Thursday, June 26, 2014

Zinc, copper, ceruloplasmin blood test results

UPDATE:  Lots of page views here so I need to update my status.  I have boosted my Cp from 17.9 all the way up to 25.9 but the sensitivity is still there.  There was another cause, which was poor methylation.  How to improve ceruloplasmin:
-Consider whole food vitamin C (not ascorbic acid)
-B12 (assuming Lithium levels are not deficient)
With caution: Liver Beef (this stuff WILL DEFINITELY raise your Cp but it will also crash your zinc).  Limit it to a few caps per week and take extra zinc.

The raw stats:
Zinc- 88 (54-132)
Copper- 82 (72-166)
Ceruloplasmin- 17.9 (15-30)

The good:
Zinc is solidly within the normal range and just outside of the optimal range of 90-120 so that's not a problem.  Also the zinc/copper ratio of (88/82)=1.07 is within the healthy range.  Docs like to see it between 1.0-1.2 so I'm right in the middle and I think I can expect a much better ratio on my hair test as well.  It had been severely low on my last one.

The bad:
First off my chest is a mini rant.  The ceruloplasmin is technically within the normal range at least for this lab.  That means that if I showed up at the doctor's office with these results, I would have been told that I am fine. However, knowledgeable people will tell you that the true "healthy range" is actually 25-40 so I am WELL BELOW THAT!  Also, some labs use a reference range of 20-35 instead of 15-30.  Thus, some other labs would flag my result as low but this one would not.  One of my old doctors told me that if a patient tested at 15.1, he or she would not receive treatment but a value of 14.9 would be flagged.  It should be pretty obvious that something is wrong there but I will elaborate.  First, a patient with a 14.9 will not feel much different than a 15.1.  Second, the same doctor admitted that when you combine lab error and natural fluctuation, results can vary by 5-10%.  If I were to test again tomorrow, my result could be as high as 19.7 or as low as 16.1 with the more likely range being 17.0-18.8.  The short answer is that my result is significantly low.
Secondly, my unbound copper of 28% is WAY above the healthy value of 15% or less.  I wish I had known about this test before the detox.  I'm betting that my numbers are much better than they would have been back in December when I could only tolerate VERY limited doses but unfortunately I have no such base test.

Q:So what is ceruloplasmin and why is it important?
A:  It is a protein synthesized in the liver that is responsible for carrying and binding copper in the blood.  It is an important indicator of both liver and adrenal health.  As I've said many times, the liver is the central processing unit for vitamins and minerals.  Although my tolerance for necessary supplements has improved after the detox, I am still WAY too sensitive. Until my ceruloplasmin gets into the 20s, I will remain overly sensitive and yes, a single dose will make a significant difference in how I feel.  It's just the nature of the beast.

Q: How do you improve ceruloplasmin?
I am less clear on this point.  You need more copper and less zinc. Based on my zinc/copper ratio combined with some issues after having taken zinc, I'm probably better off not messing with it.  I've also read that ICMN (Inositol, Choline, Niacin, Methione) can help liver function as is the case with certain liver supplements.  However, the best way to improve this key value is to improve adrenal function.  There are 6 key ratios on the hair test but there are really only 2 that are of supreme importance to me (Na/Mg and Na/K)

Na/Mg- A high value indicates adrenal hyper-function and a low ratio indicates adrenal insufficiency.  This ratio has been stubbornly high since 2008 and has at times been extreme high despite taking mega doses of adrenal suppressants.  In a stunning turn of events, my system rejected the suppressants starting about a month ago and demanded the stimulator 2 weeks ago.  My theory is that because of the detox, years of adrenal suppressants finally kicked in full force and swung it too far in the opposite direction.  That makes sense and is the only way that I can continue training safely.  If my ratio remains high without an explanation as to why my symptoms flip flopped, I'm afraid that I am headed for a crash and must take time off from running.

Na/K- This is the life and death ratio.  A high ratio here can indicate tendency for inflammation but is far better than a low ratio which indicates adrenal fatigue.  I was finally diagnosed with full blown adrenal exhaustion (Stage 3 adrenal fatigue) back in 2006 but my ratio has been in the healthy range since late 2008-early 2009.  It seems very doubtful that I have full blown adrenal exhaustion given that on a good day I can still run a 6 miler at sub-7 pace with relative ease.  Also, I usually do not "look" sick and still have a good build for a runner (5' 11" 155-160 lbs).  Moreover, the pills that I had been taking during the testing interval (Thym-Adren, molybdenum, Cal/Mag) SHOULD safeguard against a relapse.  I figure the worst case is that I am in the early stages of a relapse, in which case I will need an extended break from training and may never match my peak fitness again.  Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency and adrenal fatigue are similar but are more extreme in the latter case and require more time to correct.

  Which is the problem?  Is it adrenal fatigue or insufficiency or do I still have a high Na/Mg despite the symptoms?  If it's adrenal insufficiency, I'll be fine.  It will take time to get the adrenals back up to par but I have every confidence that I can.  When I do, the ceruloplasmin will increase and I won't be so sensitive.  It's likely that I will eventually be back to hyper-function before too long, which is why I am being cautious with the stimulator.  However, if I do flip back to hyper symptoms, I will not be sensitive and will not need mega doses of the suppressant.
I'll know my fate no later than Monday.


laundrygoddess said...

A ceruloplasmin below 20 , and an unbound copper over 25, may mean Wilson's disease... have you been screened for this?
"The normal concentration of ceruloplasmin is 20–50 mg/dL, and a serum ceruloplasmin level less than 20 mg/dL is considered diagnostic for WD." and
"The serum free copper concentration is greater than 25 µg/dL in most untreated patients (normal value <15 µg/dL)."

Crazy J said...

I have since boosted my Cp to 23.0 thanks to a Liver glandular and have reduced my unbound copper to 14% thanks to sulfur containing amino acids. I cannot tolerate either now so it will be interesting to see what my numbers look like now.