Signs and Symptoms of Pyroluria

I am completely intrigued with this illness/condition that I just learned about. Like oxalates, which I wrote about here, it’s not widespread and known by everyone.

It’s insane how the description of Pyroluria seems to describe me with the exception of a few symptoms.

I’ve been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and surprise, surprise, Pyroluria is related to it. Also related to leaky gut, candida, and a host of other issues.


Pyroluria is a blood disorder first and foremost. 

Hemoglobin is a particular protein whose job it is to keep and maintain iron in red blood cells. Because of an abnormality in the synthesis of hemoglobin, a by product is created called kryptopyrrole, known scientifically as hydroxyhemoppyrrolin-2-one (HPL).

This is the chemical that is involved in the production of heme, the substance that causes blood to be red in color. In most humans, HPL causes no problems and is simply excreted from the body via the urine.

With pyroluria, the level of pyrroles/HPL in the blood is abnormally high, and as a result, the receptor sites for Vitamin B6 and zinc are bound up and blocked. Kryptopyrroles target aldehydes in order to bind to them, and specifically targets pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). 

Together they attach to zinc, which creates a complex that is ultimately eliminated through the urine. If there is excessive binding and excretion out of the body, Vitamin B6 and zinc may be deficient.

Zinc and B6 are essential for production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (our happy hormone), melatonin (our sleep hormone), GABA (our calming hormone), and acetylcholine (our housekeeping hormone).

They are also involved in production of our steroid hormones such as cortisol (our anti-stress hormone) and the conversion of oils in the body (fat metabolism, liver, gall bladder issues, and weight control). SOURCE

Essentially, the body doesn’t properly process B6 and zinc and you are left with a severe deficit which impacts much of the body’s responses to stress.  People who have leaky gut (hi!) are very likely to have Pyroluria. 

Like  I have said before, health issues can fall like dominoes. Leaky gut and adrenal fatigue especially can lead to a cascade of other problems.

Here’s more comprehensive list of symptoms:

1. Little or no dream recall (B6)
2. White spots on finger nails (Zinc)
3. Poor morning appetite +/- tendency to skip breakfast (Zinc)
4. Morning nausea (B6)
5. Pale skin +/- poor tanning +/- burn easy in sun
6. Sensitivity to bright light (Zinc)
7. Hypersensitive to loud noises (Zinc)
8. Sensitivity to smells (Zinc)
9. Poor ability to cope with stress (Zinc and B6)
10. Mood swings or temper outbursts (Zinc)
11. Histrionic (dramatic, emotional) tendency (Zinc)
12. Argumentative/enjoy argument (Zinc)
13. New situations or changes in routine are particularly stressful (B6)
14. Much higher capability and alertness in the evening, compared to mornings (Zinc)
15. Poor memory (Zinc and B6)
16. Obesity or Abnormal body fat distribution (Zinc)
17. Belong to a family with a lot of look-alike sisters
18. Dry skin (B6)
19. Anxiousness or nervousness, fearful, lifelong inner tension (B6)
20. Reaching puberty later than normal – growth after the age of 16 (Zinc)
21. Difficulty digesting, a dislike of protein or a history of vegetarianism (Zinc)
22. Tendency toward being a loner and/or avoiding larger groups of people
23. Stretch marks on skin (Zinc)
24. Poor sense of smell or taste; preference for spicy foods (Zinc)
25. Feel very uncomfortable with strangers
26. Frequently experience fatigue or exhaustion (Zinc)
27. A tendency to overreact to tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol or other drugs (in other words, a little produces a powerful response)
28. A tendency toward anemia
29. History of mental illness or alcoholism in family (Zinc and B6)
30. Easily upset by criticism, offended easily
31. Bad breath or body odor when ill or stressed (Zinc)
32. Prone to acne, eczema or psoriasis (Zinc)
33. Thin skin
34. Hyper-pigmentation of the skin
35. Bouts of depression or nervous exhaustion (B6)
36. Prone to frequent colds or infections (Zinc)
37. Abdominal pain; constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (Zinc)
38. Hair loss (lack of hair on head, eyebrows and/or eyelashes) (Zinc)
39. Irregular menstrual cycles, PMS (B6)
40. Low libido
41. Allergies (Zinc)
42. Tingling in arms and legs (neuropathy) (B6)
43. Migraines (B6)
44. Muscle pain (achey, flu-like tenderness) (B6)
45. Frequent yeast infections/yeast overgrowth (Zinc)
46. Reading difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)
47. Get motion sickness (B6)
48. Cold hands and feet (Zinc)
49. Codependency
49. Substance abuse/addiction (B6)
50. Creaking joints, joint pain, knee pain (B6)
51. Overcrowding of teeth in upper jaw (Zinc)
52. Poor looking tooth enamel; tendency for cavities (Zinc)
53. Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia (Zinc)
54. Emotionally unstable (Zinc)
55. Pessimism (Zinc)
56. Early greying of hair (Zinc)
57. Insomnia (Zinc and B6)
58. Prone to stitch in side when running (Zinc)
59. Hyperactivity (Zinc and B6)
60. Fluid retention (B6)
61. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which includes collecting/hoarding (B6)
62. Seizures (B6)
63. Hypoglycemia (Zinc)
64. Frequent ear infections as a child (Zinc)
65. Suicidal tendencies (Zinc)
66. Gluten intolerance (Zinc)
67. Prone to ovarian cysts (Zinc and B6)
68. Craving for sweets/carbs (Zinc and B6)
69. Tremors (B6)
70. Age related Macular Degeneration (Zinc)
71. Low Progesterone = miscarriage in first 7 weeks or early menopause (B6)

“Pyroluria falls outside the realm of mainstream medicine because the only way to rectify the problem is by improving the sufferer’s nutritional status, diet, digestion and stress levels. Mainstream medicine relies on drugs to suppress symptoms or relieve suffering.

This form of treatment won’t work for a person with Pyroluria and sadly these Pyroluria sufferers tend to fall through the cracks of mainstream medicine and are often misdiagnosed and given medication that does nothing to rectify the underlying problem.” 

When I began researching this condition, I was shocked how many other issues were connected to it including anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and so much more.

Read more about this condition here, this website offers loads of information on this condition.

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