What is porphyria?
A person with porphyria has abnormally high levels of porphyrins in the bloodstream. Porphyrins are molecules that the body uses to make hemoglobin. High levels of porphyrins are toxic to the brain, nerves, skin and gastrointestinal tract.
What are the symptoms of porphyria?
Symptoms of porphyria vary greatly with the type of porphyria. Symptoms of porphyria may include abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, depression, muscle aches, and limb pain. Skin symptoms of porphyria may include a red rash and blisters.
How does the doctor treat porphyria?
Treatment for porphyria includes avoiding iron supplements, alcohol, and exposure to the sun. Additional treatment for porphyria may include medications and surgical removal of the spleen.
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