Pyroluria… What is it? And could it be affecting you or your child’s mental health ?

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

Are You Suffering From Sinusitis ?

This would have to be the worst winter for illnesses that i can recall. In clinic I have seen the flu (as in the real one), horrendous colds, sinus problems and gastro. Everyone I speak to is recovering from something and still has a lingering cough or snotty nose. I would have to say in clinic Sinus related issues has been the most common.

Thankfully Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine has been helping but most of all it’s dietary changes that i am sending sufferers home with. You see, in Chinese Medicine an accumulation of phlegm and discharge is considered to be a damp pathology.

Damp is derived from a weak or overly exhausted digestive system, heavy and greasy foods, dairy, raw veggies, fruit, alcohol, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants all wreak havoc on you stomach and spleen and give rise to damp pathologies – such as sinusitis, phlegm nodules, indigestion, foggy head, pressure headaches, heavy sensation and a weakened immunity.

The best way to resolve damp is to incorporate the medicinal properties of food is through excluding the wrong foods as above and including the right foods – some favourites are; Adzuki beans, green tea, rice, olives, tangerine or mandarin peel, mushrooms, parsley, garlic and seaweed.

If you are suffering from frequent bouts of sinus issues call the clinic and book in today 02 8406 0679 or book online

Chloe Player

Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Is BPA-Free plastic safe?

Is BPA-Free plastic safe?

Long hailed the healthier alternative to plastic, “BPA free” plastic is everywhere! Water bottles, lunch boxes and even reusable coffee cups are branded “BPA free” for the health conscious consumer.

So, what is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in plastic to make it, well.. plastic. It is used to make hard plastics, the kind we use for storing food and beverages. 

It had been used in plastics for decades, however studies showed BPA was responsible for multiple health issues and resulted in companies removing it from products. BPA has been shown to contribute to immune, reproductive and neurological issues, and has been linked to cases of childhood asthma, metabolic disease, obesity, early puberty, poor sperm quality and count, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

You may be wondering, how could a plastic cup cause all of these health issues?

Well, the compound BPA is similar to our hormones in structure. When a coffee cup or lunch box is heated, BPA can leach into the contents of the food and drink inside. When its then ingested, the body can confuse the BPA from that lunch box plastic with our natural hormones. In our bodies, we have hormone receptor sites which are reserved for hormones like oestrogen. With BPA in our systems looking so similar to a hormone in structure, it can sneakily bind to our hormone receptor sites and overload the cells. This overload disrupts our endocrine system, leading to multiple health issues that are influenced by hormones.

It really doesn’t take much BPA in our systems to have this affect either.

Plastic that has been “stressed” releases even more chemicals than unused plastic. Stressed plastic may have been exposed to heat or UV light, a microwave, or a dishwasher, and this can cause further leaching of these chemicals in larger quantities.

Is “BPA Free” Plastic a better option?

Manufacturers have replaced BPA with alternative plastic hardeners Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol F (BPF). Studies show that the replacements BPS and BPF are having the same affect on our endocrine systems as BPA exposure did.

With this in mind, heres a few tips to minimise your exposure.

• Never heat your plastic. Ever.

• If it has been stressed, recycle it, and replenish your tupperware draw with glass or stainless steel food storage containers.

• Never heat your babies bottle in a microwave.

• Avoid packaged foods in plastic wrap and plastic bottles.

• Stop accepting receipts from the cashier. A study showed that blood levels of BPA in cashiers was much higher due to repetitive handling of receipts! Crazy huh?

• Eat plenty of fibre to help your body to pass the chemicals and increase your consumption of vegetables from the brassica family. The brassica family include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard.

Curious about other ways to support your hormones? Contact Brooke, our Naturopath and Clinical Nutritionist who has a special interest in healthy hormones via email at or call the clinic 02 8406 0679