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The Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Porphyria

The medical condition called porphyria gets its name because it occurs when porphyrins build up in the blood, which prevent heme from being produced. This is problematic to a person’s health because heme is an important part of hemoglobin that the body needs for transporting oxygen to the lungs. If a person does not have enough heme, they may end up having low oxygen levels that make them very sick. And, on top of this, they won’t have enough iron because heme is made primarily of this metal. Although porphyria is somewhat rare, it can be passed on to others genetically. So it is crucial that anyone who is at risk of developing this condition understand what symptoms that they should look out for, how the condition is caused, and some of the methods that doctors use to treat it.

Information. Many years ago, before there was an adequate understanding of what porphyria was, people often believed that those who had it were vampires with supernatural powers. That was because they tended to only come outside when it was nighttime and their urine turned red when it was exposed to sunlight. The way that they acted seemed to perpetuate the myths about the illness too because it causes hallucinations, anxiety, and strange behaviors. On top of this, the severe anemia from the lack of iron in their blood gave them pale skin and gums and a strong craving for bloody meat.

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