Sore throats, Pharyngitis and Tonsillitis were all symptoms for me of an underlying genetic metabolic disorder where my body was losing the vital nutrients Zinc and Vitamin B6 in large amounts.
Sometimes the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and sometimes they don’t. As there are advances in medical research there is a greater understanding of the complexity of the human body and that we as a human race are similar in many ways but there are some distinct genetic differences within the population. For me the answers to one of my greatest health challenges was found within the field of Nutritional and Environmental medicine.
My oldest daughter is now 13 years old and when she was born l started to suffer from excruciating sore throats, Pharyngitis and Tonsillitis. This had never been a huge problem for me before this time, although l did suffer from Glandular Fever when l was in my final year of Secondary School. For the next 11 years l endured the most excruciating throat pain which was sometimes isolated to the throat and at other times progressed into my lungs or made me feel miserable all over for days on end. During this time l had hundreds of Doctors appointments, consumed at least four courses of antibiotics a year and consulted with four ENT Specialists all of whom wanted to remove my tonsils.
Early on in the course of this illness l booked in to have my tonsils out but became ill with influenza and cancelled. From then on l kept delaying having the tonsils removed as the recovery was at least two weeks and l had young children to care for. To help me cope l had a special tub where l kept throat sprays, lozenges, pain medication, throat gargles and spare antibiotics. Over the years l had a few times where l was free of this illness but as soon as l got run down again it would appear. Things got so bad that l would become unwell if l had a bad sleep, got my period, exercised too hard or was worrying about something in particular. I used to nearly beg the Drs for antibiotics believing they were the answers to my health problems, never realising how they were damaging my gut health and was often so sick that l had to have Penicillin injections.
When l had my health crisis two years ago now everything to do with my health was spiralling out of control. After l had my gall bladder out and was trying to get back into working l started experiencing even more sore throats and was feeling quite desperate when a friend advised me of a Dr who practices Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. It would be an understatement to say that my whole life changed after consulting with this Holistic General Practitioner as l was experiencing so many chronic symptoms that daily living was a challenge and l recently chronicled them in a another blog post which can be viewed at: https://holisticwellnessforlife.com/my-story/my-health-journey/.
The Integrative Practitioner realised that one of my major health problems was that l was really low in Zinc in my body and that every time l had a stress of any kind my body just lost more Zinc as well as Vitamin B6 which had massive repercussions for my health and wellbeing. It was an enlightening moment and l have now been on high doses of Zinc and many other supplements for almost two years with barely a sore throat or cold. The box of sore throat remedies has gone and sometimes l can’t believe l am free of this pain and wait for the sore throat to come but it doesn’t.
I still have regular checkups with the Integrative General Practitioner for all the daily supplements l take, with blood tests every few months to check my Zinc and Copper levels. Supplements alone are not the only answer to treating this Pyrolle disorder with a massive change in my diet, exercise patterns and life balance also required.
Pyroluria is a familial condition meaning that it can run in families and all three of my young children have now been diagnosed and are taking supplements on a daily basis. It can take several years to build up the stores of Zinc in the body and to address other nutritional deficiencies that are present due to this condition. The improvement in my health so far has been astounding as I have an amazing energy now, with increased mental, physical and emotional resilience. I follow a Paleo diet and Primal lifestyle and am working on life balance constantly as my needs change. The supplements are also reviewed on a regular basis as my health improves, or life circumstances warrant an increase or decrease in the Zinc dosage.
There is no cure for this metabolic condition, but l am o.k with taking supplements each day and am grateful that my children will not have to endure the years of poor health that l have had as the field of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine progresses and advances. l hope that other people who are going through similar health challenges can feel confident to seek out Practitioners where a holistic approach seeks to restore wellness in the person rather than just to manage symptoms. I feel a great sense of relief at finding out the cause of so much illness in my life and have a burden to carry in having passed this on to my children.
If you would like to locate a Practitioner who has studied and Practices in this field then visit the website of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine at http://www.acnem.org/
There are many online resources available for people who think they may have Pyroluria and improvements in health and wellness can be achieved if you are motivated and determined. Changing our habits is a great challenge though and having the support and encouragement of those around you will make this journey easier. It is important to educate yourself so you can make informed decisions about your health and finding the right Practitioner to support you on this journey is a vital component.
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