Pyroluria is a condition in which a chemical called kryptopyrrole is produced (hydroxyhemoppyrrolin-2-one/HPL) in elevated quantities. For the majority of people, HPL is excreted out through the urine and is harmless. But when someone has pyroluria, the elevated quantities of pyrroles bind to receptor sites of nutrients and/or bind to the nutrients themselves. Once bound to the nutrients, they will carry excess amounts of nutrients through the urine.
Conditions Linked to Pyroluria
All of the nutrients impacted by pyroluria are necessary for daily function (especially brain function), resulting in increased likelihood of:
- Behavior disorders
- ADD and ADHD
- Bipolar disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorders,
- And other conditions.
Nutrients Impacted By Pyroluria
The nutrients impacted by pyroluria are: zinc, b6, manganese, magnesium, biotin, niacinamide, lithium, and arachidonic acid. Zinc and B6 are essential for production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, GABA and acetylcholine. Low levels of these neurotransmitters will result in symptoms listed below:
- Dopamine: poor focus, low motivation, irritability, anger, depression, and the potential of various addictions
- Serotonin: Apathy, depression, insomnia.
- Melatonin: Insomnia, poor immune function
- GABA: Anxiety, insomnia, movement disorders, restless leg, OCD, migraines, digestive disorders, high blood pressure
- Acetylcholine: Poor memory, brain fog, fatigue, constipation, dry eyes, emotional instability.
Common Symptoms of Pyroluria
Pyrroles are destructive to nerves so the symptoms of this disorder can be wide-ranging…
Common symptoms include anxiety, acne, depression, allergies, hallucinations, anemia, lack of smell and or taste, dysmenorrhea, abnormal cycles, sensitivity to light noise and sounds, and joint pain. Other patients complain of symptoms such as constipation, mood swings, anger, restless leg syndrome, inability to recall dreams,insomnia, and low blood sugar/hypoglycemia.
Causes of Pyroluria
Any stress, physical or emotional can trigger pyroluria to be symptomatic because stress elevates the production of pyrroles. Typical triggers are:
- Genetic triggers
- Certain pharmaceuticals
- Birth control pills (which can deplete levels of vitamin b6)
- Recreational use drug and/or alcohol use
- Digestive disorders, as they will impact a person’s ability to break down nutrients, depleting an already low level of key vitamins.
The best way to test for pyroluria is running a urinalysis for pyrroles, histamine, zinc and copper. The higher the amount of pyrroles, the worse the condition and/or symptoms. At the Holistic Wellness Center, we use a lab called DHA labs, which follow the widely-known Dr. Walsh’s protocol for testing.
There are some supplements that needed to be avoided when running this test, including zinc, b6, manganese, magnesium, biotin, niacinamide, lithium, and arachidonic acid/evening primrose oil.