COPPER EXPOSURE TEST

 

WHAT IS A COPPER EXPOSURE LAB TEST?

The Copper Exposure Test measures the level of copper, a heavy metal,  in the blood.

AM I REQUIRED TO FAST FOR THIS LAB TEST?

No.

PRICE:

*Price may vary by location – contact your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®

DESCRIPTION:

Copper is an important mineral that is incorporated by the body into enzymes.  These enzymes are used for the regulation of iron metabolism, the proper functioning of organs, specifically the nervous system, the production of melanin which provides color in the body, the formation of connective tissue and energy production.  Copper is easily obtained through a normal diet and can be found in nuts, chocolate, dried fruits, shellfish, liver, whole grains and mushrooms.  Copper is sometimes absorbed by copper pipes and copper cookware, then deposited in drinking water or in food cooked or served in the cookware.  Normally the body regulates the amount of copper in the body removing the excess through the liver and through urine.

Although copper is important for critical bodily functions, extremely high levels can be dangerous and can lead to copper poisoning.  Excess copper can be caused by a rare condition called Wilson disease, an inherited disorder, which causes the body to retain too much copper or by conditions that block or prevent copper metabolism or liver disease.  Overexposure to copper can occur through environmental exposure to extremely high copper in drinking water or the consumption of copper salts.  Low levels can also be dangerous and is associated with seizures, delayed development and abnormal artery development in the brain.  Copper deficiencies can be caused by malabsorption or a genetic condition carried on the X-chromosome, Menkes kinky hair syndrome that causes copper deficiencies in infants.

WHY DO I NEED TO BE TESTED TO SEE IF I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COPPER?

Have you been exposed to copper through copper pipes and your drinking water or consumption of copper salts?

Copper poisoning can be fatal.  Excess copper can cause tissue damage and should be treated immediately.  Symptoms include anemia, nausea and abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue, behavioral changes, tremors, difficulty walking or swallowing and persistent muscle contractions that cause limb twisting and repetitive motions (dystonia).  If you think you have been exposed to excess amounts of copper and are vomiting or have diarrhea you should be tested immediately.  Copper poisoning can cause long term damage to the liver and/or kidney.  Symptoms of copper deficiency include osteoporosis and anemia .

WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICIAN SHOULD YOU SEE IF MY TEST RESULTS ARE ABNORMAL OR OUT OF RANGE?

You should see your primary care physician or an emergency room physician.

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