Treating pyrrole with diet
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
At the age of 56, Cathy’s chiropractor, who was treating her spine, also prescribed magnesium and B vitamins, but Cathy reacted to the B vitamins. The chiropractor suspected that Cathy may have something he had heard about called pyrrole disorder. He organised tests for Cathy, but because he didn’t really know how to treat it, he referred Cathy to an integrative doctor.
Cathy’s HPL was a raging high 307 (which was one of the highest scores I had seen at that time, although I have since seen much higher). Due to this high score, the integrative doctor prescribed super high doses of B6 and zinc, even though she told him that she previously reacted to B6. Like many of my clients, she was told to ride through the discomfort and eventually all would be better.
Cathy persevered with the high doses for two weeks and suffered from huge anxiety, which she hadn’t experienced before (apart from exams), insomnia (another new symptom), tingling fingers from the high B6, and burning urine from the vitamins trying to flush out of her system (along no doubt with some of the pyrrole). She then returned to the doctor only to be told the same thing, keep taking the same dose.
Because Cathy felt the doctor didn’t really listen to her, she looked up practitioners experienced with pyrrole disorder and found me. The first thing I did was suggest she have a break from her nutritional medication to allow her to come back to base level. Within a few days she started to feel normal again, apart from her symptoms of an aching back, neck, shoulders and headaches, which is why she saw the chiropractor in the first place.
Apart from the back problems, Cathy also had constant bloating, recurrent thrush (vaginal yeast/candida infection) and regular sore throats, something she had suffered from since she was a child.
When young, Cathy had recurrent tonsillitis and was prescribed antibiotics for nearly every month of her life until she had her tonsils removed at the age of 12. She then got recurrent chest infections and sore throats. No doubt the overuse of antibiotics affected the microbiome of her gut, which severely affected her immune system and gave her ‘intestinal permeability or leaky gut’, which we confirmed with tests.
We ran some intolerance tests which showed a strong intolerance to both dairy and wheat (gluten also showed, but not as strong as the wheat itself) plus a few other milder reactions to foods such as cashews, peanuts and oranges…and much to her disgust, chocolate.
So, a big change of diet was necessary for Cathy. We eliminated the intolerant foods and included a gut repair program, plus a candida cleanse, which included a SIBO diet for a while. We rebuilt her immune system with immune boosting foods and included foods to support pyrrole disorder. This all occurred over a five-month period and after that time she had no back pains at all (no inflammation), no headaches, no infections, heaps more energy and when we retested her pyrrole level, it was 30.
A score of 30 was still high enough to treat but certainly nothing like the original 307. We then continued to leave out the reactive foods, for the time being, and continued with the diet for pyrrole support along with a straight magnesium supplement with no extra vitamins to continue to help her back, as her work involved lifting a lot of of heavy boxes.
Six months later Cathy’s pyrrole reading was only five…very normal.
I encouraged her to continue with this diet, but every now and then when ‘things got the better of her’ she would fall in a heap again and I would discover that she had slipped up with her diet and gone back to her old ways.
She needed me to advise her to go back onto the pyrrole support diet and magnesium and to take care of herself without the late nights and eating the wrong foods. By doing this, Cathy was back on track in next to no time.
For more information about Pyrrole Disorder please click here