Pyroluria is a disorder with numerous symptoms including migraines, fatigue, food sensitivities, insomnia and poor morning appetite. It has also been linked to loss of libido, mood swings, sensitivity to smells and sounds, hyperactivity, hypoglycemia, and overeating, just to name a few. This is why having a Pyroluria test is important should you be experiencing any of these symptoms.
Conditions associated with pyroluria include but are not limited to acne, allergies, depression, anxiety, postnatal depression, eczema, substance abuse, learning difficulties, autism, Tourette’s, and Asperger’s syndrome.
So, What Is Pyroluria And What Can You Do About It?
When we synthesize hemoglobin, we produce a byproduct known as pyrrole. Normally, this is not a problem but some people produce excessive amounts. When this happens, pyrroles bind to zinc and B6 leaving them unavailable for the body to use. They also deplete the omega-6 fatty acid gamma linoleic acid (GLA).
Why Should You Have a Pyroluria Test and Why Is Zinc, B6 And GLA So Important?
The body needs zinc for:
• Immune health
• Cell growth and replication
• Hormone health and reproduction
• Protein metabolism
• Cognitive function, memory, learning
• Thyroid function
• Normal appetite, taste, and smell
• Wound healing
The body needs B6 for:
• Neurotransmitter production
• Convert food to energy
• Immune health
• Brain development
• Healthy sleep cycle
• Balanced moods
GLA acts to:
• Reduce inflammation
• Support hormone health
• Aid fat loss
• Increase energy
• Keep the skin hydrated and healthy
We are just scratching the surface but it is obvious that we need to be able to use these nutrients if we want to maintain good health. Click here for information on how to read labels like a pro and get the most out of your food when grocery shopping.
Pyroluria is generally not recognized by mainstream medicine and few physicians are even aware of it because there is no drug cure for it. Instead, it requires a lifetime of nutritional supplementation.
The Pyroluria Test
You will find a list of symptoms here and if you have 15 or more you definitely want to get tested. If you’ve got a few symptoms and have tried different things and nothing has worked, it may be a good idea to test and at least rule it out. If your physician won’t order a test, you can get a kryptopyrrole test from DHA Laboratory without a physician order (they have a physician who will sign off on it). It costs around $82 and is a urine test. There are very specific instructions which include freezing the sample before shipping it, so read everything carefully before collecting your urine so you know what to do. You can also get supplement guidance from a physician at DHA labs if you end up with high levels.
What Causes Pyroluria?
Pyroluria is caused by both genetic and lifestyle factors. Stress increases the production of pyrroles as does poor digestive health, alcohol, smoking, drugs, and heavy metal exposure. Excess pyrroles in turn impair digestive health, so it’s a vicious cycle.
My daughter has pyroluria and her symptoms improved significantly when we started high doses of zinc, B6, and biotin along with manganese, magnesium, and GLA. I recommend working with a physician or qualified healthcare practitioner with supplementation. I never had to put my daughter on an antidepressant or antianxiety medication which both holistic and conventional healthcare practitioners recommended. Not one of them ever mentioned pyroluria.
Could Pyroluria Be Causing Your Symptoms?
Maybe. It’s certainly worth testing for, especially if the alternative is an antidepressant or antianxiety medication. If you do have pyroluria, medications won’t help. Click here if you would like to learn more about natural relief options for pyroluria.
Annette Presley RD, LD, is a functional nutritionist, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She enjoys helping people live their lives well so they can stay out of hospitals and spend more time with their families and doing the things they love.