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Anxious? Cranky? Forgetful? Trouble sleeping? You may have a pyrrole disorder.

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Whilst being anxious, cranky, forgetful and an insomnia may sound like every parent you could be something more. Pyrrole disorder (also known has pyroluria or pyrroles) is a chemical imbalance that affects at least 10% of the population and impacts our mood and stress levels.

Pyrroles makes us cranky, sleep-deprived stress buckets.

Whilst we all have pyrroles, really high levels lower our ability to handle stress and remember stuff (like where I left my airpods!). These pesky pyrroles deplete our bodies of the B6 and zinc needed to manage stress, keep our anger in check, digest our food, sleep, run a healthy immune system and even tan. Some of us are unlucky enough to born with high pyrroles; others experience high pyrroles when we’re stressssed. Pyrroles affect about 70% of people with depression.

This super frustrating condition has a very long list of symptoms – most are not too strange but some pretty odd. Symptoms include anxiety, depression, volatile mood (i.e. flying off the handle easily), crappy memory, fatigue, digestive issues, allergies, chronic infections/viruses, yeast infections (urgh!) and additions. Some slightly stranger (but still common) symptoms include not remembering your dreams (or having bad dreams), being sensitive to light, difficulty tanning, going grey early and having crooked bottom teeth. You don’t need to have all of these issues to have a pyrrole disorder.

So if you’re a tired, cranky, insomniac who flies off the handle every time your kids forget to use the dishwasher or you have a memory like Dory from Finding Nemo, your body could be dealing with high pyrroles . The good news is supplementation with specific forms of B6, zinc and other nutrients tailored to your needs can usually turn cranky, anxious, short-tempered insomniacs into well-rested, calmer and happier individuals (although it won’t get your kids to use the dishwasher).

Want to talk to someone about mood, nutrition or to see if you might have a pyrrole disorder? Penny Dillon is a counsellor and nutritionist who's passionate about mood and food. She also has a special interest in pyrrole disorders.

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