How can heme pathway dysregulation cause issues in Autism?

Porphyria is a build up of toxins in the blood due to a heem pathway dysregulation. Porphyria are iron-containing heme which permits hemoglobin oxygen transportation in the blood. It is triggered by many things including fasting, genetics, nutrient imbalance, rapid detoxification, candida, Lyme, viruses, mold, heavy metals, glyphosate and other toxic insult. The technical name is Kryptopyrroles porphyrins, also referred to as Kryptopyrroluria (KPU).

This also triggers mast cell activation. Mast cells are types of white blood cells that help to regulate the immune system. Mast cells can determine how our bodies react to environmental triggers like sugar, pesticides, perfume, pollution, and other causes of inflammation.

Detoxifying for people with KPU must be done VERY slowly. Even the candida cleansing diet that removes sugars and processed carbohydrates can trigger a KPU response. The toxin release may also trigger an autoimmune response of PANS/PANDAS, since a Staphylococcus infection contributes to a build up of porphyrins. There is an accumulation of porphyrins and pyrrole pigments by Staphylococcus.

Some symptoms of kryptopyrroles porphyrins (KPU)

  • Rapid triggered extreme anxiety from the removal of sugars and carbs
  • heightened skin sensitivity, especially to sunlight,
  • cannot tolerate fasting or intermittent fasting,
  • panic attacks,
  • bowel issues of either constipation or diarrhea,
  • hallucinations,
  • chronic pain,
  • cannot tolerate low carbohydrate or low sugar diet/candida diet (until heem pathways are balanced),
  • very low zinc levels. A common copper to zinc ratio imbalance.
  • sleep disruption
  • abdominal pain
  • back pain

What to do for a porphyria triggered reaction

For the KPU to calm, the blood is needing some glucose, so a piece of fruit (for the sugar) should help. Since this situation is so delicate, it is alright to add in just a little carbohydrate too, temporarily, as it will help calm. In some extreme cases people are given a dextrose or glucose IV which slows the response in 10-60 minutes. A tablespoon or two of tapioca/dextrose can help calm by helping the sugar imbalance, but be sure there are no latex allergies (in the tapioca) or corn allergies (from the dextrose). This is only for severe cases. Try fruit first.

Iron supplements can make it worse because they increase inflammation and feed pathogens. Iron gets stuck in an inflammatory state so you may show either very high ferritin or very low.

Take trace and mega minerals. Among many things they help to open detoxification pathways.

Heem is iron based but plant sources of heem are not usually enough. Animal based heem foods are needed now. Some really good “heem” protein is unaged grass fed beef, or organic beef liver. You can also use organic poultry, shellfish such as clams, oysters and mussels, or line caught fresh fish such as halibut, haddock, perch, salmon or tuna. Avoid tuna due to high mercury levels.

Take some activated charcoal right away. This helps sop up the extra toxins in the system. Take it away from food for proper absorption of toxins.

Avoid sunlight. The UV rays will make the skin burn from the porphyrins that are built up there now. Skin may even blister in sunlight.

See the porphyria foundation’s drug data base to find the drug interaction of specific drugs in patients with Porphyria.


Symptoms may be your best guide. Some testing will not find it so subclinical KPU often gets ruled out by the practitioner, however, if symptoms are severe, then get tested from a reputable lab. The test to ask your practitioner for is a 24 hour urine collection from Labcorp: Porphyrins, Quantitative, Random Urine, TEST: 120980, CPT: 84120. Keep urine refrigerated during this test.

Please listen to this podcast episode #90, where Dr. Beth O’Hara and I discuss the heem dysregulation and mast cell link in detail for you.

Need Help?

Quickly Reduce Your Child’s Symptoms
of Autism by Eliminating 7 Specific Foods
that Most People Consume Daily.


Dr. Beth O’Hara’s biography

Beth O’Hara is a Functional Naturopath, specializing in complex chronic immune conditions related to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance. She is the founder and owner of Mast Cell 360, a Functional Naturopathy Practice designed to look at all factors surrounding health conditions – genetic, epigenetic biochemical, physiological, environmental, and emotional. Her subspecialties are Mold Toxicity and Genetic Analysis in the area of Mast Cell Activation and Histamine Intolerance.

She designed Mast Cell 360 to be the kind of practice she wished had existed when she
was severely ill with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Histamine Intolerance, Neural
Inflammation, Lyme, Mold Toxicity, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue. Her mission
today is to be a guiding light for others with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Histamine
Intolerance and these related conditions in their healing journeys.

Through her Mast Cell 360 Root Cause process, she discovers the unique root factors
affecting each of her clients’ health issues, building personalized, effective roadmaps for
healing. She holds a doctorate in Functional Naturopathy, a Master's degree in Marriage
and Family Therapy and a Bachelor's degree in Physiological Psychology, She is
certified in Functional Genomic Analysis and is a Research Adviser for the Nutrigenetic
Research Institute. She presents at Functional Medicine Conferences on Mast Cell
Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance as well as the use of genetics and
biochemistry in addressing chronic health conditions.

Quickly Reduce Your Child's Symptoms of Autism by Eliminating 7 Specific Foods that Most People Consume Daily

Just enter your best email address below so I know where to send your FREE guide.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Learn how you can help your child live their happiest, healthiest, and most fulfilling life!

Saturday, October 22 at 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern

Enter your information below to register for FREE:

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This