Am I an anxious introvert because of low zinc and vitamin B6? My response to Huffington Post blog

September 16, 2013

At the risk of making some introverts mad I’d like to propose a connection between pyroluria and introversion. Many of your introversion traits – anxiety-and-social-anxiety, feelings-of-inner-tension, not-enjoying-crowds – may in fact have a biochemical component.

There is a genetic condition that causes anxiety-and-social-anxiety, feelings-of-inner-tension, not-enjoying-crowds and it’s called pyroluria.  If you have pyroluria and take zinc, vitamin B6, evening primrose oil and a few other nutrients you will feel calm, gain confidence and enjoy being around groups of people for the first time in your life. Perhaps the same can be said if you are an introvert and you feel uncomfortable in crowds and feel anxious!?

I’m writing this blog post because of a recent Huffington Post article, written by Carolyn Gregoire and called “23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert

I am fascinated and intrigued with this article and the 23 questions because I used to resonate with being an introvert. However, since I discovered that I actually have an inherited and little-understood condition called pyroluria, I no longer resonate with being an introvert! I use zinc, vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil on a daily basis and it keeps my social anxiety/inner tension/inner monologue symptoms in check. And, it seems, my former introvert traits too!

I mention the “making some introverts mad” part because many introverts say “just leave us alone, we’re quite happy the way we are and don’t need to fixed or changed”.

But, based on the numerous comments on this very popular article– over 2500 in total as of 9/16/2013 – there are some aspects of being an introvert that many introverts would like to change.

Here are a few examples:

mr070995 is proud to be an introvert but wishes he was a little more outgoing:

“After reading this, and laughing at the fact that most of what is on this list is literally my life, I can definitely say I am an introvert. Am I sad by this, not at all! I am proud of what I am and what I’m becoming. Do I wish I was a little bit more outgoing in some aspects, of course”

junkmama2 is happy but not comfortable in a crowd:

“This is my life. It isn’t always a comfortable place to be when I must be in a crowd. But I am happy to be in my peaceful life, where calmness and quiet prevail”

HuffPoRepublican feels drained and anxious around people:

“I’m not sure what I am. I mean, I actually like to be around people at first, and I’m always up to hang out – but after the first five minutes, I feel drained and anxious to get home and return to my books. :)”

Darkace puts on a show in order to succeed in the work place:

“The hardest aspect of living life as in introvert is we all live in an extroverted world. School pushes kids to do group projects, that are just awkward and when you don’t do well in it you’re doing something wrong or something is wrong with you. The moment I step out of the door I am no longer me, I am a character that has to put on a show in order to succeed in the work place.”

BCereus fakes it when around friends and finds it painful:

“Sometimes I can communicate with friends well and sometimes I fake it really badly. I always wonder if people can see past my half smile and fake laugh. It’s painful to be honest. But there are times when I don’t mind so much.”

Here are the 23 questions in Carolyn’s article. I encourage to check them out on the blog as she goes into each one in more detail and has some great links for further reading on the topic.

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people. You would rather spend time with people you already know and feel comfortable around.

3. You often feel alone in a crowd.

4. Networking/small-talk makes you feel like a phony.

5. You’ve been called “too intense.”

6. You’re easily distracted and overwhelmed in environments with an excess of stimulation.

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.It’s likely because you’re trying to conserve energy.

11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.

12. You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation.

14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.

15. You notice details that others don’t.

16. You have a constantly running inner monologue.

17. You have low blood pressure.

18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.

19. You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

20. You look at the big picture.

21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”

22. You’re a writer.

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.

I’d love to hear from you if you read Carolyn’s article and resonate with being an introvert and the 23 questions.  Please comment below and tell me which of the introvert qualities you identify with? numbers are fine – so for example, just say #s 1, 4,5,6,7,8, 13-18, 20-23 = total of 18

Would you please also take a look at this pyroluria questionnaire from my book “The Antianxiety Food Solution” and let me know how you score?  Again, which numbers and total score.   I get that this may not apply to all introverts but I would love to know how prevalent this is.
 

If you are an introvert and struggle with crowds or networking, feel anxious and have the busy mind and inner monologue, you may possibly find some relief with the pyroluria protocol!

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

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178 Comments on "Am I an anxious introvert because of low zinc and vitamin B6? My response to Huffington Post blog"

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Annie
Annie

Wow! Can I identify with a lot of these qualities! In the past I’ve taken a B complex supplement, but then I had adverse effects. Not sure if the dosage was too high or what. What is the minimum dose of B6 you’d recommend?

Monica
Monica

What dose do u recommend for Vit B6 and zinc for social aniexity ?

