What is pyrrole disorder?
Pyrrole disorder is a metabolic condition that involves an abnormality in the synthesis and metabolism of certain compounds called pyrroles. Pyrroles are by-products of red blood cell production and have the ability to bind to essential nutrients such as vitamin B6 and zinc. In people with pyrrole disorder, excessive levels of pyrroles are produced and then excreted in the urine, leading to a deficiency of vital nutrients. Pyrrole disorder is also commonly known as Mauve Factor.
What are the signs and symptoms of pyrrole (pyrole) disorder?
The presence of elevated HPL (high pyrrole levels) and subsequent nutrient deficiencies can have a significant impact on various bodily functions and systems, including the nervous system and mental health. Common pyrrole disorder symptoms include mood swings, anxiety, depression, poor stress tolerance, digestive disturbances, sensitivity to light and sound, behavioural issues, poor memory and concentration, and even nervous twitching. It is important to note that the severity of symptoms can vary, and some individuals may develop mood disorders. Nutritionally you may see individuals with omega 6, vitamin B and zinc deficiency.
What causes pyrrole disorder?
The exact cause of pyrrole disorder is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a hereditary component. Environmental factors and chronic stress may also contribute to its development or exacerbation.
Pyrrole disorder vs Mauve factor
There is no difference between Pyrrole disorder and Mauve factor. Both are diagnosed by detecting elevated HPL levels in a the urine test. Symptoms of pyrrole disorder and mauve factor are the same, and are treated with the same vitamin and zinc supplementation.
Pyrrole disorder vs Bipolar disorder
Sometimes pyrrole disorder may be mistaken for bipolar disorder, rapid cycling bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions or mood disorders. Part of the confusion is due to the similarities in symptoms. Like pyrrole disorder, bipolar disorder causes changes in mood. These are marked by cycles of mania, depression and manic depression, both of which may last for weeks at a time. If you suspect you or someone you know may be experiencing symptoms related to either pyrrole disorder or bipolar disorder, it is recommended to seek professional evaluation and guidance for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
How pyrrole disorder is diagnosed?
Diagnosis of pyrrole disorder typically involves a simple urine test to measure the levels of pyrroles, as well as a thorough evaluation of symptoms and medical history. This urine test will show whether or not there are elevated pyrrole levels. In addition to this testing, your naturopath may request other pathology testing to assess your nutrient status, particularly to look at the level of vitamin B and zinc deficiency. There may also be testing to inquire about acute intermittent porphyria, tests that look into your immune function, leaky gut syndrome or other digestive disease.
Pyrrole disorder in children
Pyrrole disorder can also affect children. In fact, it is often first identified during childhood due to the noticeable impact it can have on a child’s behaviour and development.
Common symptoms of pyrrole disorder in children can manifest in various ways:
Behavioural Issues: Children with pyrrole disorder often exhibit behavioural problems such as irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and temper tantrums. They may also have a low stress tolerance and may become overwhelmed easily.
Learning and Attention Difficulties: Pyrrole disorder can affect a child’s cognitive function, leading to difficulties with concentration, memory, and learning. Children may struggle academically and have poor attention spans.
Sensory Sensitivities: Sensory sensitivities are common in children with pyrrole disorder. They may be hypersensitive to sounds, lights, textures, or certain foods (sometimes leading to poor diet choices), which can result in behavioural and emotional reactions. As well as emotional stress, you may also witness physical symptoms such as nervous twitching.
Digestive Issues: Some children with pyrrole disorder may experience digestive disturbances such as abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhoea. These issues may go on to develop into irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut syndrome.
Sleep Problems: Sleep disturbances are also common in children with pyrrole disorder. They may have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experience restless sleep patterns.
Pyrrole testing is the same across all ages – a simple urine test to investigate the possible biochemical imbalance and elevated HPL. Treatment for pyrrole disorder in children is very similar to what you would offer the adults. This usually involves addressing the underlying nutrient deficiencies. This often includes nutritional supplements such as zinc and B6, and other supportive nutrients in appropriate dosages for children. Dietary modifications focused on nutrient-rich foods can also be beneficial for energy production and using the nutrient power to increase the deficient levels within the body.
Additionally, behavioural interventions, stress management techniques, and lifestyle adjustments may be recommended to support the child’s overall well-being, reduce stress intolerance and improve other symptoms. Alongside nutritional and dietary assistance, supporting your child’s mental health from a young age can greatly decrease the chances of them developing depression and other serious mental health issues and engaging in criminal behaviour and substance abuse.
Is pyrrole disorder treatable?
Treatment for pyrrole disorder focuses on addressing the underlying nutrient deficiencies and restoring balance in the body. Naturopaths treat pyrrole disorder with supplementation of vitamin c, zinc, vitamin B6, and other supportive nutrients. A nutrient-dense diet that includes foods rich in these nutrients, such as lean meats, seafood, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, is also recommended. Additionally, techniques to reduce stress, lifestyle modifications, and other naturopathic approaches may be encouraged to support overall well-being and proper cognitive function.
Do I need ongoing care for Pyrrole disorder (Mauve factor)?
It is also important to engage in ongoing care. It is not enough to get a positive Pyrrole test and purchase vitamins to self manage. For effective treatment you need high quality herbs and supplements that will need to be prescribed by a practitioner. Along with this, your pathology results will need to be reviewed on an ongoing basis as it can be detrimental to continue nutritional supplementation at high dosages if your body does not require it. Another reason why your nutritional status needs to be reviewed is that your gut health may impact your body’s ability to absorb the necessary vitamins, thus impacting your ongoing results. Naturopaths will look deeply into any issues with your immune system, intestinal inflammation, leaky gut, and other health conditions to address anything corresponding to the nutrients not being properly absorbed. By addressing the underlying imbalances associated with the elevated levels of HPL, and receiving the proper treatment, individuals can experience improvements in their symptoms and overall quality of life.
How do I get help?
It is important to note that pyrrole disorder is a complex condition, and its management should be overseen by a qualified health professional, such as our experienced Shift naturopaths, who can provide personalised guidance and support.
If you are interested in testing for Pyrrole disorder or would like assistance in your treatment, please call our reception team on 07 3367 0337 or book an appointment with our naturopaths here.