being a Copperhead….

Taking Zinc releases excess Copper into the bloodstream. Or: already free floating Copper cannot bind to receptors because Zinc is wrestling it for them. This causes Copper toxidity symptoms: madness, fatigue, liver pain. Caused by skewed brain chemistry, an overtaxed body, detoxifying efforts. Copper is toxic in high doses. As are all things.

But Copper is invigorating also. There’s something like ‘a copperhead’, a type of person that shows behaviour coherent to high levels of Copper. As I am shedding the last of this unexpected Copper overload my Copper induced fatigue has now gone and I am riding the Copperhead wave: my mind races, I’m thinking a 100 grand things at once, I’m witty, full of plans. No time for sleep, I’m a genius! (I also exhibit behaviour my friends more readily recognize as autistic.)

you see, Copper is like cafeïne. It pokes around in the neuro transmitters. Altering who you think you are. Just like estrogen does. And MSG. And LSD. And Nicotine. And sugar. (how about their antagonists? The stuffs that sooths the mind such as Zinc, Magnesium, Progesterone, kittens. Do they too alter who I think I am? a question for another day, when I’m not running around in my own head!)

Since the treats of ‘a copperhead’ pretty much describe how people know me I may have had high Copper levels all my life… I do know I’ve had low Zinc for years.

And as the symptoms this excess Copper gave me this week look ridiculously like my symptoms as they occured from 2009 untill 2011 I wonder if Adrenal Fatigue is rooted in high levels of Copper.

hmmm, I wonder…

PS: here’s what happened to me for the past 7 days:

Took the Zinc pills (Biotics, 23 mg) for 3 days in a row. This released surplus Copper I had stored in all nooks and crannies inside. Copper floated through my blood, poisoning my tissues and my brain. Basically I was thrown back three years healthwise and was severely brain fogged, mentally impaired (PMS to the extreme, not able to make decisions or even simple choices) and extremely fatigued. Laid on the couch, had only two spoons left for a day.

‘Luckily’ it also brought back my cortisol peak in the middle of the night. After 5 hours of sleep I awake with a racing mind (and a body craving more sleep). The peak enabled me to surf extensive on what was happening. I found out about the Zink releasing the Copper. I found a lot of Adrenal Fatigue patients who have experienced this same reaction. They all listed the same symtoms. People warned that this reaction will cause people to stop with the Zinc pills. It’s what I did, a few years ago.

But really, we shouldn’t. We should shed that excess Copper because even stored in nooks and crannies it is not good to have. I suspect I may never recover to an acceptable level of health if it’s still there. There needs to be a healthy balance between the Zinc and the Copper. So I set my mind to detoxing in the near future. But not in the way it was going on now. I never want to go back to how I was two or three years ago!

I was fairly scared I had already undone the good work because I felt utterly rotten. But I decided to give it some time. I  stopped all Zinc, went back to absolute healthy basics in foods and activity and wanted to help my body to get rid of the Copper floating around now as much as possible. I laid on the couch. Took my cortisone and progesterone. Cheered on my liver. Took a bit of fibery meat to add some gristle to the digestion track. Took 1000mg of vit.C. And I drank lots of nettle tea. I have one brand (Jacob Hooy) that agrees with me very well. Better than other brands. (You just have to find out what works for your body. Without letting your mind run interference or telling you what should be working. I’m not arguing with my body anymore.)

After three days of despair and fatigue I slowly started to feel a bit better. The fatigue was still there but during the day I now felt more like myself, more cheerful. But in the evening the doom and gloom would start coming in again. On the fifth day I could take a shower. On the sixth day I smelled awful (must be waste leaving my body). I still wake every night and this is exhausting during the day. I’m now where I was a year ago, I think.

I am VERY PLEASED to notice that my body recuperates. And so fast too! It only took 7 days. It was a scary episode. The despair was so black…. The disappointment with being sick and canceling nice meetings was heart breaking. The grieve over my brother was scary. But that all has passed now. I’m back to being fairly optimistic. Still brittle though. The wind outside tires me, I’m wearing earplugs all the time, I can only knit simple knit stitches. And I have not taken a second shower. But I’m here again. Found myself a new puzzle to solve for distracting my racing mind, as you’ve seen in my previous post. (I’m not thinking about writing, jobs or bacteria at the moment. It would make me cry. Ambition has creeped in there you see.)

I now feel I can take Zinc in a controlled way and shed the excess Copper. As a matter of fact, I took 5 mg of Zinc today. Even though I’m still hyper from the previous pills. I still wake up every night.

There’s an anomaly in that pattern, btw.

So normally it goes like this:

  1. go to bed, fall asleep as soon as you smell the pillow (ew! it’s just figure of speeeeech)
  2. wake up after five hours
  3. lie awake for an hour and a half, surf.
  4. get drowsy again and sleep for another 2 hours
  5. wake up groggy, take hydrocortisone
  6. wait for hydrocortisone to kick in (45 minutes) before getting up

only that’s not happening!

it now goes like this:

  1. go to bed, fall asleep as soon as you smell the pillow (ew! it’s just figure of speeeeech)
  2. wake up after five hours
  3. lie awake for an hour and a half, surf.
  4. get drowsy again, put the dimmed light out, close eyes……
  5. after 30 minutes decide you’d rather read some more than wait for sleep to come
  6. after another hour of reading decide the night is lost and take hydrocortisone to start the day
  7. wait  for hydrocortisone to kick in…
  8. in 30 minutes fall fast asleep!
  9. wake two hours later, remarkably refreshed.


I’ve got two guesses working theories:

1. my body is overstressed by something (like free floating Copper) and is producing cortisol. This wakes me up and as the stress continues so does the cortisol. As I have a shortage of natural cortisol this induces stress and the demand for more cortisol which my body does not have. The moment I insert hydrocortisone into my system there is enough cortisol to meet the demand and the system relaxes. I fall asleep. (HPA-axis)

2. it’s like an insuline reaction. It does feel like one (meaning I cannot fight it. Well, I could if I wanted too but I really don’t want to. I want to go to sleeeeep. It feels like an addict reaction. I even get a happy smile on my face as I give in.) The hydrocortison directs all kinds of stuffs (sugar?) from the bloodstream into my cells, much like insuline does, and I fall asleep because of a lack of energy/stimulant. Untill the reaction has subsided and some energy is hustled back into the bloodstream and my brain. I awake and because I still have a bit of cortisol help from the pills I don’t feel too shabby.

1. is good. 2. is very bad. I am worried. But I cannot think my way out of this at the moment because I’m busy being a genius! Also, I forget to go to the bathroom all the time.

…two long posts in two days…is my hyper showing? To be clear: only my mind is hyper, my body is pretty fatigued.

Oh, and I’m not saying I’m autistic. I know it’s all fashionable to be autistic and we do lack a quirky female tv-detective with autistic treats but no, I am not autistic. (House, Sherlock, Elementary, Hannibal…wouldn’t it be interesting to see how a real autist would solve a murder case? I bet parents of an autistic could paint a good picture of how that would pan out. Not a viewing hit amongst the masses, I’m guessing)

photo credits for the copper heads: Michael Grunow, Sam Rusling, Penny Mathews and Nathan Bauer


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