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The perfect storm: copper deficiency presenting as progressive peripheral neuropathy

      A number of patients present to the emergency department (ED) with complaints of peripheral neuropathy. This case report highlights on an underrecognized etiology of progressive neuropathy in a woman who presented to our ED. Clinical signs, symptoms, as well as a high index of suspicion suggested copper deficiency. Hypocupremia manifests itself as a debilitating peripheral sensory and motor neuropathy, anemia, leukopenia, and abnormal red blood cell morphologies on a peripheral blood smear. Significant risk factors for the development of this illness include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; excess zinc supplementation; and, in some instances, postmenopausal females. The article reviews pertinent literature.
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