Well, the doc has been busy this week but he did confirm via e-mail what I had suspected:
THE COPPER TOXICITY IS THE SOURCE OF MY SYMPTOMS. An ideal zinc/copper ratio is 8.00 (20/2.5). Anything below 4 is considered severe. Mine was 2.86 (16/5.6). That's ugly!
I am fully convinced that I had a hidden toxicity all along. Here's why. Even when I was red hot at times in 2011 and 2012, I was never even close to balance. That's right. I ran my 1:28 in Texas with moderate-severe adrenal over-activity. According to ARL, my ratios of 15 for the Na/Mg and 1.5 for the Ca/K correspond to at least a 25% energy loss. Do you mean to tell me that I am capable of a 1:06 (nearly world class) if I am in balance? I don't think so! Anyone who has trained with me when I am hot would agree that I am more talented than my times indicate but I don't kid myself. Even if I was fully healthy, my ceiling would have been mid-pack at the Division 2 level.
So now, how was I able to run so well in spite of the those imbalances? I believe that the hidden copper toxicity blocked the full expression of those symptoms. Then, after the detox, the copper was released from my liver and apparently spread throughout my tissues. This is not confirmed by the doctor but why else would the copper skyrocket on the hair test from 1.6 to 5.6?
It was the sudden increase in copper that caused the slow oxidation symptoms but now that I am eliminating the excess, the previously suppressed fast oxidation symptoms have kicked in full force. That's why I am back on the adrenal suppressant. It's not pretty right now but the best news is the apparent stability. Before the detox, I had days in which 2 pills were not enough but 3 were too many. Indeed on the day of my 10K PR (39:44), I took 2.5 pills. If I had taken either 2 pills or 3, I would have been at least 90 seconds slower. Today, I did my morning workout on 6 pills then took 2 more in the afternoon with similar results. That is EXCELLENT NEWS. I might be able to miss a dose every now and then or accidentally take 1 too many without any adverse effects. Most people take that for granted but for me, that would be HUGE. It will take time to get in balance and I am afraid of another relapse when I get back to 20:00 shape for 5K. If my system rejects the adrenal suppressant again, I'll just detox again. If I feel fatigued shortly thereafter, I know that my system is flooded with copper again and I will take the modulator instead of the stimulator until it clears. I believe that my prognosis is good long-term.
I still recommend doing a detox liver cleanse FIRST instead of as a last resort but practitioners need to be aware of the fact that excess copper could spill out into the tissues and modify the program if need be.
As for me, I believe that I will beat my old PRs by significant margins if I am free from BOTH the glandular imbalances AND the copper toxicity but I don't plan on training any harder than I did when I was at my peak. I want the improvement to be directly attributed to the balanced chemistry and nothing more. Does it really matter if my 10K PR is 36:xx vs. 38:xx minutes? No, and there are other things in life more important than running.
I've never aired my politics on here before but given the fact that many people are losing their doctors and insurance plans, it makes a lot of sense that more people will be trying alternative medicine. I cannot stress enough that blindly seeking symptom relief is a TERRIBLE IDEA. If you complain of fatigue and pick up a cheap adrenal stimulator at a local health food store, it is likely to be ineffective or it could succeed temporarily then leave you worse off than you had been before. Do a hair test from a licensed practice that uses either Accutrace or Analytical Research Labs.