Pyrrole Disorder may also be referred to as pyroluria, kryptopyroluria (KPU), kryptopyrrole, mauve disorder or more precisely hemopyrrollactamuria (HPU). It is a chemical imbalance that impacts haemoglobin synthesis and metabolism within the body. This imbalance can be genetic but can also be a result of environmental emotional stress. Haemoglobin within our red blood cells is responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. As with all cells and reactions within the body there are waste or by-products. Sufferers of

Pyroluria overproduce the by-product associated with haemoglobin synthesis, which is called hydroxyhaemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL), also known as pyrroles. How do I know if I have it? The effects of Pyroluria are many and varied based on how mild, moderate or severe the imbalance is. 

Some of the symptoms include: Poor stress control, Nervousness, anxiety, mood disorders, severe inner tension, depression, Poor short-term memory, fatigue, headaches, migraines, dizziness, Joint pain, bruising, White spots on fingernail (zinc deficiency), Hypoglycaemia, cold hands and feet, Allergies, loss of appetite, bowel dysfunction, morning nausea, abdominal pain. 

Many of the above symptoms are common but not everyone who has pyrroles will present with all of these symptoms. They may only have one or two. So, what are the causes? Pyrrole disorder is caused by excess Hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) that binds to the nutrients zinc, and vitamin B6 and inhibits their action within the body. This renders them unavailable for their many important physiological functions, such as co factors for enzymes in metabolism.

These essential nutrients, when bound to HPL are removed from the bloodstream and are excreted through the urine as pyrroles HPL is a biomarker for oxidative stress and is neurotoxic. Stress of any kind increases the production of pyrroles, which in turn decreases zinc and B6. The main biochemical features are the severe deficiencies of zinc and vitamin B6. A deficiency in zinc will also create an imbalance with copper and many of the symptoms are actually associated with this zinc to copper imbalance.

Zinc and B6 have so many essential roles within the body, zinc is particularly important in immune function, healing, digestion, growth, insulin sensitivity and control of blood sugars.

Both Zinc and B6 are required for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin, GABA and acetyl choline. Both zinc and B6 are also involved in the production of steroid hormones such as cortisol, fat metabolism and weight control. So, with all of that said they are very important nutrients!

You think you might have it? How do we diagnose it? Pyroluria is verified by a urine test which will detect the KPU in the urine: This test is ordered through a private lab so you’ll need to speak to a health practitioner. The test can however, be performed at a pathology lab as Pyrroles in the urine are heat and light sensitive. The sample needs to be quickly wrapped in foil and frozen to safeguard the results and ensure accurate analysis. Ok. You’ve come in for your consultation, had your test and proved positive for pyroluria.

How do we treat it? Treatment is based on re-establishing optimum levels of zinc and B6. It is essential that the replacement therapy provides the nutrients in forms that will be absorbed efficiently. Making dietary adjustments can be beneficial although supplementation will most likely be necessary. The active form of vitamin B6, known as Pyridoxyl-5-phosphate is considered most effective. Zinc picolinate is the optimal form of zinc as it has the highest bioavailability, it can also be helpful to avoid food sources and supplements containing copper.

In addition, stress management will be helpful and important, including regular exercise, practicing mindfulness and getting enough sleep are just a few ways to reduce stress on the body. People with mild to moderate cases will usually have a quits a quick response to treatment, as long as nothing else is contributing to the symptoms. Those with more severe conditions could take several weeks before progress is seen and 3-12 months for complete improvement.

If you or your child are experiencing the for mentioned symptoms and want to get to the bottom of it send an email to our Nutritionist Bronwen on

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