Pyroluria is more common than previously though. Pyro-what? What is this disease? The word pyroluria is a combination of pyrrole and urine. It refers to a molecule that shows up in the urine in most people. There are different things that can cause pyroluria. For many people, pyroluria treatment can be life changing. And many kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD Disorder have pyroluria. Behavior problems can disappear with simple natural treatments. Pyrrole Disorder symptoms are diverse. Let’s explore what pyrrole disorder is and what the symptoms look like.
Pyroluria is a condition that leads to an incomplete breakdown of red blood cells. This causes the formation of small molecules called kryptopyrroles that bind to zinc and B6 in the body. As a result, the body registers a deficiency of both those nutrients. There are many theories about what causes pyroluria but the reality is that we don’t know. It is definitely a sign of inflammation in the body. Some of the possible causes are as follows:
- Genetics. Pyroluria does seem to run in families. I have tested kids who are siblings where both have had it many times. But not all the time. If a relative suffered from depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcholism, or another mental health condition, get tested.
- Childhood Trauma. There may be an epigenetic component to the condition. Trauma may cause a rise in inflammation in the body and lead to this condition.
- Chronic infection. It is difficult to know if the problem exists because of the infection or if the lack of zinc leads to poor immunity.
- Alcoholism of the sufferer or parents.
- Environmental toxicity. Heavy metal poisoning in particular could play a factor in the cause of pyroluria.
- Processed foods. A standard American diet of processed foods and sugar can stress the body out and lead to absorption problems.
Stress may be a trigger to pyroluria or it could be a result of it. It is not clear at the moment.
What are Pyrrole Disorder Symptoms?
Pyroluria has some distinct symptoms. I have a questionnaire that helps people determine if they have the condition. Most of the symptoms that I see in my practice revolve around mental health problems. But many people experience problems with other areas of the body. Let’s start with the mental health symptoms first though.
Mentally, people feel stressed. There is a high amount of severe inner tension or anxiety. Tolerance to stress is low. For example, someone who easily stresses out with minimal traffic may have pyroluria. Social withdrawal is common as is sensitivity to crowds.
But more severe mental health symptoms exist too. There can be periods of mild to severe depression followed by hyperactivity. Episodic anger outbursts or other mood swings are common. Panica attacks or severe anxiety. They may enjoy an argument but be upset by criticism. In severe cases, pyrolurics may hallucinate or have delusion disorder.
Physical symptoms also exist though. Here’s a partial list:
- Fatigue easily likely due to nervous exhaustion.
- Poor dream recall
- Ringing in the ears.
- Digestive disturbances including irritable bowel, abdominal pain, and frequent gas and bloating. (They may have tried avoiding meat as a way to deal but this actually makes the problems worse as we’ll see.)
- Gluten intolerance
- Blood sugar control. There may be hypoglycemia with blood sugar drops.
- Allergies to food or the environment
- Frequent illnesses
- Morning nausea and poor appetite in the morning. They may skip breakfast.
There are some people who have few of these symptoms but may still have pyroluria. You may have done blood work for zinc for example and shown that it is normal but still have symptoms of zinc deficiency. This is typically caused by pyrrole disorder. So what can you do? My article about pyroluria gives suggestions but the short answer is get tested! I can do pyroluria testing and help develop a custom treatment plan via telemedicine services. Call today to learn more.
elizabeth madaki says
Severe depression x 5 months
perimenopause x 5 months
hetero for T 6771 mthfr
hrt bio identical estrogen/progesterone testosterone x 1mo
interestesd in methylation status
need a protocol asap but do not know where to begin.
Dr. Gil Winkelman says
Sorry to hear about your situation. The MTHFR is less important than knowing your methylation expression. You can do a whole blood histamine test to find that out. But I would need more information to begin a protocol. You can call the office at 503-894-7437 to see about scheduling.
Bennie Kreuger says
do pyroluria and MCAS go hand in hand, or am i unusual?
Dr. Gil Winkelman says
THey are not necessarily connected.
Does pyruloria and thalassemia minor go hand in hand? Thanks!
Dr. Gil Winkelman says
Not necessarily. We don’t really understand pyroluria. But it’s not genetic.