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*What I ate while Detoxing from Copper and Heavy Metals

January 21, 2013

Hello Friends.

I have decided to discuss a little about my diet and certain foods I ate or stayed away from while trying to detox Copper, Mercury, Lead, Iron and other heavy metals.

During my initial copper overload period, I wasn’t sure what foods were causing what symptoms.  But it didn’t take me long to realize that processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, grains and wheat flour were the main adrenal stimulators that left me stressed, panicked, and exhausted.  Some of my symptoms that I got from eating pastries and breads, sugar or caffeine were:   heart palpitations, panic attacks, anxiety, constipation, obsessive behavior, light headedness,  lack of concentration, forgetfulness, feeling faint, exhaustion, cravings, pain, fear, among others.

After discovering that my IUD was making me toxic with copper, I immediately discontinued eating any copper-rich foods.  Some of those foods were:  chocolate, coffee, nuts, mushrooms and shellfish.  Many other foods also have high copper content which you can learn about at :  nutritiondata.com .  Go to this website and you can search any food to find out copper, iron and other mineral levels.  I found this website extremely helpful and used it almost daily during my acute stage of toxicity where I was trying to avoid all copper rich foods.

After learning through trial and error, I can to learn that I functioned best from eating a basic chicken soup made with a high quality chicken stock from organic chicken and bones.  I would then add sweet potatoes (which helped stabilize my blood sugar and added fiber to my diet), onions, celery, and sometimes a small amount of garlic.  With heavy metal detox it is common to become constipated and the sweet potatoes really helped with this problem.  This was my staple dish which I ate everyday for years.  Occasionally, I would add Brussel sprouts as well.   Also eating a warm bowl of soup helped greatly with the problem of being cold all the time.

I also stopped eating all dairy for quite some time with the exception of organic butter.  This did not seem to be a problem.  Also butter helped most everything taste better.  This seemed important as my diet was very limited and the desire to eat almost disappeared at times.

I did very much miss breads and pastas.   So soon I discovered elanaspantry.com.  This website gave me recipes and other nutritional options that were gluten (wheat flour) free, sugar-free, and some dairy free.  She mostly uses almond flour but has other great suggestions as well,  such as,  coconut flour,  brown rice flour etc.  I found I liked the almond flour recipes the best.  But almonds are nuts and sometimes my symptoms did not allow me to have them.  They seemed to increase detox symptoms.  So I am careful when consuming them.

I am currently experimenting with adding other vegetables to my diet.  Greens tend to increase my detoxing symptoms , so I am consuming these in moderation and sometimes not at all.  Brussel sprouts, Broccoli, Arugula, Tomatoes (in moderation), Zucchini, and Cabbage seem to be safe and tolerable.

It is very difficult to adhere to a strict diet and inevitably I would stray back to some of the foods like sugar and wheat.  But each time I did I would suffer the consequences.  But also each time I would learn something new about myself and my detox process.  So I don’t consider those moments failures but part of a learning curve that I ultimately greatly benefited from.

Food continues to be something I am very conscious of and am careful when trying new things.  I continue to listen to my intuition and remind myself to pay extra attention on a daily basis.

Wishing you optimal health everyday.

Sincerely,

Robin Eckert

Certified Personal Trainer

Licensed Aesthetician

Therablonde@yahoo.com

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20 Comments
  1. Melissa permalink

    Hello Robin, I just ran across your blog and was happy to see(not happy you are going through this) but happy to see that I am not alone. I am one year into my detox. Had my paraguard(2 over 15 yrs) removed one year ago. I have never been so sick and my body so weak. I must say that I admire your determination to stick w your diet. I have not been following a strick diet(shame on me, I know) and have been managing okay but since having my IUD removed and going through the initial copper detox(wanted to die) I find that my energy is completely zapped. Low grade headaches. I guess malaise is the word. My question: Do you notice your body going through bad stretches. My chiro calls them”copper dumps” as the copper will dump into the bloodstream on its way to looking for a way out. I suffered terribly 9 months ago and and am happy that I dont feel like I am losing my mind, but again no energy.

    Your “not persevering” blog struck a chord. Go to the store, buy the food cook the food. Its just not worth it. To anyone these things are a normal routine. For some of us, its just too much. Im running off track. When you have your down, how long do they last?{mine will run roughly a wk to ten days} This particular one at my year mark has really got me spinning. I was taking a multi vit w copper and didnt notice. Very irresponsible on my part. Hope thats my prob. This stretch just seems particularly long. Did you have a similiar experience at or around your year mark?