Annie
Annie

Thanks for replying!

The numbers on this page that I identify with are: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, & 23. And I’d say more so as I age.

Then on the other questionnaire, I identify with: 1-6, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 24-29.

I checked and looks like I took a B12 vitamin, 1000mcg made by NatureMade. I did not feel like myself when I took it…like my mind was revved up.

Annie
Annie

Sounds great…thank you!

Sue Painter
Sue Painter

OMG I don’t have ALL of the 23 traits but I do have many of them. I laughed out loud about “would rather speak in front of 500 people than make small talk” that is SO me. I’m already taking zinc and B6 thanks to you.

Mary Ellen Miller
Mary Ellen Miller

Trudy, I am not only an extrovert I am in that odd 5% who is a “WOO” (winning others over according to Buckingham and Clifton): a person who actually enjoys being dropped in a crowd of strangers. However I do have introverted clients and friends so I appreciate your insights. I hadn’t thought about it being an extrovert’s world before.

Jessica
Jessica

I’d have to say it’s safe to say I am NOT and have never been an introvert (I just said that out loud to a paper bag… see? I’ll talk to anyone and anything, pretty much anywhere). But this is good info for helping my introverted clients. I will definitely share this!

Keri Kight
Keri Kight

This is very interesting as I’ve never heard of pyroluria. When I was a child, I was extremely shy, and I grew out of that as I matured into an adult. Now I definitely consider myself an introvert. I only go to parties when I know who’s hosting or know most of the people who will be there. I have to have a couple days a week where I interact with very few people. I love being an introvert. 🙂

Miranda
Miranda

Thanks for posting this, Trudy! I had no idea! I used to be an introvert- as a child. Got annoyed with it and took care of it in college by majoring in Theatre- lol. Wish I’d known there was an easier way! I never even heard of this or pondered that it could be chemical. Thanks 🙂

Ana
Ana

Did the theatre change you?

Annie
Annie

Trudy,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review my answers and get back to me with your recommendations.

I will try the B6 and am wondering about the adrenal support and neurotransmitter support you mention. What does that mean? Do I need to have testing done?

Thanks again!

Annie
Annie

Thank you Trudy! I may be calling you soon for a consultation. Your ‘every woman mood’ program sounds right up my alley!

Katherine C. H. E.
Katherine C. H. E.

When I was young, I was painfully introverted. So nice to look back and see how comfortable I am now meeting and getting to know new people. Thanks!

Love,
Katherine

Katherine C. H. E.
Author, Be True Rich

Mira Dessy
Mira Dessy

Fabulous article. Great to know that there are some straightforward nutritional supports that may help make things a little less uncomfortable for those who struggle with introversion.

Bill Painter
Bill Painter

I used to be very introverted when I was younger and now consider myself mildly introverted.according to your questionnaires 12 on the first test and 19 on the other, I still have away to go.

Heidi Alexandra
Heidi Alexandra

LOL – I love this article – I come from a family of introverts and am probably the most outgoing of them all – funnily enough there were often theatre shows I wanted to see as a kid and they said no – now I know why it was because there might be audience participation and to my family (who were all theatre performers themselves) they died at the thought of not knowing what to expect

Mitch Tublin
Mitch Tublin

Interesting article. We do learn something new everyday
about the world around us don’t we?

Tiffany deSilva
Tiffany deSilva
I think it is interesting how we stigmatize people for being “quiet” rather than “loud.” I am definitely an introvert, but this never caused me a problem because I am not shy. I’m definitely not afraid to speak to people and I smile at everyone I meet (I’m from the South). Shyness can be a sign of social anxiety. While most people who are shy tend to be introverts, not all introverts are shy or anxious. For instance, I hate small talk because I often find it boring and frivolous, not because I’m anxious about it. But I love networking… Read more »
Annie
Annie
Trudy, Your book arrived today and I am so excited to read about the Antianxiety Food Solution! Just a quick question – I am on a small dose of fluoxetine (5mg) – do you know if taking any of the B6, zinc, and other pyroluria supplements will have an adverse effect since I’m still taking an anti-depressant? I asked my dr and she said she “didn’t think so”…I was looking more for a firm “no” before proceeding. I’d like to get off of the conventional medicine altogether and looking forward to implementing your solution. Just wondering if its ok to… Read more »
Kamran
Kamran

Great article, as always, Trudy! I’m border-line and am actually, as I get older, tending to be more outgoing. Who would have thunk it? But, still, this is great information.

For the folks asking Trudy questions, if you’re considering consulting with her, she’s great! She’s very kind and patient, and extremely knowledgeable. And she’s not paying me for this comment, LOL.

