May 26th, 2016 | Posted By: Magdalena Wszelaki | Posted in Adrenals, Anti-Candida, Articles, Estrogen Dominance, Menopause, PCOS, Thyroid

Pyroluria – How to Identify This Type of Social Anxiety

This article was contributed by Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist and the author of The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings. She is on a mission to share the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients for anxiety and mood issues.

This questionnaire will help you identify whether you might have pyroluria.

The physical and emotional symptoms below are caused by deficiencies of vitamin B6 and zinc. When you experience high levels of stress, vitamin B6 and zinc will be further depleted, so you may notice worsening symptoms and more anxiety.

Based on my review of questionnaires and results of pyroluria tests for hundreds of clients, I’ve grouped the most common or classic signs and symptoms first. I’ve also labeled the symptoms that could be directly related to low levels of vitamin B6 or zinc so you can individualize your supplements and dosages. Symptoms without these designations are due to a deficiency of both vitamin B6 and zinc. Check off any of the following signs or symptoms that apply to you:

Most Common Signs and Symptoms

1. Being anxious, shy, or fearful or experiencing inner tension since childhood, but hiding these feelings from others
2. Having bouts of depression or nervous exhaustion
3. Poor dream recall, stressful or bizarre dreams, or nightmares (low vitamin B6)
4. Excessive reactions to tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol, or other drugs, in which a little produces a powerful response (low vitamin B6)
5. Preferring not to eat breakfast, experiencing light nausea in the morning, or being prone to motion sickness (low vitamin B6)
6. White spots or flecks on the fingernails or opaquely white or paper-thin nails (low zinc)
7. Liquid zinc sulfate having a mild taste or tasting like water (low zinc)
8. Poor appetite or having a poor sense of smell or taste (low zinc)
9. Joints popping, cracking, or aching; pain or discomfort between the shoulder blades; or cartilage problems (low zinc)
10. Pale or fair skin or being the palest in the family, or sunburning easily, now or when younger
11. Disliking protein or having ever been a vegetarian or vegan
12. Being sensitive to bright sunlight or noise
13. Upper abdominal pain on your left side under the ribs or, as a child, having a stitch in your side as you ran
14. Frequent fatigue
15. Being prone to iron anemia or low ferritin levels
16. Tending to have cold hands or feet
17. Having frequent colds or infections, or unexplained chills or fever
18. Reaching puberty later than normal or having irregular menstruation or PMS
19. Having allergies, adrenal issues, or problems with sugar metabolism
20. Having gluten sensitivity
21. Neurotransmitter imbalances, especially low serotonin
22. For women, belonging to an all-girl family or having look-alike sisters
23. For men, having a mother from an all-girl family or a mother with look-alike sisters, or all the females in the mother’s family bearing a strong resemblance to each other
24. Avoiding stress because it upsets your emotional balance
25. Tending to become dependent on one person whom you build your life around
26. Preferring the company of one or two close friends rather than a gathering of friends; becoming more of a loner as you age
27. Feeling uncomfortable with strangers
28. Being bothered by being seated in the middle of the room in a restaurant
29. Being easily upset by criticism

Less Common Signs and Symptoms

30. Stretch marks or poor wound healing (low zinc)
31. Crowded upper front teeth, many cavities, or inflamed gums or wearing braces (low zinc)
32. Bad breath and body odor (or a sweet, fruity odor), especially when ill or stressed (low zinc)
33. Being prone to acne, eczema, herpes, or psoriasis
34. Reduced amount of hair on your head, eyebrows, or eyelashes, or prematurely gray hair
35. Difficulty recalling past events and people in your life
36. Focusing internally, on yourself, rather than on the external world
37. Tending to have morning constipation
38. Tingling sensations or muscle spasms in your legs or arms
39. Feeling stressed by changes in your routine, such as traveling or being in new situations
40. Your face looking swollen when you’re under a lot of stress
41. Cluster headaches or blinding headaches
42. One or more of the following: a psychiatric disorder, schizophrenia, high or low histamine, alcoholism, learning and behavioral disorders, autism, or Down syndrome

If you check off 15 or more items, especially the more common ones, it’s highly probable that you have pyroluria and will benefit from taking zinc and vitamin B6 supplements. I encourage you to be tested, but if this isn’t possible, or even if you don’t have pyroluria, supplementing with zinc and vitamin B6 may be worthwhile if you have a large number of these symptoms.

This questionnaire is based on my experience working with many clients with pyroluria, along with information from Depression-Free Naturally (2001), by Joan Mathews-Larson, Nutrition and Mental Illness (1987), by Carl Pfeiffer, and Natural Healing for Schizophrenia and Other Common Mental Disorders (2001), by Eva Edelman.

