Presence of Wilson’s Disease and Paragard
Not all women are candidates for the Paragard intrauterine birth control device. This includes those with a hereditary predisposition for Wilson’s Disease. This disease causes life-threatening symptoms. Wilson’s disease is rare, but when a Paragard IUD is inserted without knowing the patient has Wilson’s, the effects of the disease can be rapidly enhanced.
What Is Wilson’s Disease?
Wilson’s disease is an inherited disorder. It leads to an accumulation of copper in the brain, liver and possibly other organs. The age range when the majority of patients are diagnosed is between five and 35 years. However, it might be seen in younger and older patients.
What Does Copper Normally Do in the Body?
Copper is an essential element for human health. It is necessary for healthy bones, nerves, production of melanin and collagen. Humans normally absorb copper from their food, and it is eliminated from the body in the bile, which is produced by the liver. Patients with Wilson’s disease do not excrete copper adequately. As a result, there is a buildup of this substance, sometimes to a life-threatening level.
Symptoms of Wison’s Disease
Depending on the part of the body where copper accumulates, the following symptoms can occur:
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Loss of appetite
- Poor physical coordination
- Speech problems
- Problems swallowing
- Fluid in the abdomen or lower extremities
- Muscle stiffness
- Movement issues
Wison’s disease can be treated. Chelation is used to remove the excess copper. Medications and watching diet choices are also used. With proper treatment, the disease can be managed. Without treatment, a patient may live for 40 years. But with it, they have the chance of living a normal lifespan.
One way to control Wilson’s disease is to limit the ingestion or contact with copper. However, inserting anything made of copper, including a copper IUD into the body, can lead to an excess accumulation of copper in the body and an exacerbation of symptoms or fatal toxicity.
Without treatment and watching copper intake, the following could occur:
- Liver scarring, which is cirrhosis
- Failure of the liver
- Kidney problems
- Anemia and destruction of red blood cells
- Psychological issues such as depression, bipolar disease and psychosis
Insertion of Paragard
Since the Paragard IUD is composed of copper that can leach into the body, people with Wilson’s disease can be affected. Since many people are not diagnosed when they begin using the IUD, there is no way of knowing if their body can rid itself of the life-threatening toxicity copper can cause. Even if they are asked if they have Wilson’s disease, something they may not be aware of, the possibility alone can lead to fatal consequences.
The manufacturer’s position is that although the device is made of copper it does not cause toxicity in those with normal excretion of this metal. This does not include those with Wilson’s disease. Instead, women are left to determine if they have symptoms of copper toxicity and see a physician to see if they have Wilson’s disease.
Olinde Law Firm
If a Paragard IUD worsened previously treated Wilson’s disease or if the disorder was undiagnosed and made you violently ill, contact the Olinde Law Firm. You can reach us at (800) 587-1889 to schedule a free case review. We will investigate your case with the assistance of our medical experts. You are not alone in this. You can also reach out to us online.