Many people suffering porphyria also have the related disorder called pyroluria – also known as pyrroles or kryptopyrroles. This condition may be secondary to porhpyria.
Pyrroluria may cause severe, constant nervousness, anxiety or panic; morning sickness or nausea and/or the inability or lack of desire to eat at times; seizures, toxic body odour; many food intolerances or allergy-like reactions. These reactions are often worse when consuming wheat, dairy and salicylates. Coeliac disease may involve pyrroluria.
Orthomolecular psychiatrists had linked elevated urinary pyrroles to ADHD, alcoholism, autism, depression, Down syndrome, manic depression, schizophrenia, coeliac disease, epilepsy or psychosis, however, more recent independent studies have found that these traditional ideas were not supported by independent trials.
The best way to determine whether you have elevated pyrroles is a special urine test. These are available through most natural health practitioners and some medical practitioners.
However, before requesting a test, recent research has honed in on a number of personality traits that correlated with positive pyrrole results. Further, pyrroles are only considered elevated if higher than 40 μg/dL.
Here are a few possible personality traits that, if they apply to you, may warrant having a test carried out:
Heightened sensory sensitivity e.g. noises, & light
Chronic dry skin
Tendency to be a night owl
Mood swings, labile mood without explanation
Difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep
Both subjective and objective poor short-term memory
Reduced frequency of dream recall generally e.g. once every few months or once a year
Only ‘dreams’ recalled are nightmares
Increased frequency of illness and infection
Do not read for pleasure
As with all imbalances, treatment must be tailored to the individual. The types of supplements and dosages must be individualised by a qualified practitioner, especially if there is concurrent porphyria.