Since about the age of 14 I have struggled with my moods and mood swings. I never knew why. That just seemed to be the way I was made.
It actually felt quite exhausting for me to be nice. I felt like I had to wear a mask all the time just to function normally in society. And whenever I finally gave up trying to be nice, well… I was really not nice. Downright unpleasant. And that felt…right. Which is not right, is it?
I have my undergraduate degree in Psychology, and have always thought I had Bipolar Disorder. I never wanted to get myself formally diagnosed as I did not want to be medicated, and thus attempted to stay balanced through other means. I find yoga and the GAPS Diet and/or a Paleo Style Diet to be beneficial for me.
At the beginning of this year, due to extreme life stressors and other factors, I suffered a mental breakdown. I won’t get into all the gritty details but it was bad.
Very, very bad.
I can safely say I reached my lowest point.
I am so very lucky to have my family. Yes, we are a little dysfunctional and perhaps considered weird, but we take care of one another. I am so grateful to my sisters, my mum and my grandmother. And everyone else who supported me. I needed it. Very much.
I am so so grateful. Thank-you.
After my breakdown, my mother took me to a lot of appointments, did a lot of research and listened intently to advice.
I got tested for a disorder called Pyroluria.My test came back extremely positive.
This says that any level over 20 is considered elevated. Mine was 67.3.
What is Pyroluria you ask?
Pyroluria occurs when there is abnormal synthesis and metabolism of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in your blood. All body cells produce by- products or waste. The by-product of haemoglobin is a metabolite called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) which is also known as Pyrrole.
Pyroluria sufferers produce excessive amounts of these Pyrroles, which bind to/inhibit the nutrients;
-Omega 6 Fat GLA
This stops them from reaching their targets within your body and makes these nutrients unavailable to you. People with Pyroluria often suffer from very high levels of copper which can cause copper toxicity.
Conditions Associated With Pyroluria
Acute Intermittent Porphyria
Post Natal Depression
Symptoms/problems I have suffered with are:
Extreme irritability, manic and depressive moods and mood swings, suicidal thoughts, brain fog, poor short term memory (I was always losing things) brittle hair, white spots under nails, anger, temper outbursts, meltdowns, inability to calm myself, abdominal pain, digestive issues, insomnia, sore joints, difficulty waking in the morning, no appetite, morning nausea, grey hair, crooked teeth (corrected with orthodontics), and blackouts from alcohol consumption.
I saw a GP who specializes in Nutritional, Environmental and Psychological interventions. (You can visit his website here). He prescribed me some compounded vitamin supplements and I began taking them in May. (Before seeing him (he had a waiting list) I was taking individual supplements and still saw some improvement).
I had a lot of detox and “copper dumping” symptoms for about 4-5 weeks after this, but I still felt better than ever, especially my mental state.
I am still on compounded supplements, and I feel better than I have ever felt in my entire life. I am no longer so angry, irritable or depressed. I actually feel in control of my emotions. And it’s not that I have gained the ability to calm down, but that I no longer get worked up to the point of needing to be calmed down. My brain fog has disappeared and I can concentrate on tasks and not be so scattered. My hair is much healthier (still a lot of grey lol) and I even have a bit of an appetite. I will never not treat my Pyroluria.
My life is not perfect, and nor should it be, but I am so glad to be free of the moods that used to rule me.
I hope that what I have shared with you gives answers to someone who may be looking for them. I know I feel so much better, and I cannot imagine ever going back to how I felt before.
Update 29th August
I found these sites that also contain very helpful info:
Update 31st August
This online article about Copper Toxicity just about blew my mind to read: