Pyroluria is a social anxiety condition, where specific physical and emotional symptoms are caused by deficiencies of vitamin B6 and zinc. As well as feeling anxious, shy, or fearful or experiencing inner tension since childhood (and often hiding these feelings from others), digestive symptoms are common.
I discuss this condition, connecting the dots with digestive issues and low zinc, with my friend and colleague, Summer Bock, on the virtual conference called Better Belly Project 2.0:
We talk about some of the digestive symptoms we see with pyroluria:
- leaky gut
- gluten and other food sensitivities
- morning nausea
- poor appetite
- not a big protein eater (an aversion to red meat is common)
- stitch on your side
- morning constipation
(These symptoms and others are all listed on the pyroluria questionnaire)
I cover one possible mechanism related to low zinc, reviewing a 2016 study from Cornell University – Chronic Zinc Deficiency Alters Chick Gut Microbiota Composition and Function:
- Zinc deficiency is caused by insufficient dietary zinc (or in this instance, pyroluria)
- This contributes to a decrease in gut microbial diversity
- We see an overgrowth of bacteria because of low zinc conditions, leading to dysbiosis
- This leads to alterations in the functional capacity of the microflora – affecting zinc absorption, carbohydrate digestion and fermentation
- This causes less production of short chain fatty acids, which are compounds that are responsible for improving the bioavailability of zinc.
- Overall, these microbial effects may decrease zinc absorbability and disturb gut health, perpetuating a zinc deficient state.
We also discuss the following:
- How low vitamin B6 plays a major role in inflammation
- How low zinc impacts your connective tissue – your joints, skin and your digestive system (there appears to be a possible connection to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome/EDS, a connective tissue disorder characterized by hypermobile joints)
- How collagen and gelatin, which are being used to heal the gut, may actually be depleting serotonin levels and increasing anxiety/depression in some individuals
Summer Bock, one of the leading gut health experts, is interviewing 49 experts who are leaders in the field of digestion, nutrition, and health in this huge, week-long virtual conference called Better Belly Project 2.0: Crushing the Critters, Plugging the Leaks, & Balancing the Biome for Your Best Body Ever
Summer’s goal is to create a great resource with a few different tracks to make it easier for you to navigate the information:
- Gut Health Basics
- Gut-Brain Axis (my interview “Low zinc, social anxiety/pyroluria and the gut” is in this track)
- Wellness Professional
- Microbiome & Probiotics
This online event will provide exceptional value, knowledge, and truly life-changing insights from authors, professors, scientists, fermented foods experts, and wellness practitioners who have an understanding on how you can improve your digestive health amidst all the processed foods, antibiotics, stress and lack of probiotic-rich foods in the diet.
The dates are December 8-14th and there’s no charge to attend when you register in time for the live event.
You can see the event schedule and register here for Better Belly Project 2.0
I hope you enjoy it and get as much out of it as I plan too! I learn new information at all these online events too!
Do you have pyroluria and can you relate to these digestive symptoms?
Feel free to leave your questions and comments below.