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Home Information Medical stuff Information on liver diseases Wilson's Disease

Wilson's Disease

Wilson’s disease is an inherited condition in which copper is not excreted properly from the body. As a result, excess copper can build up in the liver and/or brain causing liver damage and/or neurological problems. It can also collect in other parts of the body, including the eyes and kidneys.

Copper is essential to life and is found in many foods and in drinking water. Foods particularly rich in copper include:

  • Liver
  • Shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

What are the signs of Wilson's disease?

Signs and symptoms of Wilson’s disease can be very mild and may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Nose bleeds
  • Anaemia
  • Chronic joint or kidney problems

In some cases, symptoms may be more acute.

Wilson’s disease can cause chronic or acute hepatitis, acute liver failure and cirrhosis. It can also cause a range of neurological problems, which may include deteriorating school or college performance; changed behaviour and deterioration of motor skills.

Want to know more?

Download CLDF’s leaflet on Wilson’s disease.

You can also order a copy of the leaflet here.

Read stories from those affected by Wilson's disease including Iain and Greg by clicking here.

The information on this site is for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other health care professional. ALWAYS check with your medical team if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment. CLDF is not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any form of damages resulting from the use (or misuse) of information contained in or implied by the information on this site.