Treating Anxiety and Depression as a Nutrient Deficiency
Kryptopyrroluria, Pyrroles, Pyrroluria, or Mauve Factor.
The effect of nutrient deficiencies on mood balance, anxiety and depression has been widely researched and written about by Dr William Walsh PhD. His recent text book “Nutrient Power” is the one of the best biochemical documentations of his research in this area.
The general symptoms of deficiencies in some specific vitamins and minerals are wide ranging as listed below and are aggravated by stress. Skin complaints are also common such as acne or dermatitis.
The common symptoms are as follows, although it is not expected that one person will have all of them:
· pronounced mood swings
· low stress tolerance
· panic attacks
· motion sickness
· social withdrawal
· memory loss
· poor learning and concentration
· temper outbursts
· severe inner tension
· irregular menstruation
· increased sensitivity to certain noises, bright lights, certain odours
· Sensitive to the feel of certain fabrics and especially the tags inside clothing
· joint pain - specifically knee/leg pain
· restless leg syndrome
· digestive disturbances
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS
· gluten intolerance
· white spots on fingernails
· increased incidence of stretch marks
· pale skin that burns easily,
· sweet, fruity breath and body odour
· overcrowded teeth or poor appearance of tooth enamel
· creaking knees
While this list seems to be long, and can be an example of many illnesses, it can also be related to a deficiency in zinc, vitamin B6, and other related nutrients. To explain Pyrroluria from a biochemical perspective is quite complicated. Basically it is a condition, possibly genetic, where the body loses the majority of its zinc and vitamin B6 before they get a chance to use this important vitamin for the synthesis of serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical in the body that helps us balance our moods and stay calm and happy. A deficiency results in the person having feelings of unexplained anxiety, depression, OCD, poor learning and poor stress control.
Pyrroluria patients have problems producing serotonin, dopamine, GABA, nor-epinephrine, and some hormones (B6 is involved in oestrogenic and androgenic transcription responses). These patients may also have problems with regulation of sodium potassium pump function, leading to alterations in cell signalling.
People with this condition seem to use up their zinc stores quickly, leading to problems with hair, skin and nails, joints, varied digestive problems, and a poor immune system prone to frequent coughs and colds.
Other nutrients are also commonly found to be deficient, such as omega 6 GLA, biotin, magnesium, manganese and others at a varied level depending on the individual. The biochemical explanation is that it is an imbalance of abnormal haemoglobin synthesis. Haemoglobin holds iron in the red blood cell. During the synthesis of haemoglobin, there is a by-product created called Kryptopyrrol -OHHPL (hydroxyhemoppyrrolin-2-one). Individuals that make excess levels of OHHPL will tend to bind and block receptor sites to the Zinc and Vitamin B6.
The result is major deficiency in Vitamin B6 and Zinc, with a wide spectrum of mental and physical symptoms.
Because the deficiencies cannot be replaced by diet alone, it is important to supplement with a high dose compounded formula. This formula needs to be made up according to that person’s particular level of pyrroles, zinc levels, copper levels and whole blood histamine levels, and other health issues.
The pyrrole test is a urine test done by a specifically equipped and trained laboratory. Supporting blood tests for nutrient deficiencies are also done. I have found that my patients benefit hugely from testing and treatment for pyrroles and their related problems.
It is important to emphasise that the treatment needs to be completely holistic, rather than just a bottle of vitamin B6 and Zinc tablets as a “magic pill” for all illnesses. Gut health, diet and food intolerances also need to be addressed. Leaky Gut Syndrome, IBS, food sensitivities, and many digestive problems are widespread in sufferers of Pyrroluria and a common factor in driving up blood Pyrrole levels. Zinc deficiency increases bowel permeability (Leaky Gut syndrome). The apparent lack of serotonin, the anxiety, OCD and others mood imbalances place a further load on gut health through the gut brain connection.
Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer of the Pfeiffer Institute has done a great deal of research into Pyrroluria. To quote from him…"Many great people in history have shown the signs of Pyrroluria. Among them are the poet Emily Dickinson and the scientific philosopher and discoverer Charles Darwin. Their life stories reflect many of the character traits associated with this condition. Pyrroluria—the reason for adult withdrawal and seclusion? Reflections on the meaning of life and death were the two major influences in the life works of both Emily Dickinson and Charles Darwin." Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer.
If you (or your child) would like to book in for a consultation with the intention of being able to be tested for this condition, simply book a consultation.