Annie
Annie

Thank you Trudy!! Will do!

Julie Matthews
Julie Matthews

Certainly everyone has their own personality and some people get “energy” by being with others and some by having time alone, but when it’s preventing someone from doing something they want to, looking at biochemistry is a great place to consider. When anxiety and other emotions predominate, considering one’s personal biochemistry: pyroluria, deficiencies, and amino acid needs can really help. It’s really great to hear your experience!

Tracy
Tracy
Trudy, thanks for posting this, I had never heard of pyroluria before. I personally am really happy all this introvert stuff is quite the buzz – I actually thought something was wrong with me before learning about the real differences between the two. From the introvert list I resonate with 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23. However from the pyroluria quiz I only resonate with 3, 9, 10, 20, 22, 30. I have been working with a nutritionist who does nutrition response testing (NRT) for the last 10 months or so –… Read more »
Tanja @ Crystal Clarity
Tanja @ Crystal Clarity
Hi Trudy – thanks for posting this article. I’m a total believer in the importance of a healthy, balanced diet as one of the bases for general emotional and mental wellbeing – I don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all, but it can certainly be an important piece in the puzzle. And I absolutely support getting a blood test from your GP to check your nutrient levels if you’re worried that deficiency or malabsorption may be an issue. That said, I think it’s really important not to conflate introversion with anxiety about introversion (or indeed, about shyness or high sensitivity,… Read more »
Tanja @ Crystal Clarity
Tanja @ Crystal Clarity
PS – there’s some fascinating research that I first read about in Marti Olsen Laney’s “The Introvert Advantage”, and which I mentioned in my recent free call on how introverts can learn to promote themselves online in ways that DON’T drain their energy (http://crystalclaritycopywriting.com/introverts-guide-to-promotion-free-training-call-info.html), all about preliminary evidence for biological differences in the brains of introverts and extroverts. One study looked at the fact that extroverts tend have a much stronger reaction to the “pleasure neurotransmitter” dopamine than introverts do, while introverts tend to respond more strongly to a different neurotransmitter: acetylcholine. Another looked at the different areas of bloodflow… Read more »
Emily
Emily

I just went through your questionnaire. I checked of 27 total. (21 of the first 29) I am STUNNED….now what? I will be scouring your website for answers and solutions. Thank you for posting your comment on that Huffington Post article, I have never heard of Pyroluria. I will be sending this info to my mom, sister & daughter. I’m almost certain that we all have it.

Patricia Weber
Patricia Weber

Interesting, but I rule out nothing. I’ve checked 15 of the 23. MBTI has me as INTJ but further analysis of the score by a certified facilitator show I use a good deal of extroverting. Likely learned. Andmost recently discovered I am more of an ambivert, which many of us are along the i/e spectrum.

I see you have another article for us to look at too. I will do that.

zinc, vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil? How will you create a valid research study for your premise?

I’ll be back.

Thanks!

April
April
Hi Trudy! Thank you for all the good information. I have never been considered an introvert. I do tend to get “charged” by being in a crowd. BUT, I also tend to make a fool of myself in a crowd and more and more I tend to avoid crowds. When I was a child, I was often told “you are very mature for your age–from the age of 7 y/o. I: have slowly come to realize over the years (I’m 57) that I have lived under a heavy burden of stress all my life. I went through your Pyroluria &… Read more »
April
April
Thank you, Trudy. It is odd, isn’t it, that I would score so high. No one who knows me would think of me as an introvert. I was raised to “be up front” and act with confidence in any situation. I tend to be a clown sometimes and other times just very outspoken. Nevertheless, I know I am an emotional wreck inside. It is difficult to know how to “act” in any given situation. By God’s grace alone I get by. But most of the time what I really want to do is be a recluse. It is at least,… Read more »
April
April

Trudy, I do have a question about GABA.
I have some GABA powder I have had for several years. Does it go bad? I’ve been using it recently but am unsure about it. :-/

Your kind attention to all us is more than sweet.
Blessings!

April
April
Hi Trudy! Just a brief update. I’ve been taking about 2500mg GABA at night the past 2 nights. And both yesterday and today I feel more rested, more awake, than I have for a very long time. YAY! I thought I had B6, but can’t find it. I already take Zinc 50mg every day. I’m going to try doubling it for awhile and see what happens. I’ve been a virtual experiment for about 20 years :-/ so I’m quite used to the “try it and see what happens” scene. I haven’t been able to read your other blogs yet, will… Read more »
Victoria
Victoria

I resonate so much with this. So much that I wrote down my the numbers that didn’t sound like me – from the 23, 7,8,17 & 22. From the other article, 4,7,13,15,18,20,22,30,34,37,38,40 & 42. My anxiety and depression seems to be getting worse and I’m worried about standing up in front of 150 people for my wedding. I get so nervous sometimes that I can’t control my digestive system. I’m not sure where to start as to the amount and what brands of vitamins I should get. Any suggestions?

