Is Pyrrole Disorder Making You Sick?

by Greg Newson

Is Pyrrole Disorder Making You Sick? | Conquering Pyroluria

What is Pyrrole Disorder

Pyrrole Disorder also known as Pyroluria is a genetic or lifestyle generated condition in which the sufferer has a reduced ability to uptake or utilize Vitamin B6, Zinc and Biotin.1-8

Pyrrole Disorder is often described as the abnormal synthesis and metabolism of heme molecules, in particular hemoglobin. All cells in the body uptake nutrients and produce waste. The waste produced by the heme molecules is the metabolite hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL). This metabolite is elevated in Pyrrole Disorder Sufferers and is what binds to Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Biotin and enhancing their urinary excretion.

Supplementation helps to lower HPL levels and reduce the severity of the signs and symptoms often associated with Pyrrole Disorder.

Signs and Symptoms Of Pyrrole Disorder

On first glance it may seem that there are a lot of signs and symptoms associated with Pyrrole Disorder. This is mainly due to the diverse roles that Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Biotin have within the body and with cellular function. For example Zinc is involved in over 300 chemical reactions playing a major role in healthy immune, brain, metabolic and nervous system function.

Below is a short list of signs and symptoms associated with Pyrrole Disorder

Acne Insomnia
Anxiety Intolerance to alcohol / drugs
Constipation Loss of appetite
Depression Low libido
Dramatic Mood swings
Dyslexia Motion sickness
Fluid retention Pessimism
Early greying of hair Reading difficulties
Eczema Substance abuse
Hyperactivity Temper tantrums
Hypoglycemia Tremors

For a full list of signs and symptoms associated with Pyrrole Disorder Please click here

Unusual Body Signs Associated with Pyrrole Disorder

For some sufferers of Pyrrole Disorder they may have abnormalities in their physical appearance. Some of the more common physical appearances associated with Pyrrole Disorder are;

Acne Overcrowding of teeth
Dry Skin Poor wound healing
Hypo-pigmentation of skin Skin appears paper thin
Inability of skin to tan Stretch marks
Lack of hair on eyebrows or eyelashes White spots on fingernails

 For a full list of unusual body appearances associated with Pyrrole Disorder Please click here.

Pyrrole Disorder and Associated Conditions

There are some common health conditions that have been studied and shown to have a strong relationship with Pyrrole Disorder. Below is a list of these studied health conditions and percentages of those sufferers with Pyrrole Disorder.

Acute Intermittent Porphyria 100% Down Syndrome 71%
ADD/ADHD 47% Epilepsy 44%
Alcoholism 20-84% Learning Difficulties 40-47%
Asperger’s Syndrome 46-48% Latent Acute Intermittent Porphyria 70%
Autism 46-48% Manic Depression 47-50%
Bi-Polar Disorder 46% Neurosis/Neurotic 20%
Criminal Behaviour 71% Schizophrenia 59-80%
Depression 46%

Violent / Criminal Offenders


For a full list of health conditions associated with Pyrrole Disorder Please click here

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    What causes Pyrrole Disorder?

    There is evidence suggesting that for some Pyrrole Disorder sufferers that is a genetic connection. Research and statistics indicate that if a parent, brother or sister, grandparent, aunt, or uncle suffers from Major Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Alcoholism, or has Suicide, that there is a greater risk of Pyrrole Disorder in other family members.

    Studies also indicate that Lifestyle Factors play a role in driving up HPL levels, thus contributing to Pyrrole Disorder.

    • Studies have shown that Zinc deficiency increases bowel permeability leading to a condition know as Leaky Gut Syndrome (10-20). Leaky Gut Syndrome increases HPL in susceptible Pyrrole Disorder sufferers.
    • It is a well known fact that stress damages the intestinal wall and causes intestinal inflammation. Both of which lead to an increase in Leaky Gut Syndrome  (9, 21-23).
    • Alcohol, smoking, drugs and heavy metal exposure dramatically increase blood HPL levels. This is why sufferers of Pyrrole Disorder tend to get a worsening of their symptoms 24 to 48 hours after recreational drug use or a big night on the town drinking.
    • Poor dietary choices and poor digestive health can lead to an increase in HPL levels (9) 
    • Research discovered that stress increases the production of HPL (2,6,43)
    • An unpublished US navy study conducted in 1992 found a very rapid increase in HPL levels in male volunteers who were subjected to the stress of a brief cold-water immersion (44)
    • Dysbiosis, an overgrowth of detrimental bacteria in the intestinal tract, has also been linked to an increase in blood HPL levels. Dysbiosis is a major cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome (17, 24)
    • Stress increases the adherence of bad bacteria to the intestinal wall within 30 minutes (25).

    What Damage Can HPL Do?

    HPL can potentially do a great deal of harm to cells besides contributing to Pyrrole Disorder.

    • Pyrroles (HPL) are classed as 'nerve poisons' (26) and can damage nerves, nerve cells.
    • HPL decreases heme levels. Animal studies have shown that HPL caused a decrease in liver heme, and the heme detoxifying enzyme cytochrome P450, by up to 55% over a 48 hour period (30). This caused an increase in free radical damage and reduced liver detoxication.
    • Nerves metabolic activity is highly dependent on heme,  low levels of heme lead to a metabolic crisis resulting in neuronal (nerve) cell death (27-29).
    • Vitamin B6, Biotin and Zinc are all required for the production of heme and a reduction in these nutrients results in sub normal heme levels (28,31).  
    • Heme levels are further depressed by stress and heavy metal exposure (28).  
    • Low levels of heme results in an excess production of the toxic free radical nitric oxide, which can cause serious damage to brain tissue and is suspected to play a role in schizophrenia, autism and Down syndrome (38-42).
    • Antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage. The body has 3 major antioxidant defence enzymes; Glutathione, Catalase and Superoxide Dismutase. All of these enzymes require  Zinc or Vitamin B6 in some part in their production.
    • A marginal deficiency of vitamin B6 is associated with lower levels of Glutathione production and cell mitochondrial (cell battery) decay (32-34)
    • Catalase consists of four protein subunits, each requiring heme. Autism and Schizophrenia sufferers have lower levels of catalase (35-37).

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    For more information about Pyrrole Disorder:

    The information provided here is of a general nature intended for educational purposes only. We make no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate or cure illnesses or diseases with any information or product stated. With any health issue we suggest you consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any health treatment.

    I hope you found this blog useful and if you did please leave a comment or share on social media.

    Thanks and have a great day

    Is Pyrrole Disorder Making You Sick References Please Click Here.

    Greg Newson
    Greg Newson


    Greg is a Naturopathic Doctor and Clinical Herbalist. He is passionate about educating people on all matters of health. Qualifications: B.Sc Health Science, Adv. Dip Naturopathy, Adv. Dip Herbal Medicine, Adv. Dip Nutrition, Dip Remedial Massage

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