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Non-Supplement Ways to Reduce Pyrrole Symptoms

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Pyrrole Symptoms come close to numbering in the 100’s and most of the advice you’ll find on reducing or alleviating symptoms involve taking supplements.  Problem is, Pyrrole is not a simple disorder to work with or treat. There are so many co-factors and conditions that influence the symptoms that an individual might experience that there is no one size fits all treatment when it comes to supplementation.

5 Simple things you can do to reduce pyrrole symptoms that aren't taking supplements
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Take time out to reduce stress

Oxidative Stress & Pyrrole

Oxidative Stress and free radicals have recently become ‘trendy’ terms you hear thrown around particularly in the anti-ageing realms (cosmetic and health and nutrition companies use it often).  But what exactly is it?

The process of oxidation happens as our bodies metabolize (or process) the oxygen that we breathe and our cells produce energy from it. This process also produces free radicals –that interact with other molecules within our cells resulting in damage (or stress) to nearby cells, mitochondria, and DNA.

Oxidation happens under a number of circumstances including:

  • when our cells use glucose to make energy
  • when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and creating inflammation
  • when our bodies detoxify environmental pollutants such as pesticides and cigarette smoke

In fact, there are millions of processes taking place in our bodies at any one moment that can result in oxidation and the creation of free radicals.

Reduce Pyrrole Symptoms by eating foods high in antioxidants
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Eat foods high in antioxidants

What’s the problem?

Free radicals are normal and necessary to some degree. In addition to causing some damage, they also stimulate repair. It is only when so many free radicals are produced, and they overwhelm the repair processes, that it becomes an issue. That is what we call oxidative stress.

Because the free radicals resulting from oxidation damage cells, proteins and our DNA (genes) and because oxidation itself is such a common process, the damage it can cause is significant. It is known to cause aging, gray hair, wrinkles, arthritis, decreased eyesight, and even cancer.

So, how can you tell if oxidative stress is occurring in your body (even if you don’t have Pyroluria)? Here are five signs to look out for:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Memory loss and/or brain fog
  3. Muscle and/or joint pain
  4. Wrinkles and gray hair
  5. Decreased eyesight
  6. Headaches and sensitivity to noise
  7. Susceptibility to infections

At its very base Pyrrole Disorder is a result of excess oxidative stress. With pyroluria, some of the by-products of the synthesis of haemoglobin called kryptopyrroles are produced in excess by the liver and not fully excreted in the urine. These kryptopyrroles (more specifically hydroxyhemoppyrrolin-2-one or HPL) are normally harmless. However, if the HPL in your body builds up to an excessive level, the HPL binds to zinc and vitamin B6, and also blocks the receptor sites for these two nutrients. The HPL-zinc-B6 complex is then excreted in the urine. The result is a major deficiency in Vitamin B6 and Zinc and to a lesser degree in other nutrients such as gamma linolenic acid (GLA), niacinamide, biotin, and sometimes manganese and other B-vitamins.

This, of course, means the obvious thing to do is supplement with vitamins and minerals to support the body to get the level of nutrients it needs – and you should under the supervision of a medical professional with experience in treating Pyroluria.

Reduce Pyrrole symptoms by avoiding toxins
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Avoid toxins like cigarettes to reduce Pyrrole symptoms

there is more you can do

So it’s pretty obvious that when you have Pyrrole disorder your body is already fighting an uphill battle against oxidative stress.  There are ways though that you can help reduce your body’s creation of oxidative stress.  Some of these tips involve what you put in and on your body and others involve being aware of factors in your environment.

  1. Look at your diet. There is no specific ‘pyrrole diet’ that you can follow.  Primarily the best thing you can do is eat foods that are high in zinc, B6 and  GLA’s.  However, one of the best things you can do is reduce sugar and processed foods in your diet.  Processing sugar in the body causes high amounts of oxidation. Processed foods can contain high levels of sugar and chemicals which create oxidation.  Also eating large and infrequent meals can worsen oxidation so it can help to eat smaller meals more often.
  2. Prevent infections in the body.  When your immune system is working overtime to fight infection it’s throwing off a lot of oxidation which is why when you get sick you feel fatigued. Having a good strategy to avoid colds and infections will help you avoid this.
  3. Avoid toxins. Choose organic foods when possible, avoid cigarettes, artificially scented products (room fresheners, laundry dryer sheets, fabric softeners etc) exhaust fumes, plastics, off-gassing from carpets and furniture. Check your personal care and cleaning products and switch to more natural or homemade alternatives.
  4. Increase antioxidants as they counterbalance oxidation.  Eat foods that help promote the production of powerful antioxidants such as glutathione.  It’s created in the body through 3 amino acids – glycine, glutamate and cysteine and contains sulfur which makes it effective.  Foods that will help in its production are asparagus, peaches, walnuts, spinach, and tomatoes.  Good sulfur foods are garlic, onions, avocados and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale,  cabbage and collard greens.
  5. Sounds obvious, but allow time for stress reducing activities.  Build breaks into your day and give your body a chance to repair and recover.  Activities such as exercise, meditation, journaling, walking in nature, watching funny movies or talking with friends can all help reduce stress.

Following these steps in conjunction with appropriate supplements can help you reduce Pyrrole symptoms.


Woody R. McGinnis, Tapan Audhya, William J. Walsh, James A. Jackson, John McLaren-Howard, Allen Lewis, Peter H. Lauda, Douglas M. Bibus, Frances Jurnak, Roman Lietha, Abram Hoffer. Discerning the Mauve Factor, Part 1. Alternative Therapies, Mar/apr 2008, VOL. 14, NO. 2.

Fendri C, Mechri A, Khiari G, Othman A, Kerkeni A, Gaha L. Oxidative stress involvement in schizophrenia pathophysiology: a review. (in French). Encephale. 2006;32(2 Pt 1):244-252.

Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 194586, 15 pages Strategies for Reducing or Preventing the Generation of Oxidative Stress










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Tammy Rose-Townsend

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