    Thank you for taking the time with this blog, Melissa

    • Hello Melissa,

      I am so sorry to hear you are having a bad stretch right now. Thank you for writing to me. I really do benefit greatly from all your comments. It’s so helpful for me to not feel alone also. To answer your question, yes, I did experience bouts of copper detox that would last sometimes just a few days and sometimes longer(weeks). Mostly what I noticed was that when I was detoxing (and feeling paranoid, panicked and crazy, as well as exhausted) my symptoms lasted maybe just a few days, however, the recovery time from those few days was much longer. Alot of times it would be a month or longer before things settled down. My energy level was always kinda never really replenished. Then, by the time the next copper dump came around I would be just normalizing from the previous one. This happened many times over a two to three year period. That doesn’t mean you will be doing it that long. Everybody metabolizes things differently. Your detox may be shorter. Mine has been long. But the good news is that all of my copper has pretty much detoxed at this point and I no longer have symptoms from that. I do have to be careful not to eat copper rich foods: chocolate, shellfish, walnuts, other nuts, and mushrooms. When I eat these foods symptoms return. Especially if I eat chocolate. I would steer clear of that for awhile if you are having a bad detox month.

      Copper detox is hideous and I will never down play that to anyone. I don’t remember if I had particularly long copper dumps at my year mark. To be very honest, they all seemed long and never-ending. But I can tell you it did take awhile for them to diminish. Once my copper levels normalized my body decided to then dump Lead, Mercury, and now Iron as well. (I am working on getting my Iron levels normal now.) When I was detoxing copper hard somethings that I did to help myslef cope, comfort myself and recover were: warm baths, lots of napping with a very soft and comforting blanket, chicken soup everyday, cry, talk with friends, walk outside, sit in the sunshine, AVOID COPPER RICH FOODS (very important!!!), meditation to calm my racing mind, read, cry some more, alot of times I would use an electric blanket because I was always freezing, snuggle with my cat, go to the sauna (but be careful with this as it causes more detoxing). I don’t know if you’ve read all of my blog’s posts, but I do have a page that might be helpful for resources. If you need more copper detox info, I would think about getting the book: “Why am I always so tired?” by Ann Louise Gittleman. This helped me alot. I hope I have been helpful Melissa. I know it can be very scary and very emotionally (not to mention, physically) exhausting to keep going. But I have been where you are at and I can tell you it does get better. It does. Hang in there. Take great care with yourself and be very kind to yourself during these hard times. Please keep in touch if you need any other info or help. Wishing you optimal health everyday.

      Sincerely,
      Robin Eckert

  2. Mathew A permalink

    Hi,

    I’m pretty sure I have copper toxicity, I got a urine analysis that showed very high copper and almost everything else low. I will probably get hair testing shortly.

    I started getting wavy vision about 4 months ago, then over the last month things really got bad, foggy head, headaches, hot/cold, and then just two weeks ago, the anxiety (right around when my chiro told me I had copper problems). I started on zinc, calcium, mangesium, Vitamin C etc but the anxiety is killing me.

    I’m on xanax now, but I don’t want to be on that long term. I keep hoping that I will get back to my old self soon. If not I will probably have to try Lexapro because I need to be able to go to work.

    I have cut out all wheat though I am doing gluten free oatmeal for breakfast. Then I’m trying for plenty of cooked veggies and meat with brown rice for the other meals.

    I hope this gets better soon…

    • Hello Mathew,

      Thank you for writing me. I am so sorry to hear you are ill with copper toxicity. The anxiety is certainly a very difficult part of the detox process. Please beware, if you add in a chelator (a supplement that helps detox the copper) the anxiety will increase and leave you depleted. Hang in there. If you have a Nutrition Respone Testing (NRT) Practitioner in your area you may want to give them a try. (My Blog posts where you can find one if you are interested in trying it.) They help support your body with supplements from Standard Process while you are going through detox symptoms. I got alot of relief by doing this. My feeling is that other drugs to address anxiety will probably make the brain chemistry even more wonky. I know it is extremely difficult don’t get me wrong. But supporting the body may help minimize the anxiety. It is hard to work while going through this. Do you know where you got the copper from?

      Robin Eckert

      • Mathew A permalink

        So maybe if I cut down on the zinc and Vitamin C that will help reduce the anxiety? Currently I’m doing about 50-60 mg a day of zinc, and 1000-1500 of Vitamin C.

        As for the copper, Over the last couple of years, I’m been going more and more plant based, including doing a lot of hemp protein (high in copper apparently). Also nuts, and avacodos, and of course chocolate (in June I started getting huge chocolate cravings where I might eat a giant hershies bar in an hour)

        Then in Feb I started getting this weird pressure in my throat so I discontinued my multivitamin (no more zinc)

        Finally of course I think stress finished upsetting the balance.

        I really want to get some hair analysis to confirm, but I seem to have a lot of the symptoms.

      • Hi again mathew,

        Yes, zinc definately made my anxiety worse. The key for me was to detox very slowly so that my system could handle it. And then I had to take a break so that I could give my body time to recover from any symptoms. I found if I just did continual detox my body would just give out. Leaving me exhausted and depressed. I learned over the years to go about it slowly and very carefully.

