Pyroluria is also known as pyrrole disorder. Pyrroles are waste products produced from the breakdown of haemoglobin (the molecule which carries oxygen around the body).

Pyroluria occurs when there are an excessive amount of pyrroles produced which can bind or inhibit nutrients such as vitamin B6, zinc, biotin and GLA (and to a lesser extent, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin E and other essential fatty acids).

The elevated pyrroles result in oxidative stress and free radical damage which can causes alterations in cell function. Pyrroles are known as nerve poisons and can cause damage to and interrupt messages being sent through nerves and the brain. Pyroluria appears to be genetically based and can be exacerbated by stress, poor diet and poor digestive health.

There are many conditions associated with pyroluria including:

  • Allergies
  • ASD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Learning difficulties
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse
  • Post-natal depression

There are many symptoms of pyroluria including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Anger
  • Ear infections
  • Drug and alcohol intolerance
  • Migraines
  • Poor stress tolerance
  • Motion sickness
  • Pale skin
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory
  • Poor morning appetite
  • Sensitivities to bright lights and smells
  • Tantrums
  • Iron deficiency
  • White spots on fingernails

Treatment for pyroluria involves not only replenishing deficient nutrients but also addressing underlying triggers / causes such as stress, lifestyle, diet, digestion. Some people start to see good results a few days after starting treatment while others make take up to six weeks.

About the author

Belinda Kirkpatrick is an expert Nutritionist and Naturopath in Sydney. She specialises in natural fertility, family and women's health care. She is the author of Healthy Hormones (a practical guide to balancing your hormones) and is the founder of the SEED Concept and also Seed App for iPhone.

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