What is copper deficiency?

Copper deficiency is rare among healthy people and occurs primarily in people with genetic disorders or malabsorption problems such as Crohn’s and celiac disease. A genetic condition called Menkes disease interferes with copper absorption, leading to severe deficiency that could become fatal without copper injections. 

Also, it is possible to create a copper deficiency by taking high doses of zinc supplements that can block the absorption of copper in the small intestine.

Common copper deficiency symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Lightened patches of skin
  • Anemia
  • High cholesterol
  • Bone weakness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Bone fractures
  • Increased infections
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of coordination
  • Frequent infections

What causes a copper deficiency?

  • Celiac disease
  • Menkes disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • High doses of zinc supplements

Further reading: Harvard School of Public Health, National Institutes of Health