Copper deficiency in Wilson’s disease – when does it happen?

Copper deficiency in Wilson’s disease – when does it happen?

Did you know anemia could be a sign of copper defeciency?

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Published : November 10, 2016 11:02 AM IST

Wilson s disease is a condition in which excess copper is accumulated in the body. However, if you are undergoing treatment for Wilson s disease, then there are high chances that you might suffer from copper deficiency. Dr Abha Nagral, liver specialist, Jaslok and Apollo Hospital, Mumbai, explains common signs of copper deficiency in people undergoing Wilson s disease treatment.

Anemia: Dr Abha says that copper deficiency is not commonly seen in general people, unless they have been treated for Wilson s disease with chelating drugs. These drugs remove excess copper from the body and in some cases too much of it is removed which causes anemia. It is one of the important symptoms of copper deficiency. So if you are suffering from Wilson s disease and are on treatment for a long time and have become anemic, you should know that copper is being removed from the body and hence you are developing copper deficiency.

Joint pain: Not many people know that you can get arthritis in Wilson s disease, making it one of the common symptoms of Wilson s disease. The patient can sometimes have only with arthritis. Excess of copper as well as lack of copper causes arthritis due to bone loss. Moreover, even treatment of Wilson s disease with drugs can cause joint pain.

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As it is difficult to know if a person has copper deficiency or not, patient undergoing the treatment for Wilson s disease should be regularly monitored for how much copper they are losing through urine. This is one of the tests that is used to know the copper content in the body and thus, help in monitoring the same in the patients. Hence, urine copper and urine protein is done because these patients can develop protein loss due to drugs they are taking. And based on the urine copper results, the experts modulate the drug dose and decide on what drug the patient needs to be given to lower the chances of copper deficiency. Here are symptoms of Wilson s disease everyone should be aware of!

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