Cryptopyrroluria – forgotten metabolic disease


The history of the cryptopyrroluria began in the late 1950s with the search for a substance to the declaration of schizophrenia. Kuklinski (MD), a specialist in internal medicine, began his research 30 years ago in Leipzig. With the beginning of the 80s, a research group was created at various universities, to reduce in the long term absenteeism in the factories in East Germany. Money for medicine was scarce. The sick leave in the state-owned enterprises should be reduced.

Looking for the cause of disease, the research team met with cryptopyrroluria as a significant risk factor for diseases that forms especially in the second half of life.

As we know today, every tenth German suffering with this metabolic disorder without knowing it.

In the following decades, different researchers concerned with the identification of the chemical structure and the development of laboratory tests for the detection of the secreted substance, the consequences for the organism and treatment concepts.

Cryptopyrroluria is not an independent disease, but a mostly inherited metabolic disorder associated with abnormal bile acid synthesis.

Bile acids consist of pyrrole rings, which are excreted in incomplete synthesis as individual substances in the urine in high concentrations.

High pyrrole lead to vitamin B6 and zinc deficiencies, but also many other substances are reduced because the incomplete pyrrole bind them and excrete in the urine.

In a cryptopyrroluria there is an increased incidence of cryptopyrrol. This can be detected with a simple urine test.

Cryptopyrroluria can cause a variety of symptoms and diseases that occur in different forms and combinations, because the body responds individually to the shortage.

Many symptoms can be derived directly from the deficiency in the body. In addition, the enrichment of pyrroles and porphyrins in the organs due to the disruption of heme synthesis by Kamsteeg can lead to toxic effects, which may be manifested by symptoms of central, peripheral or autonomic nervous system, skin or gastrointestinal tract. As usual on cryptopyrroluria applies the lack of stress tolerance.

The following organs or organ systems can be affected by symptoms:

  • Brain / nervous system / psyche with, inter alia, headaches, migraines, insomnia, chronic fatigue, lack of stress tolerance, mental health problems and learning disabilities of various kinds, lack of dream recall and other neurological symptoms
  • Eyes with, inter alia, macular degeneration and night blindness
  • Immune system with, inter alia, susceptibility to infections, chronic infections, allergies
  • Hormone system with, inter alia, development and growth disorders, decreased fertility, pregnancy complications, menstrual disorders, thyroid dysfunction
  • Digestive organs with, inter alia, symptoms of hypoglycemia, “morning sickness” adult-onset diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, various food intolerances
  • Skin, hair, nails, teeth with, inter alia, sun sensitivity, skin problems and diseases of various kinds, hair loss, white spots or horizontal streaks on the nails, bad tooth enamel
  • Musculoskeletal system with, inter alia, back and joint pain, hypermobility of joints, muscle spasms, cramps, weakness