I start my clients with zinc (30 mg), vitamin B6 (100mg) or P5P (25mg) and evening primrose oil (1300mg), plus a good multi-vitamin (with manganese and no copper) and a multi-mineral and sometimes additional magnesium.

For the zinc I have found that zinc without copper to be very well absorbed by most of my clients. Using the liquid zinc sulfate/zinc status test is a useful way to assess your zinc levels (see link below).

We increase zinc based on the zinc test and the vitamin B6 based on dream recall. And obviously social anxiety symptoms too.

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of Every Woman Over 29, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Learn how to nourish your body and balance your hormones without calorie restriction or deprivation. Get my cookbook, Cooking For Hormone Balance, here.

Magdalena’s note:

The zinc I use is Wellena Zinc Complete.  It also contains no copper and has vitamin B6 which is a great fit for conditions such as pyroluria. This formula contains 50mg of B6 and Trudy’s recommendation is 100mg per day. You can add that dose from B Maximus, see below.

An excellent option for a complete B complex is our very own B Maximus, which contains vitamin B6.

To learn more about how to balance your hormones with supplements (and which to take), you can download our FREE Supplement Guide here.

52 Comments to Pyroluria – How to Identify This Type of Social Anxiety

      • Hi VZ, Lyme disease is diagnosed with a blood test. See a functional doctor that specializes in lyme.

    • I have had great success for hot flashes/cold chills by using Ultra Gamma E Complex by Designs for Health and Ayur-Ashwagandha, Douglas Labs

    • Hi Melanie,
      Tests and procedures used to determine whether you have an H. pylori infection include: Blood test. Analysis of a blood sample may reveal evidence of an active or previous H. pylori infection in your body. However, breath and stool tests are better at detecting active H. pylori infections than is a blood test. I hope this is helpful.
      Angela HB Team

  1. Wow! I definitely have this “condition”. I am so grateful for this article and knowledge ! Very detailed and resolution is simple.
    I do have one question: What would be the circumstances where you would choose vitamin b6 /zinc over primrose oil and the P5P and vice versa … and are the situations where you would do all 4? I love the primrose oil option.. what is P5P?

  2. If someone has this condition, how is this affected if they have the MTHFR gene mutation. I would think it would be affected and you have to use special vitamins such as the methyl vitamins.

    • I am curious why there is no,response to this question about MTHFR. I too have the C677 MTHFR mutation.

    • I can’t tell you the exact way the methylation issue is affected, but I can say you will want to use the ‘activated’ form of B6, which is what the P-5-P is. If you don’t’ take B12 injections, you will want the methylcobalamin form of B12. A good product is Pure Encapsulations “B Complex Plus”.

  3. Wow! Very interesting article! I too, am curious about the affect that MTHFR has in regard to the B6. I have 1298 homozygous the not so great kind. Can someone with MTHFR just take B6 with nothing else and metabolize it properly?
    Also, why do you recommend the evening promise oil? And can you share the multi Vitamin that you mention you use with your clients? Thank you!

  4. Could your Zinc Complete capsule be opened and contents halved for a 60 lb child with Pyroluria? It’s very hard to find high quality B vitamins for children

    • Hi Mary ,

      We cannot make pediatric recommendations. Please check with your practitioner to see how they would advise. Thank you for understanding. ~HB Team

  5. What does it mean if I am having an increase in hot flashes at night after starting Fem-Guard /Balance by Designs for Health. I’m trying to taper off my usage of 1/2 patch 0.075mg estradiol patch once a week. Thought the supplements would help but I’m experiencing hot flashes and headache. I have Hashimoto’s, eat well, but have had a hysterectomy. Life is walking over my face with acne! No dairy, no grain, no sugar!! Increased facial hair.

  6. Can’t find the link to more info on the liquid zinc sulfate/zinc status test ???

    • Hi Kari,

      What are you looking to find out please? Essentially, a lack of taste or a delayed taste perception in the mouth may indicate a possible zinc insufficiency. If an immediate taste perception occurs, the zinc status may be adequate. ~HB Team

    • I read that it is actually common for people with B6 deficiency to have high blood levels of B6 “because the vitamins build up in the bloodstream, where they are measured, but the vitamins can’t get into the cells where they are needed”.

      • Hi Jesse,
        Yes, that could be indicated if they are not being absorbed. Good point ~HB Team

  7. While I highly respect Trudy Scott the comment above pyroluria has absolutely nothing whatsever to do with Pyloric acid

  8. Taking B6 above the RDA can cause small fiber neuropathy and results are long lasting. B6 isn’t as water soluble as people think it is and symptoms for B6 deficiency and toxicity are similar. B6 toxicity can cause muscle pain, weakness, numbness, tingliness, twitching, dizziness, etc. Be careful!

