school it is rarely acknowledged or investigated by general practitioners and psychiatrists, much less diagnose. Yet the treatment with supplements is simple and in many cases highly effective.

Some of the common symptoms are: , mood swings, depression, auditory processing disorder, memory loss, joint pain, poor dream recall, Irritable bowel syndrome, as well as being associated with internal stress and low serotonin production. Folks with zinc deficiency can often screen themselves by looking at their nail beds. If there are white clouds under the nail, this is a pretty good sign to get yourself checked out.

Following is an article excerpt from the story of one child’s Kryptopyrrole diagnosis, and she and her family’s journey from daily struggle into thriving and well-being…

Here’s an good example of what to expect with urinary pyrroles from Body and Soul:
Read full article here: Body & Soul, 10% Have This Illness But Most Don’t Know It

“We saw various experts trying to find out what was wrong and received various diagnoses, before taking Sophie to a physiotherapist who did cranial and visceral manipulation. She told me there was a problem with Sophie’s gut and recommended we see a GP who specialised in that area. She diagnosed pyrroles disorder.

Unusually, I had heard of pyrrole, as a friend’s son had it. It’s a genetic blood disorder that results in a dramatic deficiency of zinc, vitamin B6 and arachidonic acid – a long-chain##### fat.

Common symptoms include inability to cope with stress, emotional mood swings and sensitivity to light and sound. It also causes learning difficulties and auditory processing disorder, which means that in a noisy environment, it’s hard to single out the sound you should be listening to. In a classroom environment, that would mean that if other kids were talking, Sophie would struggle to hear the teacher.

It all made perfect sense and, sure enough, the urine test came back positive. The doctor told Sophie: “You poor thing, you really have been having a hard time of it, haven’t you?”, which was probably the best thing she could?have said. It was really nice for Sophie to have someone acknowledge her condition like that.

Sophie, now seven, was prescribed supplements in a dosage accordant with her weight and it made an immediate difference. We saw changes overnight and, although I know our journey is ongoing, it’s been getting better ever since. She was instantly happier, slept better and concentrated better. Before she couldn’t retain information or do spelling but now it was as if that blockage had been unblocked.”

Bill Walsh Theory of Schizophrenia

This is an excellent summary of the Dr Walsh theory of  from Biobalance Health in Australia:

Thesis 1:  Schizophrenia is in Nature:  A psychotic “breakdown” is usually followed by a lifetime of mental illness and misery. This often permanent change in functioning results from altered chromatin bookmarks that regulate gene expression. Since the deviant marks are maintained during future cell divisions, the condition doesn’t “go away”.

Thesis 2: Weak Antioxidant Protection is a Distinctive Feature of Schizophrenia:  Most schizophrenics exhibit a genetic or acquired weakness in antioxidant protection. Evidence from my extensive chemistry database includes generally low levels of glutathione, cysteine, selenium, zinc, polyunsaturated fats, together with high levels of non-ceruloplasmin copper.

Thesis 3:  Oxidative Overload Produces Deviant Epigenetic Marks in Schizophrenia: Cancer researchers have identified cumulative oxidative stress as a trigger that can transform healthy cells into cancer cells by altering epigenetic marks that permanently change gene expression. Examples include (a) skin cancer developing after years of excessive sun exposure, and (b) lung cancer following years of cigarette smoking. It’s not a coincidence that nearly all schizophrenia patients exhibit excess oxidative stress. The onset of schizophrenia occurs when oxidative stresses exceed the threshold level needed to alter chromatin marks that regulate gene expression.

Thesis 4:   Imbalances Promote Epigenetic Vulnerability to Oxidative Stress:  Abnormal methylation of chromatin is a leading cause of epigenetic errors in gene expression. The combination of oxidative overload and a methyl imbalance can produce gene expression changes that result in a chronic schizophrenia condition. The two most prevalent forms of schizophrenia develop in persons who exhibit either (a) methyl overload or (b) methyl deficiency. The two resulting psychotic disorders exhibit very different brain chemistry and symptoms.

A. – About 46% of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia exhibit excessive methylation of chromatin along with weak antioxidant protection. Mental breakdowns generally occur during severe physical or emotional traumatic events that produce overwhelming oxidative stress and deviant gene marks. This schizophrenia biotype is a sensory disorder that generally involves auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations. This condition is associated with elevated activity of dopamine and norepinephrine, and reduced glutamate activity at NMDA receptors.  The most common DSM-4 diagnosis is paranoid schizophrenia.

B. Undermethylation – About 28% of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia exhibit low methylation of chromatin together with weak antioxidant protection. Mental breakdowns generally occur during severe physical or emotional traumatic events that produce a separate set of altered gene marks. This schizophrenia biotype essentially is a thought disorder with delusions and catatonic tendencies the primary symptoms. This condition is associated with low activity at serotonin, dopamine, and NMDA receptors. The most common DSM-4 diagnoses are Schizoaffective Disorder or Delusional Disorder.

Thesis 5: Extraordinary Weakness in Antioxidant Protection Can Produce Schizophrenia in the Absence of Methyl Imbalances:  The third major schizophrenia phenotype develops in persons with an inborn severe deficit in antioxidant protection. This condition is arbitrarily termed “Pyrrole Disorder” due to the presence of excessive pyrrole levels in blood and urine. Mental breakdowns occur for these persons during periods of extreme physical or mental stress in which deviant epigenetic marks are established. This condition is characterized by extraordinary anxiety, rapid mood swings, and often involves both auditory hallucinations and delusional beliefs. Brain chemistry abnormalities include (a) depressed glutamate activity at NMDA receptors, and (b) very depressed GABA activity.

