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Copper, Blood Test

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About Our Copper, Blood Test

This blood test is used to determine copper levels.

Copper is found in all tissues throughout the body, but is mostly concentrated in the liver, muscles and bones. Copper plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells, bones, and connective tissue, as well as energy production and aiding antioxidants against free radicals in the body.

Copper levels can be deficient in individuals with conditions like Cystic Fibrosis or Celiac or Crohn's Disease, or overabundant in those with Wilson's Disease.

Deficient copper levels can lead to:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased white blood cell count
  • Osteoporosis or nerve damage
  • Muscle weakness and impaired coordination
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Irritability and depression
  • Confusion

Copper levels that are too high can lead to:

  • Wilson's disease, a liver condition in which excess copper does not leave the body as normal and results in liver damage from accumulation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney damage
  • Inhibited urine production
  • Liver damage/cirrhosis
  • Anemia from red blood cells rupturing
  • Death

Major dietary sources of copper include:

  • Beef liver
  • Cashews
  • Shellfish
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Vegetable juice
  • Mushrooms
  • Cocoa

Copper deficiency can be more prevalent in people who are:

  • Taking zinc supplements because they can prevent the body from absorbing copper
  • Premature infants
  • Suffering from malnutrition
  • Living with digestive/malabsorption disorders like Crohn's disease, Celiac Disease, or cystic fibrosis
  • Have persistent diarrhea
  • Are gastrointestinal surgery patients
  • Male infants who inherit Menkes syndrome

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