  9. I, too would love to add zinc and B6 but have the MTHFR gene mutation A1298C and would like to know about getting zinc and B6 into my body to help me. Is there an answer from the experts?

    I am adding brazilnuts, pumpkin sees, almonds and sunflower seeds of the organic kinds. But what from the experts…

    • Hi Melissa,
      This is something to go over with your practitioner or someone else that you deem to be an expert. This article was contributed by Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist, is the author of The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings ~HB Team

  10. Can also be due to autism. I have Asperger’s, in support level 1 of the autism spectrum. Too much social activity tends to stress me. I need alone time to recharge. i tend to miss social cues as well and have sensory issues with touch, proprioception, and sound. What i need is a manner in which to release all my stress without affecting others. It tends to build up, and if I don’t release it at some point, it’ll all come out as a meltdown.

    • Hi Crystal,
      We appreciate you sharing on this. Are you doing anything nutritionally to address this as well? ~HB Team

  11. I have this condition. Positive urine sample. Had severe anxiety.. and panic attack… Zink and P5p made me a new person!!!

    My husbands affair kick started it, but I have had anxitey and panic attack after traumas other times in life….

  12. I think my son (6) has this. I would like to start these supplements to see if it helps him. Would I cut the dosage in 1/2?

    • Hi Liz,

      It is very good that you are addressing this with your son. We cannot make pediatric recommendations. It is strongly suggested that you consult a trusted practitioner on this concern. Wishing you all the best ~HB Team

  13. Remember to be careful and consult with your doctor with taking excess b6 or zinc.

    I took my first 100mg b6 3 days ago, and waked up 3:40 at night with strange feeling.

    I contienued to vomit next 4 hours with such power it was hard to gasp air.

    Everytime i tried to drink water, eat little bit of banana/apple to get energy, its was time to vomit again. I had no powers to even walk around or stay on my feet.

    All I could do was to lay in bed 3 days. I also felt so damn cold even thou I had beanie, 2 blankets and clothes on.

    I promised myself that if i would get through this, I would warn others.

    So here we are. This is one of the first sites that come up with seach words “pyroluria B6” so I decided to share my experience to highlight that;
    even thou our biology is programmed to find one-thing-solves-all -solutions to our problems and to fall into cognitive bias; taking +7142% doses of any vitamin should alway been taken with supervision of doctors.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience w/ us Julia. I’ve had trouble in the past taking zinc supplements which always make me extremely nauseaus & then very weak &tired. So even if it’s possible I may need to supplement (due to a weak immune system, thin, brittle nails, etc.) I need to be very cautious as well to the quality & quantity of these supplements (zinc & probiotics in particular). I also had a similar problem getting very sick( vomitting) for 2 days & not being able to hold anything down after taking a women’s blend of probiotic. After that my white & red blood cell count went down & have not been able to get them back up to normal range since then! So we must be so careful before taking supplements as well!
      Hoping nevertheless that we can all find good solutions & therapy for stronger immune systems, peace & balance! Best,

      • Hi Isabel,

        We appreciate you sharing your experience and thoughtful response on this page. ~HB Team

        • No problem at all. I believe it is always good to share our experiences with others to help in avoiding future troubles for others. Sorry for my delayed response – I am just finally seeing this online today! Best wishes of good health to you all, Isabel A.

    • I read online that if one has Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, taking B6 and zn before treating the Adrenal Fatigue can make one sicker. A Dr. Lam article online. Reading his article might help those who have worsening reactions when taking B6 & zn.

      • Hey Robin,

        This article is referring to pyroluria, not adrenal fatigue. However, we have a great article on adrenal fatigue if you are interested in learning more. We would be happy to check out the article you are referencing. Please forward it to [email protected]

        Healthy Regards,
        HB Team

  14. Any suggestion for a neutral zink supplement? I cannot take taurin, that’s too stimulating for me.

  15. I just took the urine test and have Pyroluria … this article is very informative. Thank you!

    • Hi Rebecca, we’re glad that you found it informative and hope that you’re working with a trusted practitioner to support you. Let us know if you’re interested in any additional information. ~HB Support

  16. My vitamin B levels are very high so I stopped taking my vitamin. I honestly think my body just isn’t absorbing it. I have a lot of the symptoms listed, will zinc alone help? I will of course check with my PCP to make sure it’s safe to take with my other meds but would love to hear your thoughts on if it will work alone as well as how to get my body to absorbed the vitamin B. Thank you, Jessica H

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