Thesis 6:  Failure to Follow Classical Laws of Genetic Inheritance Results From the Epigenetic Nature of Schizophrenia:  Schizophrenia is strongly heritable (runs in families) but fails to obey Mendel’s classic laws of genetic inheritance. There are countless examples of identical twins where one sibling develops the disorder and the other does not. In addition, intensive research efforts to identify the schizophrenia gene (or genes) have met with little success. provides two explanations for the non-Mendelian nature of schizophrenia: (a) Environmental insults are required to produce deviant epigenetic marks and environmental conditions are highly variable for different individuals, and (b) Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (TEI) contributes to schizophrenia heritability by transmitting deviant epigenetic marks to one’s children and grandchildren.

Purchase Nutrient Power by William J Walsh from The Walsh Research Institute

Copper and Emotions

The effect of elevated total or free copper on neurotransmitters is significant. As a cofactor in the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine, the effect of copper and emotions is profound. Dopamine is a mood enhancing, feel good neurotransmitter. And there is an important need for dopamine to convert to norepinephrine. But there needs to be a balance. When there’s too little dopamine and too much norepinephrine, which occurs in the presence of elevated copper, the effect of copper and emotions is important to address. 

Elevated copper is an indication that the body is having a difficult time managing free radicals and heavy metals. This often occurs when there is insufficient amino acid uptake to produce important metal binding metalothionine’s, such as ceruloplasmin, which binds free copper and neutralizes it. An excess of other heavy metals, which can be characterized as oxidative stress, also leads to a general inability to neutralize and mobilize metals such as copper. Lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminum are examples of the most reactive of free radicals. We are exposed to oxidative heavy metals from the air, water and soil. We are exposed through industrial pollutants, silver fillings, smoke, skin products, etc. Metals are a major reason for taking anti-oxidant free radical scavengers.

At Second Opinion Physician we will check your hair, plasma, serum and whole blood to get a good picture of your oxidative stres and the potential impact of copper and emotions. If you’ve already had these tests, let us know your results and we will prepare a supplements and lifestyle plan to get levels back on track.

Copper and Emotions

…the main thing that happens with metal retention is copper toxicity because everybody is getting copper constantly. Almost everything you eat has some copper in it. A lot of really popular foods like coffee, chocolate, avocado, soy, shellfish like shrimp and lobster, and certain beans and nuts like pecans are pretty high in copper.

This isn’t a problem with good liver, gall bladder and especially adrenal function. If adrenal function is strong, we just mobilize that copper and excrete it through the bile. Unfortunately, the way we live these days, that is not what is happening. Most people are not able to get rid of the excess copper. How many people have impaired liver function, congested gallbladder or adrenal fatigue? Probably the majority these days.

If adrenal function becomes impaired, the copper builds up in the liver, brain, joints and lungs. When this happens, you see very specific problems, including mental problems, liver problems and detoxification problems. Phase II liver impairment is often made worse by copper toxicity , if not actually caused by it.

You also see a lot of copper toxicity with asthma and breathing problems, including emphysema. Copper also tends to build up in the joints, leading to arthritis. Chronic skin problems are also an indication of copper toxicity .

Vegetarian diets are very high in copper because the vegetable foods are a great source of this mineral. Since vegetarians don’t eat meat, and possibly not even eggs, they are not getting enough zinc, which is the natural antagonist to copper. Zinc naturally balances copper and keeps it from building up in the tissues. If you are not eating much in the way of meat and eggs, you will develop copper problems.

Excess copper interferes with energy production at the cellular level. It impairs various energy pathways in the cell so it contributes to the very fatigue that tends to make you retain copper, leading to a vicious circle. Once this pattern gets going, it is totally self-reinforcing and very difficult to break, even by adding zinc-rich foods back into the diet.

Copper is an excitotoxin, and is stimulating to the brain. This is why you will see copper toxicity in manic states like paranoid and bi-polar disorder. The so-called copper head tends to be very emotional, very intense, often very creative. Such individuals are prone to crash and burn because their overactive mind is being supported by a very fatigued body.

Copper toxicity is a major factor in irritable bowel syndrome because copper is excreted through the bile and certain things will cause you to suddenly dump copper. If you have been building up copper, anything that causes an increase in your metabolic rate will cause a copper dump and it comes out through the bile. If you are copper toxic and suddenly under a lot of stress, this may bring on an irritable bowel episode because suddenly excess copper is moving through your bowels and irritating them.

The tendency of copper to build up in the body is similar to iron, which is another essential nutrient that is also a heavy metal. They’re both highly electrical, very conductive metals that produce a lot of free radical activity and have to be bound by special proteins, such as ceruloplasmin and metallothioine. The production of these proteins is controlled by the adrenal glands, and they are produced in the liver. If the adrenals are not functioning properly and the liver is impaired, possibly from copper buildup, you will not produce these binding proteins, so copper remains in free form. That makes it a toxic and reactive free-radical generator capable of causing a lot of damage.

The increase in copper is stimulating, it gets you going, which is just what you need in the short term. But chronic unremitting stress never gives you time to recover, you never get to address your biochemical imbalance, you never have that down time to excrete the excess copper now.

When your adrenal glands are in great shape, you can excrete excess copper whenever you need to. But when your adrenal glands are just hanging on by their fingernails, just barely able to mount a stress response, you have an excess of stimulating copper. It becomes very hard to go to sleep and the mind races. You think, think, think, worry, worry, worry, and all of that makes it worse. You are always worn out. In fact, people with chronic fatigue often wake up tired because they don’t really ever rest.