April
April

Re: Dosage of GABA
Trudy, I really meant 2500 mg. My bottle of GABA powder (Source Naturals) says 1/4 tsp. (approx750mg) is the recommended dose. I’m not sure why I’ve been taking a tsp, which is closer to 3000mg. But, truth be told, I have. I thought I had read it somewhere. Apparently it was in my dreams. I do recall having tried the 1/4 tsp at first and didn’t experience any noticeable improvement in sleep. Oh me…… Now what?

April
April
Hi Trudy I took 1/8 tsp (Source Naturals GABA powder @ 750mg per 1/4 tsp) am & pm 3 or 4 times a day for a several days, and my comfort level plummeted–hard to get to sleep & didn’t sleep well. Also, I had started having natural bowel movements with the addition of coconut oil to my diet. And that also came to a halt. So, I upped the GABA to 1/4 tsp. My ability to sleep May have slightly improved. Since you said the amt I was taking was too much, I’m at a loss as to what to… Read more »
Ann
Ann
Hi! I identify with numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 23. The questions I didn’t relate to were mostly because they were out of context in my life!! I have spent years in and out of bouts of depression and anxiety, and can always tell when my neural transmitters have become depleted. I am currently being treated for adrenal fatigue, and I’m using Thorne Adrenal Cortex. I take lots of B vitamins, Zinc picolinate, and many other supps, and I’m intolerant of gluten, dairy, potatoes, coffee, and anything else… Read more »
Jane
Jane
Here are my numbers I can relate to: Pyroluria Questionnaire from Antianxiety Solution 1, 3, 6, 11, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35, 39, 40 23 questions in Carolyn’s Article 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21 Could you tell me how much of the supplements I should take? Also could you give me the recommended dosage for my son who I believe also inherited pyroluria? Is there a pill that includes everything we would need or do we have to take multiple pills? Do you… Read more »
Cheri
Cheri

Hi Trudy –

This is SO me! Here are my results:
Pyroluria Questionnaire from Antianxiety Solution –
1,2,3,4,5,6,11,12,13,14,18,19,20,24,25,26,27,28,29,31,34,36,39,42

23 questions in Carolyn’s Article –
1,2,3,4,6,9,10,11,13,14,15,16

Marisa
Marisa

Hi Trudy,

I have just had my pyroluria test which came back positive.

For Carolyn’s article, I identified with numbers
1 2 4 6 7 8 9 13 14 15 16 17 23

For the Pyroluria Questionaire I agreed with
1 2 3 4 5 9 11 13 14 15 16 18 19 21 22 24 26 29 30 31 32 33

Debra
Debra

Hi Trudy,
For this questionnaire I marked: 3, 8,13, 15, 17, 18, 20 = 7 items. I’ll go to the other one now. Thanks for all you are doing!

Jessica
Jessica
Wow! I just listened to your interview in the Anxiety Summit and was fascinated by Pyroluria. I’ve always identified myself as an introvert even though I jumped out of airplanes and lead soldiers in the Army. I do much better in front of people than I do one-on-one. As a small business owner sometimes I think I have learned to deal with some of my introvertedness, but I can’t believe that some of my “anxious introvert” symptoms may be caused by something like this!! This would be such a relief as I am very anxious about a pending upcoming move.… Read more »
Jessica
Jessica
I am also seeing a few of the symptoms in my kids (my daughter is 9 and my son is 6). My son has a significant speech delay/ impediment so I know some of his anxiety and shyness is due to that, but my daughter is 9 and tends to be more introverted like me. I have a hard time getting her to eat meat most of the time and she wakes up with headaches and even nausea some days- and of course, I have a hard time getting her to eat breakfast before I take her to school. This… Read more »
Rita D
Rita D
Wow, Trudy, just listening to your talk, (I commented over on your Pyroluria questionare too. This questionaire I had nearly everything. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13,14,15,16,17,19,20,21,22,23 WOW! I set up a 15min consult, but don’t want to start on too much without your book. I always worry it will stir up anxiety by accident. I”m trying to come to terms with how much this applies to me, when I listened to this anxiety summit to help my boys with autism! 🙂 I am so hopeful how much this might help all of us heal. Thank you… Read more »
Ellen
Ellen
Hi Trudy – I have truly enjoyed the Anxiety Summit and although it has been a bit overwhelming getting so much new information in such a short period of time, I do feel that I have learned a lot and am grateful for all of the good information that has been shared. Thank you. I have completed the Pyroluria Questionnaire, and although I haven’t come up with a positive 15, I have identified 14 (a combination of the most common and the less common) and have a few additional items that I am not certain about. Here are the 14:… Read more »
Marisa
Marisa

Hi Trudy,

I received my pyroluria results which came back at 56.

