The other thing that happens with high copper is slow oxidation, because high copper slows down both the adrenal and thyroid glands. Oxidation means to burn or mix with oxygen. Dr. George Watson, a researcher at UCLA, developed the concept of oxidation types. Those who burn food at a slower-than-ideal rate are slow oxidizers. If your thyroid and adrenal glands are very active you will be a fast oxidizer; if they are sluggish, you will be a slow oxidizer.
Stress from excess copper at first puts the body in a state of fast oxidation. Over time, however, the oxidation rate starts to decline and you go into the resistant stage. This can go on for years, where you have one foot on the platform and one foot on the train, and your body is in a constantly unstable condition of being overly stressed yet unable to fully respond. It is during that time that the copper starts to build up. You start to lose your ability to handle the metal. When exhaustion sets in, when your body can’t handle it any longer, that is when the oxidation rate becomes slow. This can be masked for a period if you take enough stimulants.
Slow oxidizers tend to have high calcium levels and fast oxidizers tend to have high sodium and potassium. When you see someone’s chart and they have high calcium, which means they are a slow oxidizer, along with a very high sodium and potassium, which is the signature of fast oxidation, it means they are pumping themselves up enough to overcome the slow oxidation but the calcium brake is still on. The underlying condition is slow oxidation, and buildup of copper, but these individuals are revved up on stimulants.
By the way, vitamin C can act as a stimulant. Often when people go on a nutritional program, they hate being told to take less vitamin C, because they’ve become so dependent on high doses and they don’t think they should take less. But that is what’s keeping them revved up and ultimately wiping them out.
People in slow oxidation are like people with low thyroid, because it is more or less the same thing. They have dry skin and hair, they sweat little and tend toward constipation, depression, fatigue, apathy, low blood sugar, adrenal insufficiency and low blood pressure. As with low thyroid, they tend to gain weight on the hips and have a low body temperature. Slow oxidizers tend to be withdrawn, introverted, less emotionally expressive and may exhibit depression, despair and suicidal thoughts. As the slow oxidation becomes more extreme, more and more of these symptoms will develop.
Copper and Calcium
Calcium and magnesium are part of the body’s braking system. These minerals help you get control and slow down, to avoid burning yourself out. You have to have a way to pull back, and calcium and magnesium are how the body does it. By contrast, sodium and potassium accelerate the metabolism, partly by increasing adrenal cortical hormones.
Newborns have a very high rate of metabolism and relatively low calcium levels. As we age the body begins to apply the calcium brake; as copper builds up, the calcium and magnesium levels rise while the sodium and potassium decline. Rising calcium in the tissues is a defense against the chronic stress which is the cause and effect of copper toxicity. So the body starts retaining calcium to buffer the effects of the copper and that calcium slows you down. That is the calcium brake.
Calcium and magnesium stabilize the body and prevent an excessive metabolism as a defense against stress. Slowing down metabolism can slow down the rate of collapse and allow the buildup of protective minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. This can initially be protective. It prevents the slow oxidizer from experiencing any acute, severe stresses. In essence, since the body can no longer handle stress, it builds a calcium shell and the calcium shell numbs and dulls your sensations and your emotions so you will not over-react. You will be impervious, but the calcium shell will preserve that spark of life that remains.
A high level of calcium is a sign that calcium is building up in the soft tissues. This calcium is being taken from the bones. Yet, just the way that toxic copper is bio-unavailable, this calcium that is building up and showing up very high in the hair analyses is not actually functioning, it is not in a usable, soluble, ionic form in the blood.