Wilson Disease Treatments

Lifelong treatment is needed to reduce the amount of copper in your body. At Northwestern Medicine, your physician will create a care plan for you based on:

  • Your age, overall health and past health
  • How serious your case is
  • How well you handle certain medicines, treatments or therapies
  • If your condition is expected to get worse
  • What you would like to do

Treatment may include:

  • Medication to help your body’s organs and tissues get rid of extra copper.
  • Medication to treat symptoms such as muscle tremors or stiffness.
  • Reducing the amount of copper you get through food.
  • Zinc supplements to prevent your body from absorbing copper from your diet.
  • Taking vitamin B6 supplements.
  • Treating any damage to your liver or central nervous system.
  • Liver transplant, if you have severe liver damage.

Early treatment can help prevent severe problems.

Living with Wilson disease

Your physician may suggest you take medicine to help keep your copper level under control. You may also need to change your diet to help reduce your copper intake. These dietary changes include:

  • Not eating shellfish
  • Not eating liver
  • Limiting or not eating mushrooms
  • Limiting or not eating nuts
  • Limiting or not eating chocolate
  • Not taking multivitamins that have copper

Test your drinking water for copper, or find a source of water that has no copper. It's also important to see your physician for regular follow-up visits and lab tests to make sure your copper levels are under control.

If you want to get pregnant or you are pregnant, tell your physician. You may need to change the amount of medicine you take while you are pregnant.

Talk with your physician about other things you can do to keep your liver healthy. This includes getting vaccines for hepatitis A and B.

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