I have started taking all types of vitamins one of which being zinc picolinate. I started with 25mg then went up to 50mg but whenever I do this I perspire all day and night.

Do you have any idea why. Haven’t asked the doctor who diagnosed the condition.

Marisa

Kel
Kel

I’m curious hear what you think. I don’t think I relate really to pyroluria but I have been looking more into nutrition. I’ve been taking magnesium suppliments to combat feeling down during pms–along with some other symptoms of low magnesium. I’ve taken some Bvitamins here and there too but not really looked into zinc before.

For the introvert list: 2,3,4,6,7,8,10,13,15,16,19,20&22=13
For the pyroluria list: 1,2,6,9,10,14,16,21,24,25,26,29=12

A few in each list are only a ‘maybe’. I might look into B6 & zinc more but I figure at least my answers may be helpful for your research. 🙂

Louise from Australia
Louise from Australia
I scored over 30. Only 3 were vitamin B6 on its own and 6 were zinc on its own so the rest 25 were both zinc and B6. I have suspected for a long time that I was zinc deficient and have been looking for a suitable supplement to take. I have low thyroid and listening to Suzy Cohen the other day, she said that being on synthetic T4 one should be taking zinc with it. Good news is that I have finally found a holistic doctor a few kilometers from my place who specializes in thyroid problems so am… Read more »
Jennifer
Jennifer

This is very interesting. My introvert numbers are 1,2,3,4,6,10, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 = 12 and for Pyroluria 1,3,4,6,9,12,13,15,16,19,20,24,25,26,27,29,32,33,35,36,38,39 = 22. I’ve always felt like an extrovert trapped in an introverts body. I did become a bit more outgoing when I switched to a Paleo diet but based on these numbers have a ways to go.

Claire
Claire
Wow, this is so interesting. It’s an old post but I just found your blog Trudy, after listening to the anxiety summit. Unfortunately I have had bouts of anxiety for the first time in my life this past year- my health just deteriorated after a bad case of food poisoning a year ago. I definately have always thought of myself as being an introvert. I always find parties and gatherings with lots of people stressful. I’ve always been shy, but more so in childhood. My introvert numbers are: 1,2,3,4,6,11,13,17,20,21,23. My Pyroluria numbers are: 1,3,5,6,8,9,10,13,14,16,17,20,22,24,25,26,27,29, 30,31,32, 33, (35),39 What do you… Read more »
Ross
Ross
Hello there, I’ve been reading about Pyroluria for a while now and I’m 99% sure I have this problem. All my life I’ve been shy and anxious around people I don’t know, and in big gatherings. I assumed I would grow out of this but I’m 23 now and showing no signs of coming out myself anytime soon. Over the past year I’ve developed anxiety and depression. I’ve always felt low in energy and enthusiasm, and this have been noticeable to others all my life. My pyroluria numbers are: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 21,… Read more »
Jonas
Jonas

Hello Trudy

I have pyroluria.

Does the evening primrose oil effect my omega 3 oil supplements?

I heard you should not take B^ and zinc in the same dosage. How do you recommend to take it?

anita
anita
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 I learned about pyroluria in “The Diet Cure” by Julia Ross. It fits me to a tee; I am so tired of being the way I am – very project oriented, reclusive, and lonely. It’s interesting to me how alcoholism runs in my family, and how much I am like my mother. Doing things for every down-and-out person she knows, and close to no one.. I hate it! Thank you for sharing your research and insights.
suparna jashnani
suparna jashnani

Pyroluria ans
#1 been extremely shy ever since I can remember. 2 depression recently.
3.
5.
6. White spots
12noise
14
15 is borderline
16 always
17 always have a cold
18 bad pm
19 allergies
20 and 21 no idea true or false
22 look alike aunts and sister
24
25 so true
26 so true
27 very true
29
30 stretch marks
32
34 hair thinning
36
41 leaning towards alcohol

Introvert ans
# 1 2 3 4 7 9 10 11 13 14 16 19 21 22-artist 23

suparna jashnani
suparna jashnani

I plan to start the magnesium zinc and primrose supplaments immediately
Where will i find the Amino Acids Mood Questionnaire
or should I just start a pill of amini acids ?

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