Pyro what? Yeah, I know, you’ve likely never heard of pyroluria. Don’t worry, many haven’t. It’s also not commonly understood in the medical community because..well, there aren’t any drugs to treat it! But, what if I told you that it’s possible your anxiety is due to pyroluria, and it’s more common than you think?
What is pyroluria?
Let’s start with what pyroluria actually is. It’s is a chemical imbalance, and essentially a malfunction of hemoglobin formation. Kryptogpyrroles (not to be confused with kryptonite 😉 ) are waste products generated during the synthesis of hemoglobin. If they don’t get excreted, they build up and then vitamin B6 and zinc are made ‘unavailable.’
Given that B6 and zinc play a crucial role in anxiety, this is obviously problematic. B6 helps create serotonin (a necessary neurotransmitter), so a deficiency leads to anxiety, depression and sleep issues. Low zinc levels leave way for copper dominance, which in itself can throw the body out of balance and lead to anxiety.
Common signs and symptoms
So what are some typical symptoms of pyroluria? Besides anxiety and depression, white spots on nails, eczema or psoriasis, chronic acne, difficulty digesting protein, chronically cold hands and feed, nervousness, mood swings, and poor short-term memory are some (yes there are more).
Wondering how to find out if you have pyroluria, or what to do if you have it? You can actually purchase a test HERE. If you do indeed have it, work to get those zinc and b6 levels optimal via food, and you will also likely need to be taking a zinc and b6 supplement daily. Just make sure to opt for the B6 form of pyridoxal-5- phosphate, which is more bioavailable. It’s also noted that those with pyroluria usually have a greater need for Omega 6 fats and GLA, so your best buds will be liver, eggs, grass fed butter, and evening primrose oil.
Remember that anxiety isn’t a “quick fix” and there is not one solution. There are many possible root causes, so keep searching for answers rather than masking symptoms. If you’re on the hunt for additional anxiety help, I’d love to have you join the Busy Mom’s Wellness Tribe here, where we discuss anxiety, health issues in general, and nutrition.