What is porphyria caused by?
These disorders are usually inherited, meaning they are caused by gene mutations link passed from parents to children. If you have porphyria, cells fail to change chemicals in your body—called porphyrins and porphyrin precursors—into heme, the substance that gives blood its red color.
What is porphyria vampire disease?
Overview. Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is a type of porphyria or blood disorder that affects the skin. PCT is one of the most common types of porphyria. It’s sometimes referred to colloquially as vampire disease. That’s because people with this condition often experience symptoms following exposure to sunlight.
What part of the body does porphyria affect?
Porphyria occurs when the body cannot convert compounds called ‘porphyrins’ into heme. While all tissues have heme, those that use it the most are the red blood cells, liver and bone marrow. Porphyria can affect the skin, nervous system and gastrointestinal system. More women than men are affected by porphyria.
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.
Can you live a normal life with porphyria?
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.
Can porphyria cause weight gain?
“Unfortunately, because of the therapeutic high carbohydrate intake, patients with hepatic porphyrias are prone to weight gain. Losing excess weight is very difficult for some of these patients because of fasting-induced acute attacks.