Is This Genetic Condition Causing Your Depression, Fear, Social Anxiety or Addiction?

Is This Genetic Condition Causing Your Depression, Fear, Social Anxiety or Addiction?

A few weeks ago in my blog on how to know what supplements to take, I mentioned a condition called Pyroluria and how it intensifies depression, anxiety and irritability. I also mentioned how someone with Pyroluria probably DOESN’T need to supplement with fish oil.

This week, I want to give you the run down on exactly what this genetic condition is and what to do if you suspect that you have it.

Pyroluria is an inherited condition caused by the inability of a brain and body to sufficiently acquire & use enough Vit B 6, Zinc and Iron. This sounds fairly innocuous but if YOUR brain is “hungry” for these nutrients it can be the cause of your depression, anxiety, addictions or bad moods. Attempts to “treat” your depression and anxiety with solutions that work for other people have probably failed you, and this has left you feeling like it’s hopeless to feel “normal.”

But it’s not hopeless at all. If left unaddressed, Pyroluria can cause feelings of fear, social anxiety and inner tension and those feelings can INCREASE with stress, or if you exclude red meat from your diet. Don’t let that make you feel doomed! Pyroluria is easily addressed by supplementing these nutrients and if you’ve suffered from this condition your entire life, you will feel like a BRAND NEW YOU!

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Pyroluria affects 11% of the general population but is higher in groups with depression, anxiety, addictions or mood disorders. As an example – 44% of alcoholics and 30% of autistics are Pyroluric. Pyroluria is also a contributor to Bi Polar Spectrum and Schizophernia.

What does this have to do with you if you don’t suffer with any of those particular health concerns?

Your brain needs Vit B6, Zinc and Iron for many functions, but in particular, your brain needs B6 and Zinc to make neurotransmitters. If you are Pyroluric, your brain will struggle to make Serotonin and the group of neurotransmitter called Catecholamine which include Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Epinephrine.

Serotonin is the brain chemical that makes you emotionally stable and flexible, self-confident, gives you a sense of humor and is responsible for your positive outlook. If your brain is struggling to make Serotonin (and it WILL if you are Pyroluric) this explains why you:

  • have a tendency to be negative
  • are often worried and anxious
  • have feelings of low self-esteem, lack confidence or are self critical
  • have anxiety or panic attacks
  • are a night owl

And even why you are a perfectionist, neatnik, control freak or hate performing in front of a group of people.

Catecholamines are the brain chemical that give your drive, motivation, alertness, enthusiasm, energy and mental focus. If your Pyroluric brain struggles to make the “Cats”, you feel:

  • flat, bored and apathetic
  • tired and really have to push yourself to exercise
  • have difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • need a lot of sleep and still be slow to wake up in the morning
  • need caffeine or uppers to get alert and motivated

And you probably are putting on weight too easily.

I bet you are starting to understand why it is so important to identify Pyroluria if it applies to you! Without this “diagnosis” you can spend years if not DECADES where you don’t feel like yourself at all!

You can take a blood test to assess Pyroluria, but I like to keep things simple. That’s why I’m sharing the questionnaire that we use at One Whole Health that is as effective as the blood test in identifying this genetic disorder. If you answer YES to 15 or more of the following questions, it is HIGHLY LIKELY that you are Pyroluric:

  1. Have you been anxious, fearful, or had inner tension since childhood?
  2. Have you had bouts of depression and/or nervous exhaustion?
  3. Do you have poor or no dream recall, or nightmares, stressful, anxious or unpleasant repeating dreams?
  4. Do you dislike eating protein/meat or eat it only rarely, and/or feel it does not digest properly?
  5. Are you a vegetarian or vegan?
  6. Do you prefer not to eat breakfast, may experience light nausea in the morning?
  7. Do you have a poor appetite, or a poor sense of smell or taste?
  8. Do you prefer the company of one or two close friends rather than a gathering of friends?
  9. Do you tend to become dependent on one person whom you build your life around?
  10. Are you becoming more of a loner and/or avoid outside stress as it upsets your emotional balance?
  11. Do you focus internally (on yourself) rather than on the external world?
  12. Are changes in your routine (traveling, new situations) stressful?
  13. Do you feel uncomfortable with strangers?
  14. Are you easily upset (internally) by criticism?
  15. Are you bothered by being seated in a restaurant in the middle of the room?
  16. Is it hard for you to recall past events and people in your life?
  17. Are your eyes sensitive to bright sunlight and/or noise?
  18. Do you have white spots/flecks on your fingernails, or have opaquely white or paper-thin nails?
  19. Do you have frequent fatigue?
  20. Are you prone to anemia or low ferritin?
  21. Do your joints pop or tension-achy feeling between shoulder blades?
  22. Do you or a family member have thyroid issues?
  23. Do you Over-exercise (more than 1 hour a day and/or work out 7 days a week)?
  24. Do you have frequent colds or infections?
  25. Do you suffer from irregular, painful, or no menstruation?
  26. Are you prone to acne or eczema?
  27. Do you have stretch marks or poor wound healing?
  28. Do you have a tendency toward morning constipation?
  29. Do you have a definite breath and body odor (bad or sweet/fruity odor), especially when ill or stressed?
  30. Did you reach puberty later than normal (14 or older)?
  31. Do you/did you have crowded teeth and/or need braces?
  32. Do you have pale or fair skin, or palest in family, sunburns easily?
  33. Did you have upper abdominal, splenic pain (left side under ribs) and/or as a child, got a “stitch” in your side as you ran?
  34. Do you belong to an all-girl family or have look-alike sisters, or for men, is your mother from an all-girl family or has look-alike sisters or the females all tend to look alike?
  35. Do you have severe mood problems, mental illness, alcoholism/other addictions in your family?

If you answered YES to 15 or more of these questions, you are likely Pyroluric and should begin supplementation of Vit B 6, Zinc, P5P, Magnesium and Iron based on testing as well as cut back on Fish Oil and begin a GLA based essential fatty acid like Evening Primrose Oil Instead.

If you are not sure how to approach your Pyroluria, email me at

If you begin supplementation and feel INCREDIBLE . . . I want to know! Please email me to celebrate your feeling good!!

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