We all love our children. How could we not? Yet do you have a child who really tests you, someone whose temper tantrums go from 0 to 100 in a flash. I did and that started my search for a biochemical solution to a behavioural problem. That’s when I discovered kryptopylorria (pyroluria).

Pyroluria is not as rare as you may think. It has been estimated that 24% of children with behavioural issues or a learning disorder have pyroluria.

So what is pyroluria? No it has nothing to do with No. 25. The simple explanation is that it is a condition where, in periods of stress, the body produces something called pyrroles, which rip zinc and vitamin B6 out of the body. The deficiency of these two key nutrients results in many symptoms, one of which is the temper tantrum.

Pyrroles usually manifest in the early teens, though they can impact at a much younger age. Here are some of the many signs and symptoms:

  • White spots on nails
  • Poor wound healing
  • Poor dream recall
  • Crowded teeth
  • Joint pain
  • Low stress tolerance, easily irritated, explosive.
  • Depressed, lethargic
  • Tendency to anaemia
  • China doll face
  • Allergies
  • Reduced learning ability
  • Delayed puberty

 

It is rare to have all the symptoms, but if you or your child (yes, it is inherited) has ticked more than a third of the above symptoms, then check out the questionnaire on our website for a closer look. All the listed symptoms are a result of zinc and B6 deficiencies. They can however manifest differently in different people.

Pyroluria ca often be identified in the clinic, but in some cases, I recommend a specific lab test available to test for it.

There is a temptation to make a diagnosis based on a questionnaire or Dr Google and then just throw zinc and B at yourself or your child. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Zinc in excessive amounts is a neurotoxin and B6 often cannot be absorbed by some people. It is a bit like trying to fix that tiny leak in your bathroom without calling the plumber and ending up with a flood.

Pyroluria features strongly in people suffering from mental health issues (50% to 65%). But that is another story.

Pyroluria is not a one-stop solution for all behavioural problems and learning difficulties, but where it is an issue, it can make a startling difference.