The cause of mental illnesses such as ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, aggressive and/or violent behaviours are largely due to imbalances in brain biochemistry. A common feature of many behavioural disorders is pyroluria which is caused by either over-production of hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) during haemoglobin synthesis, or by the increased oxidative degradation of haemoglobin. A pyrrole test is a very simple urine test that looks at the concentration of HPL in the urine.
It has been also suggested that pyroluria may be due to induced intestinal permeability (allowing HPL to re-enter systemic circulation – common during the presence of haemolytic bacteria in the digestive tract). HPL exhibits its effect by sequestering vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and Zinc in situ, thus facilitating the elimination of these nutrients by urinary excretion. The net result of this condition is the inhibition of biochemical processes requiring pyridoxine and zinc. In particular, pyridoxine is an important factor in serotonin synthesis and its absence results in the impaired ability of a subject to produce this important neurotransmitter. Pyroluria‘s effect can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the extent of the imbalance.
Pyroluria has strong genetic correlations, however, evidence also points to elevated HPL as an indicator of oxidative stress, which is also associated with zinc deficiency.
The result can be a myriad of symptoms including inner tension, anxiety, depression, anaemia, pessimism, poor stress control, fearfulness, episodic anger, poor short term memory, gastrointestinal disorders, and frequent infections. Elevated urinary pyrrole levels are found in Down syndrome (70%), Schizophrenia (up to 70%), autism (50%), ADHD (30%), and alcoholism (up to 80%). 43% of patients diagnosed with arthritis, chronic fatigue, heart disease, hypertension, irritable bowel, and migraine have elevated urinary pyrroles.
A pyrrole test is a simple urine test that simply tests for the concentration of HPL in the urine. Samples containing levels of urinary HPL of 0 - 10 μg/dL are considered normal or negative, samples of 10 – 20 μg/dL are considered borderline, and samples above 20 μg/dL are considered elevated.
Your practitioner will then suggest a suitable pyrrole disorder treatment plan to decrease the level of HPL.
Book an online consultation or a face to face appointment at our Brisbane or Graceville clinics with one of our naturopaths and let us help you understand if pyroluria is an underlying cause of your health issues. Any functional health tests that we order will either be mailed to you for completion at home or if a blood test is required, we refer to major pathology laboratories that can be accessed anywhere in Australia.
Information on test pricing can be found here.
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