        Another website you may find helpful: mthfr.net

        I recently found out I have a genetic mutation (mthfr) that prevents my body from detoxing metalsvery well. It may not be what you are dealing with but the above website might be worth a look.

        Take care and feel free to write again.

        Robin Eckert

        ________________________________

      • Mathew A permalink

        One other question, did the vitamin C contribute to the anxiety as well? I also just found out that I’ve been taking molybendum without knowing it and that’s also a copper remover (it’s in my multi vitamin, and the ClearVite that my chiropracter recommended

    • Hi Matthew and Friends,
      I can relate to what you are saying I am in antianxiety Rx and still feel anxious. Is the ClearVite from Standard Process? I know my chiropractor sells SP brand. Hope you are doing better. I have just begun detoxing late Nov. 2013. I am searching out to find any ideas to help me. I am not working any more and pretty much home bound I get out to go to the Chiropractor. My husband does most of the grocery shopping and even cooking. I have felt this way for the passed 10 years off and on. Mostly feeling bad. I would have a few spurts of almost normal feelings. Please pass on anything that you can to all of us. Thank You, Debby

      • Mathew permalink

        Well, I did have hair analysis to confirm the copper problems. So that was helpful just knowing what the problem was.

        I use the clearvite off and on, but I think it can make me detox to fast. Overall though I’m feeling much better than I did 7 months ago. I’m down to usually only .5 mg of xanax a day, and I hope to be off it competely soon.

        My regime right now, is about 1200 mg of calcium, and 400 mg of mangenium, and 30 mg of zinc each day.

        That seems to be a level that my body can tolerate, your milage will of course vary. I will say the xanax allowed me to function and get back to work where I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. But it will be good to be off it.

        For food, I try and stay away from gluten, and sugar, and make sure to get plenty of veggies and meat. Steak in particular has a very good zinc ratio, but I know can be hard for people that are heavy on copper to eat.

        Anyway, I hope you feel better, this thing is the pits

      • Thanks so much for sharing! Your story is so familiar. I too had to go on zanax fa few times when my copper toxicity was at its worst. hang in there! sounds like things are improving. I wish you well and with optimal health everyday!

        Robin

  3. Mathew A permalink

    Very good to know, I will back off on the zinc for a day or two and see if that helps. It’s so good to hear from other people that have gone through this, I wouldn’t want to wish it on anyone. One day I’m month I have a hard time going grocery shopping.

    Thanks so much for sharing

  4. Jac permalink

    I had a paraguard IUD put in 2.5 years ago. Ever since then I had horrible cramps and extra long periods, but it was a common side effect, so I just dealt with it. About a year ago I didnt know it at first and went many times to the E.R to only find out they were panic attacks. I told my Doctor that nothing else in my life has changed that I thought it had something to do with the IUD. My routine blood work was fine, and the Doc said that these were not side effects of the paraguard. So she wanted to start me on anti depressants. I fill my prescription every month I just dont take them. I feel frustrated that they just throw pills at everything instead of really getting to the bottom of this. I talked with my OB/GYM to have my IUD surgically removed the end of October, since they couldn’t find the strings. Cant wait to get thus thing out!

  5. raisedbyrabbits permalink

    This is an old post but I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH, I’ve been feeling sick all week… two weeks into radical diet changes (cut out sugar gluten milk inflammatory oils alchohol grains additives and some others). I didn’t realize I would start to detox like this… and I couldn’t understand why, until you spelled it out for me: CHOCOLATE. I’ve been eating a little too much high-quality 90% chocolate ALL WEEK, and I started a higher Vitamin C regime… thus the detox symptoms and excess copper…! all of this makes sense all of a sudden from your blog. Thank you so much!!

    • So glad you are putting the pieces together. That’s the hardest part. Wishing you ultimate health everyday!

    • HI! Thanks for your post. I hoe you are feeling better now. Yes chocolate was a huge one for me too. I have to be very careful with it now. Take great care and keep us posted on your progress!

      Robin

  6. Nicole Fairbend permalink

    I’m crying right now; thankful that I found this blog! I have been suffering for a year and a half from crazy GI issues and the drs have almost killed me with their Rxs. I’m so incredibly happy to know that I have finally figured out what is wrong with me. Thank you for posting this and confirming for me why I’ve been so sick.

  7. Wendy permalink

    How are most of you finding out you had the copper toxicity?

  8. Rebecca permalink

    Hi Robin,
    I had a quick question regarding eating Buckwheat loaf, from your experience i wondered if you knew if buckwheat was incredibly high in copper and a stressor? I also wondered about dessicated coconut? I appreciate any insight you can give me.

    • Hi Rebecca, I do not know the nutritional analysis of the items you asked about. However there are several websites where you can look foods up to check the copper levels. They are posted on my blog. I believe one is nutritiondata.com. That’s where I check all of my stuff. good luck! and feel better.

      Sincerely,
      Robin

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