Pyrrole disorder is the elevated levels of hydroxyhermopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) found in the urine, which may affect health due to it depleting certain nutrients, including Zinc and Vitamin B6. Also known as Mauve Factor, HPL is known to increase oxidative stress.
Some conditions which are associated with Pyrrole Disorder include:
• Bipolar disorder
• Criminal behaviour
• Down’s syndrome
• Learning disabilities
For many patients who are diagnosed with Pyrrole Disorder, they may not experience any of the above conditions, however, several symptoms can be an indication of elevated pyrrole.
Signs and Symptoms can vary in the individual and can be mild, moderate or severe.
Examples of reasons to test include:
• Brain fog
• Quick to anger
• Poor dream recall
• Poor short term memory
• Sensitivity to light, sound and certain odours
• Stress intolerance
• Lack of appetite
• Leaky gut
Hair, Skin & Nails
• Dry, itchy skin and dermatitis
• Pale complexion
• Premature greying
• Stretch marks
• White spots on nails (also zinc deficiency- HPL may be marker of zinc deficiency)
Pyrrole is tested via a urine sample taken from the second void of the day or any time after. We use Applied Analytical Laboratory (AAL) for private testing of Pyrrole as this test is not available through a GP. Patients have the option of attending the lab located in Meadowbrook on the southside of Brisbane or performing the test at selected QML labs for an additional handling fee. The urine sample must not be exposed to light or heat and must be frozen immediately to ensure accurate results.
Further testing involves assessing levels of Zinc, Copper and Ceruloplasmin via the blood. Vitamin B6 may be tested in some cases but is not a very accurate measure. It is important to get a baseline measure of nutrients so that over time the risk of toxicity and the progress of repleting deficient nutrients can be monitored.
Elevated pyrrole causes nutrient depletion of Zinc and Vitamin B6 alongside increasing demands for other vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. While there is a typical treatment protocol for pyrrole, as always, the Naturopathic principle “Treat the Individual” applies. Generally Zinc and B6 are the primary nutrients to use but require prescriptive doses and dose adjustments over the treatment period.
Other things to know
• Everyone has the capacity to produce pyrrole in small amounts
• Elevated levels may occur during times of stress or poor digestive health temporarily but once elevated need to be addressed
• Sometimes treatment can resolve the issue, so retesting is important.
• For others, the severity of pyrrole requires ongoing supplement support and can be regarded as a permanent zinc deficiency.
Lastly, with an adjustment to reference ranges and improvements in the techniques of testing in recent times, your Naturopath may recommend if you have been diagnosed with Pyrrole or were treated when your result was borderline that you get a review of your current health needs.