Question: Why Does Porphyria Cause Abdominal Pain?

What part of the body does porphyria affect?

There are two general categories of porphyria: acute, which mainly affects the nervous system, and cutaneous, which mainly affects the skin.

Some types of porphyria have both nervous system symptoms and skin symptoms..

Does porphyria make you crave blood?

Individuals with congenital erythropoietic porphyria do not crave blood. The enzyme (hematin) necessary to alleviate symptoms is not absorbed intact on oral ingestion, and drinking blood would have no beneficial effect on the sufferer.

What does a porphyria attack feel like?

The most commonly reported debilitating symptoms are diffuse severe pain affecting the abdomen, back, or limbs; other common attack signs and symptoms include nausea and vomiting, constipation, hypertension, motor weakness, insomnia, or anxiety [1–3, 5].

Does porphyria cause madness?

Historians and scientists have long struggled to identify the cause of King George’s famous “madness.” Back in 1969, a study published in Scientific American suggested he had porphyria, an inherited blood disorder that can cause anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, confusion, paranoia and hallucinations.

How long do porphyria attacks last?

Porphyria attacks typically last 5–7 days [6], although more severe or prolonged attacks can occur, potentially causing paralysis, respiratory failure, and death [7, 8].

Does drinking blood help porphyria?

In most cases of porphyria, blood or heme transfusions can supply some relief from the symptoms, and this is still the mainstay of treatment. … This means that, in principle, it is possible to relieve the symptoms of porphyria by drinking blood–another possible link with the vampire stories.

Is porphyria an autoimmune disease?

Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) is a rare metabolic disorder that is characterized by partial deficiency of the enzyme hydroxymethylbilane synthase (also known as porphobilinogen deaminase). This enzyme deficiency can result in the accumulation of porphyrin precursors in the body.

Why is porphyria called the vampire disease?

Historically, porphyria has attracted attention as the “vampire disease”. Its symptoms include sensitivity to sunlight and discolouration of the urine. In fact, porphyrias represent a varied group of rare metabolic disorders, characterized broadly into cutaneous and acute forms.

How is porphyria diagnosed?

To diagnose porphyrias, laboratories measure porphyrins and their precursors in urine, blood, and/or stool. Testing may include measurement of one or more of the following: Porphobilinogen (PBG), a porphyrin precursor, in urine. Delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), another porphyrin precursor, in urine.

What is a porphyria attack?

Porphyria (por-FEAR-e-uh) refers to a group of disorders that result from a buildup of natural chemicals that produce porphyrin in your body. Porphyrins are essential for the function of hemoglobin — a protein in your red blood cells that links to porphyrin, binds iron, and carries oxygen to your organs and tissues.

What can trigger porphyria?

Porphyria can be triggered by drugs (barbiturates, tranquilizers, birth control pills, sedatives), chemicals, fasting, smoking, drinking alcohol, infections, emotional and physical stress, menstrual hormones, and exposure to the sun. Attacks of porphyria can develop over hours or days and last for days or weeks.

Is Porphyria a mental illness?

Acute intermittent porphyria mimics a variety of commonly occurring disorders and thus poses a diagnostic quagmire. Psychiatric manifestations include hysteria, anxiety, depression, phobias, psychosis, organic disorders, agitation, delirium, and altered consciousness ranging from somnolence to coma.

What medications should be avoided with porphyria?

Triggering agents include: barbiturates, diazepam, ketorolac, phenytoin, birth control pills and sulfonamides. Drugs that are safe to use in the perioperative period include succinylcholine, atropine, neostigmine, pancuronium, nitrous oxide, procaine, meperidine, fentanyl and morphine.

When should you suspect porphyria?

The diagnosis of acute porphyria should be suspected, especially in women who present symptoms linked to their menstrual cycles more than once in the ED. Once suspected, the diagnosis of porphyria can be rapidly established by measuring urinary PBG.

How do you test for porphyria?

Lab tests are required to make a definitive diagnosis of porphyria and to determine which form of the disease you have. Different tests are performed depending on the type of porphyria your doctor suspects. Tests include a combination of blood, urine or stool testing.