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What are the symptoms of zinc poisoning?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of zinc poisoning include difficulty moving the legs and feet, as well as numbness throughout the lower extremities. As time goes by, this spreads to the arms, and an individual can begin to lose a sense of balance, claims MedicineNet.

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Zinc poisoning may result from overusing over-the-counter denture creams with zinc in them. Zinc is a necessary nutrient for the body, but a balance between copper and zinc is vital for the body. People who ingest too much zinc end up with levels of copper that are much too low, which is one reason why zinc overdose might be toxic, according to MedicineNet.

The imbalance between zinc and copper leads to suppression of bone marrow and damage to the spinal cord, which can cause nerve damage. In some cases, patients have ended up living in wheelchairs, and at least one fatality has resulted, reports MedicineNet. While these cases had been creeping up for years, it was not until 2007 that an Italian medical researcher hypothesized the connection of zinc poisoning to denture cream. As researchers discovered, people using excess denture cream to hold them in place ended up with zinc poisoning, as the cream had zinc in it, notes MedicineNet.

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