Porphyria Underlying Cause
Porphyria is an inherited disease that causes abnormally high levels of porphyrins in the bloodstream. Porphyrins are molecules that the body uses to make hemoglobin. Enzymes help the body make hemoglobin out of porphyrins. In those with porphyria, the body does not make enough of one of the enzymes, which slows the production of hemoglobin and results in a buildup of porphyrin in the bloodstream. High levels of porphyrins are toxic to the brain, nerves, skin and gastrointestinal tract.
Other conditions may trigger symptoms in someone with porphyria.
Conditions that may trigger porphyria include:
Medications that may cause symptoms of porphyria include:
Continue to Porphyria Types
- Anderson KE, Bloomer JR, Bonkovsky HL, Kushner JP, Pierach CA, Pimstone NR, Desnick RJ. Recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of the acute porphyrias. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Mar 15;142(6):439-50. 
- Badminton MN, Elder GH. Management of acute and cutaneous porphyrias. Int J Clin Pract. 2002 May;56(4):272-8. 
- Elder GH, Hift RJ. Treatment of acute porphyria. Hosp Med. 2001 Jul;62(7):422-5. 
- Gonzalez-Arriaza HL, Bostwick JM. Acute porphyrias: a case report and review. Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Mar;160(3):450-9. 
- Kauppinen R. Porphyrias. Lancet. 2005 Jan 15-21;365(9455):241-52. 
- Sassa S. Diagnosis and therapy of acute intermittent porphyria. Blood Rev. 1996 Mar;10(1):53-8.