Is Porphyria More Common In Males Or Females?

What is the most common porphyria?

Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is the most common type of all the porphyrias.

As a result of sun exposure, you may experience: Sensitivity to the sun and sometimes artificial light, causing burning pain..

What triggers 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.

Who affects porphyria?

Porphyria is rare. Doctors don’t know the exact number of people living with this condition, because many have no symptoms of the disease. However, it has been estimated that all forms of porphyria combined affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

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.

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.

What is the life expectancy of someone with porphyria?

This depends on the type of porphyria and the severity of symptoms. Most patients with an acute porphyria will not have symptoms or may have only one attack. These patients can live a normal life, particularly if they avoid triggering factors.

How is porphyria diagnosed?

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.

Where is porphyria most common?

Acute intermittent porphyria is the most common form of acute porphyria in most countries. It may occur more frequently in northern European countries, such as Sweden, and in the United Kingdom. Another form of the disorder, hereditary coproporphyria, has been reported mostly in Europe and North America.

Can I donate blood if I have porphyria?

Must not donate if: Acute porphyrias (AIP, VP and HCP) may be associated with skin lesions and raised blood porphyrins independently of acute attacks. Theoretically the recipient of the blood could develop skin lesions, and we therefore exclude anyone with active skin lesions.

Does drinking blood help porphyria?

Interestingly, the heme pigment is robust enough to survive digestion, and is absorbed from the intestine (even though the protein parts of hemoglobin are broken down). This means that, in principle, it is possible to relieve the symptoms of porphyria by drinking blood–another possible link with the vampire stories.

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.

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].