The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Iron/Copper/Zinc Balance

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Tiger Lily 813, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Tiger Lily 813

    Tiger Lily 813 Senior Member

    Hi all, I took way too much iron back in October which really messed up my health. After a lot of reading here and elsewhere, I really think I would benefit by adding in copper and zinc for a short period of time to balance out the recent surge in iron. I am no longer taking the iron.

    I’ve seen two doctors, one that suggested zinc and another that suggested copper. After the too-much-iron incident I’m very concerned about taking metals again, but I’ve decided to try just a bit, just temporarily to improve my balance (and then never again!).

    My doctors don’t seem as interested in the precision of what I’m taking as I am, so that’s why I’m here researching. I have such a sensitive body that I could probably take the tiniest dose possible of either individually to test how my body reacts to it.

    But basically, I am reading that zinc and copper should be taken together, and in a 10:1 ratio. One of my doctors suggested 25 mg zinc with 2 mg copper, which I have ordered.

    My recent labs indicated the following:

    Mine (Reference)

    ferritin 60 (10-291)

    iron % sat 35 (20-55)

    copper 90 (70-155)

    zinc 76 (60-130)

    **please note, while my ferritin doesn’t seem sky high, it was always 20 before I took the iron, so going up to 60 over a month’s time is a big surge.

    General symptoms have been fatigue, poor immune system, frequent short breath, dry skin and fragile, thinned hair. Heavy periods.

    I've been taking a multi, MSM sulphur, biotin/choline hair vitamins, extra D, magnesium spray and curcumin. No more iron since Oct.

    I’d appreciate any thoughts!
    Crux likes this.
  2. Tiger Lily 813

    Tiger Lily 813 Senior Member

    @Crux I know copper helped you balance iron. What about zinc?
  3. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

    Yes, there are some reports regarding iron accumulation with zinc deficiency.

    I've been taking zinc off and on for some years, and when I stopped, symptoms happened. ( hair loss, dry eyes, sleep disturbance, irritability.) There are also other causes for these symptoms.

    It's kind of a pain balancing them, and the blood tests aren't always indicative. For instance, copper can be elevated in serum in cases of infection/inflammation, but deficient in tissues.

    Zinc can be withheld from serum by the body in cases of infection. Some microbes use it for growth.

    This is challenging, but worthwhile, I believe, because achieving homeostasis with these metals can help with ME, and many other conditions,imo.

    The B vitamins are also needed for metabolism of metals.

    I would start with a low dose, because, if there is iron deposition in tissues, there will be some pain when it is mobilized. This happened when I began copper, but not zinc, though I did have side effects when I tried really high doses of zinc, 50 mgs.
    Tiger Lily 813 likes this.
  4. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

    Hi @Tiger Lily 813

    My ferritin usually sits around 20-23, even when I take iron pills every day. (I've had anemia problems since childhood.) It shot up to 65, all by itself, which while still technically normal, is soooo not normal for me. I've never managed to get it that high.

    The only explanation I can think of to explain my change, (unless someone else knows?) is that it's an inflammatory response, as ferritin is an acute phase reactant. Maybe it would be much higher if this was the case, I don't know.

    Is the copper test result you posted serum copper? Ceruloplasmin is the other test that shows how much good copper you have. Ceruloplasmin is also an acute phase reactant.

    If I understand what I've read correctly, while iron and copper are antagonists, you need ceruloplasmin to bind ferritin, and vice versa, I think. (Has been a while since I read up on this, sorry. Apologies too, if you know all this already.)

    I'm personally very wary of copper. Did you say on another thread that your doctor said that the iron could have mobilised other metals? I wonder if they meant copper?

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