The simple question 'Is Pyroluria a myth or in fact a real health condition?' seems to have ignited a debate and confusion for online readers. As with any topic there are always conflicting viewpoints, just like climate change, immigration or religion, it seems Pyroluria is no different. On one side of the fence you have healthcare practitioners who deal with and treat people suffering from Pyroluria on a daily basis and on the other side you have uneducated, skeptical bloggers perpetuating that Pyroluria is a myth.
Before we discuss Pyroluria and whether it is a myth or real, here's a quick refresher about Pyroluria;
What is Pyroluria? People suffering from Pyroluria have an elevation of a substance in the blood called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one, which we’ll abbreviate to HPL. HPL has the ability to inhibit the absorption and increase the excretion of zinc, vitamin B6 and biotin, thus resulting in nutritional deficiencies.
One of the most common arguments put forward to dispute Pyroluria as a real condition is that there are so many potential Pyroluria symptoms. Well, this is correct, there are many potential symptoms associated with Pyroluria, but for good reason.
What people putting this argument forward fail to realise is that the biochemical roles in the body of Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Biotin are so vast and long reaching that I’m surprised there are not more potential symptoms.
Zinc is paramount for proper functioning of the immune, nervous and sexual systems and is involved in over 300 chemical reactions within the body.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems as well as being a catalyst in over 100 enzyme reactions.
Besides being of extreme importance for the nervous and digestive systems Biotin is necessary for the manufacture of fatty acids, the breakdown and utilisation of amino acids and the production of glucose from non carbohydrate foods.
Here's my favourite argument for presenting Pyroluria as a Myth. Health practitioners, who believe that Pyroluria is a real health condition, are only interested in selling supplements or a laboratory certified health test kit. Could it be that practitioners who treat Pyroluria sufferers see the benefits of helping these people live happier healthier lives? Couldn’t the argument be put forward that our well meaning doctors who see depressed patients and prescribe medication are only interested in kick backs from drug companies? I am pretty sure doctors wouldn't see it that way as they are trying to help reduce people's suffering. The sad fact about argument no. 4 is that some people believe this to be true, that they will be ripped off. This mistaken belief causes potential sufferers of Pyroluria to miss out on a correct diagnosis and successful treatment, which could dramatically improve their health and mental wellbeing.
After reading some of the websites and blog posts perpetuating Pyroluria as a Myth I notice one important piece of information. The people putting forward Pyroluria as a Myth are uneducated, with no real qualifications. There is the odd blog post that makes you think that the person writing the article is well qualified, but they are not. For example there is a blog post with the heading 'Pyroluria: Is It a Real Disease or Just a Myth?' Written by someone who calls themselves a Doctor. Sounds good and promising, but on closer inspection their credentials indicate that they are a Doctor of exercise…… seriously! An exercise physiologist helps people exercise, recover from injury and get fit, they don't treat people with Pyroluria or any real health condition and if you don't treat it, you won't understand it. So you've got to ask yourself, is the information I'm reading from a credible source or an internet troll who is only interested in scandalisation and not in helping someone with real life suffering.
For other related articles on Pyroluria, please refer to the links below;
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