Wilson's disease, also called hepatolenticular degeneration or inherited copper toxicosis, is a rare inherited disorder that affects approximately 1 in 30,000 persons worldwide. In persons with Wilson's disease, the body is unable to metabolize the trace element copper as it should, with the result that excess copper accumulates in the brain, kidneys, liver, and the corneas of the eyes. This causes organ damage and other complications, including neurological problems and psychotic behavior. Untreated, Wilson's disease leads to brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, and, ultimately, death. Fortunately, early detection and treatment of the disease can minimize the symptoms and complications and possibly even prevent them altogether.
What causes Wilson's disease?
In Wilson's disease this process fails, causing copper to build up in the body. This mainly damages the liver but can also affect other organs, especially the brain.
Symptoms of Wilson's Disease
Symptoms of Wilson's disease may include bloody vomit; difficulty speaking, swallowing, and/or walking; drooling; an enlarged spleen; jaundice; loss of appetite; loss of coordination; progressive fatigue and/ or weakness; progressive intellectual impairment; psychological deterioration manifested as personality changes and/or bizarre behavior; rigidity, spasms, or tremors of the muscles; swelling and/ or fluid accumulation in the abdomen; and unexplained weight loss. Sometimes the first sign is the development of a pigmented ring, known as a Kayser-Fleischer ring, at the outer margin of the cornea, which may be detected during a routine eye examination. In the advanced stages of the disease, symptoms due to chronic active hepatitis or cirrhosis may appear, menstrual cycles may cease, and an individual may experience chest pains, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, pallor, and shortness of breath as a result of exertion.
Although persons with Wilson's disease are born with the disorder, but symptoms usually appear between the ages of 6 and 20 years, but sometimes not until the age of 30, and in rare instances up to age 50.
Vitamins and nutrients to cure Wilson's Disease
Wilson's Disease treatment
Considerations and prevention tips
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