Copper Chaos ADHD:
How to Identify and Correct a Serious Cause of ADHD!
Is Your Child Acting Out Because of a Copper Imbalance?
© 2023 Health Realizations, Inc. Update
When most people think of copper, their first instinct is to conjure up images of old pennies. While this is one of its many uses among society, you might be surprised to know that it also plays an integral role in ensuring the mental, physical and chemical well-being of your body.
More importantly, copper is even more imperative to the livelihood of your children, as it heavily affects every aspect of their growth process. Specifically, new studies have found that copper can have severe effects on mood levels, learning disorders (specifically ADHD) and more.
In order to truly understand the essential role of this metal and its effects on children, a better understanding of copper’s biological importance is needed.
What Exactly Does Copper Do for Your Body?
As is the case with most minerals, a certain balance of each compound is absolutely necessary to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Some minerals are not as integral to your internal balance as others, while several others are classified as essential mineral nutrients – meaning that you MUST have them in your diet in order to live.
Some of the more popular essential minerals that you may be familiar with are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, and iron. However, unfortunately, not too many people talk about the essentiality of copper in your diet even though it is an essential mineral too.
In fact, copper is so important to your daily functions that in a research paper the World Health Organization (WHO) states:
“Copper is an essential nutrient. The USA and Canada recently established a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults of 900 µg/day. Values for children are 340 µg/day for the first 3 years, 440 µg/day for ages 4 through 8, 700 µg/day for ages 9 through 13 and 890 µg/day for ages 14 through 18 (IOM, 2001).
The article goes on to confirm:
“Copper is required for the proper functioning of many important enzyme systems. Copper-containing enzymes include ceruloplasmin, SOD, cytochrome-c oxidase, tyrosinase, monoamine oxidase, lysyl oxidase and phenylalanine hydroxylase (Linder & Hazegh-Azam, 1996).”
In simpler terms, copper is described by doctors such as Dr. Lawrence Wilson – nutritional consultant and former medical writer and researcher for the U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health – as having:
“… a number of important functions in the human body…1. Bones and connective tissue. Copper is required to fix calcium in the bones and to build and repair all connective tissue…2. Energy production in the cells. Copper is needed in the final steps of the Krebs energy cycle called the electron transport system. This is where most of our cellular energy is produced…3. Immune Response. Copper must remain in balance with zinc. When imbalances occur, one is more prone to all infections, in particular fungal and yeast infections that are so common today.”
But that’s not all; Dr. Wilson adds that copper is also important for:
“4. The glandular system, particularly the thyroid and adrenal glands…In part this is due to its nature and how easily it is influenced by the sympathetic nervous system…5. Reproductive system. Copper is closely related to estrogen metabolism, and is required for women's fertility and to maintain pregnancy…6. Nervous system. Copper stimulates production of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. It is also required for monoamine oxidase, an enzyme related to serotonin production. As a result, copper is involved deeply with all aspects of the central nervous system.”
Yet, even though copper is so essential to many of your bodily functions, many doctors, medical practices and medical companies still don’t seriously acknowledge the importance of monitoring your intake levels – a problem that can have disastrous consequences if not properly attended to.
Of the problems associated with too much or too little copper in your system (otherwise known as copper toxicity and deficiency) are:
“...most psychological, emotional and often neurological conditions. These include memory loss, especially in young people, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others...”
Much more complicated than simply adding a multivitamin to you diet, achieving the perfect copper balance becomes even more complicated when you consider that each individual metabolizes, excretes and uses copper differently. Depending on your body type and oxygen metabolic rate, among many other internal and external factors, your daily dosage may require you to intake a lot or very little of the mineral.
Dr. Wilson describes in detail:
“... some, especially children, need much more copper than others. This has to do mainly with their metabolic type or body chemistry. Fast oxidizers need more copper while slow oxidizers often have too much. Those who we find are fast oxidizers require a lot more copper...Slow oxidizers often have excessive copper in their bodies. Thus they are far more prone to copper imbalance of this nature.”
With So Many Extraneous Factors Contributing to Copper Imbalances, How Do You Know If Your Child Suffers from One?
As with any deficiency, illness, ailment or disorder, an accurate diagnosis requires the assistance of a trained medical professional. In addition, careful observation of your child’s habits, moods, foods, physical well-being and activities is also essential.
For most children, a significant copper deficiency can cause symptoms such as:
And in more serious cases:
In regard to attention deficit disorders, especially in the case of fast oxidizers:
“This body type must have extra copper or they will exhibit violence, sleep problems or anti-social behavior such as ADD or ADHD…avoiding copper will make these children decidedly worse.”
Is Your Child Exhibiting Symptoms of ADD or ADHD?
The Canadian Mental Health Organization highlights the fact that diagnosing ADD and ADHD is extremely difficult. In particular they state:
“Children with these disorders are inattentive, overly impulsive and, in the case of ADHD, hyperactive. They have difficulty sitting still, attending to one thing for a long period of time, and may seem overactive…Your child can have a wide range of emotional responses to ADD and ADHD, which can be confusing to both him/ her and to you. He / she may have already experienced years of frustration and failure which can lead to emotional stresses and further problems…”
They continue by saying that:
“Some of the emotional responses are:
Physical Symptoms - Possibly, your child will bury his/her feelings so deeply that they will come out in the form of headaches, stomach or back aches, or pains in the hands or legs.”
