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My health struggle (and the role copper may have played)

A few months ago I had posted to Facebook that I was going to the Dr because I wasn’t feeling well. This is my update and a little more information.

 In all honesty it wasn’t that I wasn’t feeling well. At the time I had made that post I had spent months(and really over a few years) getting gradually worse. A year and a half ago I cut Gluten out of my diet and it helped a lot. I wasn’t 100% but I definitely felt better. Then the move came and with all of the upheaval I wasn’t taking care of myself as well. I started feeling badly so I made an appointment. 

About 2 months before my appointment I had stopped taking all of my vitamins and supplements. I wanted to make sure that any blood work I had done was as accurate as possible. Other times I had been to the dr and had blood work I hadn’t stopped taking them and of course when things came back normal the other doctors would tell me that there was nothing wrong. In the 2 months before my appointment and the month following I got so sick. I was throwing up everyday. I was so exhausted that everything required twice as much effort. I had a huge list of Gynecological issues that I have been struggling with for years. I’m already prone to anemia and those months it was bad. I was dizzy and if I moved too fast I got lightheaded and at times would get the kind of tunnel vision that comes before you pass out. Mentally I thought I was losing it.

At my appointment the doctor told me all of my symptoms were in my head and were simply a result of anxiety I wasn’t willing to address. She told me I would feel better once I saw a therapist and could get on meds. She reluctantly gave me a referral to a Gynecologist when I refused to accept her diagnosis but made sure to inform me that once they cleared me she wouldn’t move forward until I saw the therapist. 

It took a month to get into the gynecologist and my symptoms continued to get worse. I took a pregnancy test because I was so sick everyday (it was negative). I told the gynecologist my symptoms. She ordered blood work to check my hormones. And then she cured me. To which I mean she removed the Paraguard IUD I had had for about 5 years.  She said that she would be willing to guarantee that was what was wrong with me. 

About a week later I noticed that I felt so much happier and lighter. I stopped throwing up. Over the next few weeks I felt less and less exhausted. About a month after it was taken out I ate Gluten without getting sick. I got my blood work back. Everything was normal except my vitamin d levels-which were pretty low. 

I did some research. I learned about the symptoms of copper toxicity, something I had stumbled upon when researching IUD side effects. As best I can tell when I had stopped taking my vitamins (which included Vitamin D and Zinc in my multivitamin) it was just too much for my body to handle. 

A quick nutritional lesson: a lot of grains and veggies are high in copper. Excess copper is carried out of the body by binding to Zinc and other minerals. Some of the highest concentrations of Zinc are found in meat- especially red meat. The Paraguard is a Copper IUD. Wheat, and other Gluten containing grains, are high in copper. So are the leafy greens I use for my salads and smoothies and the starchy foods we eat everyday. I don’t eat red meat or pork. I usually only eat chicken or turkey with dinner. The Zinc in my multi was helping to keep me level. It wasn’t enough, which is why I was gradually feeling worse and cutting wheat out helped. When I stopped taking it and the copper wasn’t being removed I started getting sick. 

Now mind you this is a quasi self diagnosis. Copper is stored in the soft tissue and apparently elevated levels don’t really show up in blood testing. The Paraguard itself has some pretty nasty side effects and I’m pretty sure that the IUD combined with my diet came together into a perfect storm. 

It’s been 2 months since I had the IUD removed. I’ve started taking my vitamins again and every week I feel better and better. I’m able to eat gluten a few times a week without getting sick and I haven’t felt even nauseous in about 6 weeks. I’m not a doctor. And I’m not saying that the IUD would have the same effect on everyone, but if just one person can read this and relate I highly recommended talking to a Dr. about having it removed and taking a look at your diet choices. As for me I’m just thankful to be feeling so much better. 
*** I am not a doctor- please don’t use me to diagnose yourself. I don’t have any real answers beyond what I have been able to piece together through my own doctor, internet research and physical changes***

 

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