Is Pyrrole Disorder Affecting Your Child?

Often, if a child has learning difficulties and behavioural issues they will very quickly wind up with a diagnosis of ADHD, Autism, or another spectrum related disorder. Often, the diagnosis may be correct; however, sometimes the real problem may be Pyrrole Disorder which shares many signs and symptoms.

The statistics say that at least 10% of the population has Pyrrole Disorder. I am seeing a lot higher percentage, particularly in school aged children. Even more disturbing is the alarming numbers of children with Pyrrole Disorder mis-diagnosed as ADHD or autistic and placed on strong medication.

Pyrrole disorder is caused by the overproduction of hydroxyhemopyrrolin–2-one (HPL). This brain and nervous system toxin binds to active vitamin B6, then to Zinc and to a lesser degree biotin, manganese and vitamin B3. This prevents your child using them and causes over excretion in the urine. This leads to deficiencies in these very important nutrients.

Stress of any kind will increase production of HPL worsening deficiency symptoms. As many symptoms of Pyrrole Disorder are related to behaviour this can lead to your child’s behaviour rapidly spiralling out of control. The poor behaviour leads to a stressful home and school environment and in turn more bad behaviour.

I have also found children with Pyrrole Disorder to be lacking in many of the calming, feel good neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. These all require vitamin B6 and/or zinc for their production.

This means that in an average classroom of 30 children, at least three children will be affected and won’t be learning and behaving their best at school.

Symptoms and Traits of Pyrrole Disorder:

Pyrrole Disorder symptoms can mimic many symptoms of ADHD. This includes:

  • Poor stress control, mood swings, highly irritable, depression, anxiety.
  • Sensitive to bright lights, noises, and smells.
  • Morning nausea, aggravated by smells and tendency to skip or delay breakfast.
  • Strong and violent tempers.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • History of underachievement, reading difficulty.

Some of the other symptoms of Pyrrole Disorder will also be common deficiency symptoms such as:

Now not all people with the above symptoms will have Pyrolle Disorder and not all people with Pyrolle Disorder will have all the above symptoms.


Diagnosis of Pyrrole Disorder is done via urine. With active Pyrrole Disorder, the levels of HPL in the urine will be elevated. HPL levels will drop as Pyrrole Disorder is treated.

In my clinic I usually organise for children with behavioural problems, or a diagnosis of ADHD, or Autism to have this test.


The treatment for Pyrrole Disorder is simple, effective, and 100% dietary, and supplement based. Pyrrole disorder responds well to Zinc, activated B6, Biotin and Magnesium supplementation given at the right doses and right times of the day.

Although symptoms will reduce with supplementation, we also need to investigate diet and other factors that may be contributing to this multifactorial disorder as this is very often a sign of leaky gut, and food intolerances.

If you suspect your child or yourself may be affected by Pyrrole Disorder I can help.  Contact me today for more information about my Naturopathic consultations.