Again, it is important to emphasize that an accurate diagnosis cannot simply be determined on your own. You must seek the meticulous and detailed experience of a medical professional, especially one with experience in treating these particular disorders.
That said, ADHD and ADD are common issues among children, and contributing factors may have to do with their zinc and copper intake and balances.
Dr. Julie Howard, CEO of The Howard Clark Corporation and founder/director of Youth Essential Solutions, Head Out Rehabilitation Camp, and Texas Preparatory Academy, deemed in her studies that:
“Research has found that many children and young adults with ADHD/ADD are deficient in zinc. Zinc is found in the brain's hippocampus and interacts with other chemicals to send messages to the sensory brain center, enhancing memory and thinking skills. It has a significant effect on visual memory, learning, emotional and behavioral state and overall cognitive function. A deficiency may result in learning impairments, poor memory and emotional and behavioral problems.”
“A study carried out on 135 males aged between 3 and 20 with a history of aggressive behavior found that many of the subjects were likely to have high levels of copper and low levels of zinc compared with non-aggressive people. Zinc and copper compete for absorption. Because of this inverse relationship, zinc supplements can be effective for lowering copper levels.
Proper mineral balance is essential for the production of chemical signals in the brain that influence behavior. Both copper and zinc tend to be concentrated in the hippocampus of the brain, which is the area known to be associated with stress response.”
This essential relationship between zinc and copper -- how they affect each other, in addition to how they interact with our biological processes, and govern our emotional behaviors -- makes it more important than ever to pay attention to how much copper and zinc your child is getting.
How to Determine How Much Copper and Zinc Your Child Has in His or Her Body
Blood, urine, feces and hair testing are used to detect copper imbalances in the body. In addition, liver biopsies are also used on rare occasions. Once assessed properly, a multitude of methods can be instated to treat the toxicity or deficiency problem.
With your doctor’s guidance, your child may need to use zinc or copper supplements and also change their diet as well. Depending on whether a deficiency or a toxicity exists, vegetarian diets and high-copper foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocado may need to be limited. In addition, healthy animal protein should be consumed daily.
Also, the addition of healthy, whole food supplements can be beneficial to maintaining their body’s copper balance as well. Ask your health care provider about what would be the best most effective whole food supplements for you depending on your needs, with such ingredients as:
Ask your Doctor for recommended whole food supplements that have been expertly refined, these natural products in unison with a monitored diet, doctor assisted testing and observation in addition to carefully monitored emotional and environmental circumstances, may be the answer to helping your child live a healthy and balanced life.
One such success story was written by Dr. Kasi Rote in her personal testament about her adolescent son’s challenges and journey with copper toxicity. In her testament she states:
“As my son entered first grade I became very aware of his differences. He struggled to sit still. His handwriting never looked like the other children’s writing. His letters were different shapes and sizes… The school labeled him dyslexic by second grade. His differences made him a target of bullies. He became frustrated very often and went from being happy to angry a lot."
In addition her son experienced:
“...a swollen testicle. After visiting the pediatrician and pediatric urologist, it was decided that he ruptured the appendix on his testicle…I was dismissed as being a “psychological” cause to my son’s testicle pain and swelling. The pain and swelling continued off and on over that summer and eventually quieted just before school started for 6th grade.”
Unable to find a solution, her son’s problems continued and:
“His allergies, horrible writing, frustration, and anger continued to plague him. His teachers frequently complained that he could know something one day and completely not know it the next day. It was a challenging time for all of us. At the end of his 6th grade year, his attitude had deteriorated to the point of apathy and he didn’t even try to do his work anymore.”
After reaching her wits end, Dr. Rote decided to get a medical analysis done. What she learned was shocking:
“When [the results] returned [they] showed 10 times the normal amount of copper, I was surprised and confused. I wasn’t familiar with copper toxicity. I researched it and started him on a protocol from Standard Process products (Calcium Lactate 6/day, Magnesium Lactate 2/day, Zinc Liver Chelate 2/day, Spanish Black Radish 2/day, Drenamin 2/day). It has been 6 months now and the changes that we have seen have been life changing to say the least. Within a month, his allergies were gone...completely. He was so much less angry within a couple of weeks.”
While every child is different, and there are many factors to consider when treating them for copper imbalances, it bodes well for parents to keep in mind that there are effective solutions out there. A network of scientists, dieticians, medical doctors, parents and children all have contributed to new information about advanced ADD and ADHD treatments that are leaps and bounds more effective than the numbing drugs or pharmaceutical medications of yesteryears.
After all, with patience, brevity and careful copper level monitoring, you may be able to experience the joys that Dr. Rote has. Specifically her son:
“...just completed his first semester of 7th grade and I’m thrilled to report he made 5 A’s and 2 B’s. I’m preparing for his 13th birthday and all the fun that the teenage years have to offer.”
With success stories like Dr. Rote’s, parents and children looking for answers to a confusing and difficult world of attention deficit disorders can find of hope, joy and peace in knowing that in spite of their problems, real and effective help is within reach.
ACAM: American College for Advancement in Medicine. Dr. Julie Howard. ‘Zinc and Copper levels are key factors in ADD and ADHD’.
The Center For Development ‘Copper Toxicity Syndrome’ Wilson,Lawrence MD. © Revised,
World Health Organization, “Copper in Drinking-water: Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality”