Depression Free, Naturally
It's Not All In Your Mind
Recognizing Biochemical Glitches
How Diet Affects Emotions
Shopping For Relief, Naturally
Soothing The Anxious Brain
Dissolving Biochemical Depression
Extremes of Histamine Imbalances
Controlling Anger, Sudden Violence
What's Keeping You Fatigued
Emotional Balance for Life
Product Information and Ordering
New Treatment For Anxiety
Why Not Use Drugs?
Beta Blockers
Defining Anxious Disorders
Pyroluria, An Inborn Mistake
HRC Pyroluria Prescreening Test
Treatment of Pyroluria
More Biochemical Reasons for Anxiety
Nutrient Dificiency and Axiousness
Rule Out Food Sensitivities

If you have battled anxiousness all your life, you are not alone. In the eighties, the National Institute of Mental Health conducted the largest study ever done on mental disorders. They found that anxiety disorders are the second most common mental health problem in the United States, second only to alcoholism/drug abuse. Surprisingly, medical intervention is rare, according to a second massive study. Over three quarters of these people never received any treatment for anxiety, despite frequent visits the their doctors.

These are some of the typical clients who arrive at our door acutely anxious and seeking relief. Each had first sought help from a psychiatrist or family physician.

* * * * *

Ben, age 24, came to Health Recovery Center, because of anxiety attacks. He complained of living with high inner tension since his teen years. Ben suffered from frequent bouts of nervous exhaustion. His eyes were sensitive to sunlight. He had acne and stretch marks on his skin. He said he tired easily but slept poorly and had little dream recall except for nightmares. A psychiatrist had given him Xanax for his anxiety, and later doubled his daily dose. Presently he felt he needed even more to get relief from his symptoms. Unfortunately, Xanax is highly addictive. Slowly it requires escalation of the daily dose needed to reduce anxiety. Ben could see he was on that road, and didn't want to add addiction to his other woes, so he called Health Recovery Center in search of more answers. Lab testing pinpointed several underlying causes of his anxiety:

1. A genetically inherited but correctable biochemical mistake that causes anxiety, called Pyroluria. Pyroluria will be explained, in detail later in this section.

2. A heavy accumulation of copper that can create anxiety in the brain. (He is a welder by trade.)

3. A sudden drop on his glucose test, into a hypoglycemic state, accompanied by nervousness, anxious feelings, and worrying.

All three of these biochemical errors would only grow worse over time. How much Xanax would he finally need in order to mask over his symptoms? If Ben continued to use drugs instead of fixing what's broken, he would be a life long customer of his psychiatrist and a full-blown addict. As he observed, his symptoms were only partially disguised by the drug. Just beneath the surface, they were still as real as ever.

* * * * *

Marge is a 35-year-old nurse who complained of anxiety, depression, and exhaustion. She has seen her doctor who ordered some medical testing but failed to find an underlying physical reason. When I looked at Marge's fingernails, I found numerous white flecks and dots. She told me she gets frequent colds and often has headaches. Although only 35, she said she is becoming more of a loner with each passing year. Her feelings of anxiousness and sadness go back to childhood. She has been on antibiotics frequently over the years for urinary tract infections. On her first visit with me, she confided that the stresses of life were simply too much for her. Lab results showed some major reasons for her struggle:

1. Marge was pyroluric, so we realized she had always suffered from anxiety and fearfulness, though she covered it up well.

2. The many rounds of antibiotics had altered her immune system and allowed heavy colonization of candida yeast. This alone could account for her exhaustion, anxiousness and depression.

3. She had low levels of important minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, chromium, boron, iodine, and zinc. Such malabsorption often occurs as a result of candida yeast compromising the intestinal tract. Also her low magnesium levels are significant as this increases the lactate to pyruvate ratio in the body, which contributes to anxiety.

It was vital to address all of these imbalances. They are the real causes of the unstable moods that Marge endured. This entire picture gradually improved and normalized with treatment.

* * * * *

Richard is a 45-year-old unmarried businessman who described himself as a loner who hasn't dated in years. He isolated himself except for his work. He told me he felt uncomfortable with strangers, and that he refused to be seated in the middle of the room in a restaurant; he wanted his back to the wall. He noticed that sometimes his face seemed swollen when he became stressed. His feet were usually cold and he tired easily. Throughout his life he had gone to great lengths to hide his inner tension and fearfulness from others. A doctor recently put him on Prozac to lift his moods but instead it produced severe headaches in him. Richard is a vegetarian who believed protein doesn't agree with him. Lab evidence showed:

  • Low thyroid functioning was keeping him tired and cold.
  • Pyroluria, which was driving him more into isolation with each passing year.
  • High candida antibodies, that indicate his immune system was at war with an over colonization of candida albicans yeast. The candida yeast lined his intestinal tract causing poor absorption of many nutrients.
  • Adrenal exhaustion resulting in his having no buffer against stress.

Richard had lived with these conditions for many years. Fortunately, he finally decided to get some scientific answers. Within a month his mood and energy had greatly improved. By our last session, he had met a young woman whom he was dating seriously. Life finally has brightened for him.

New Treatment For Anxiety

Anxiety that lingers is almost always caused by out of balance brain/body chemistry. Just because your doctor doesn't uncover these biochemical mistakes is no reason you should be told you need a psychiatrist to drug you, or a psychologist to try to talk away your physical imbalances. As we approach the twenty first century, science has learned a lot about how our brain function. It is no longer necessary to limp through life knowing you feel unstable, but trapped in your own malfunctioning body. It is sad that some medical doctors:

  • Don't give sufficient time to patients to ask the right questions and gather enough facts.
  • Don't order the lesser-known lab tests that help to solve the riddle of your symptoms.

Of course, many HMO and preauthorized health plans may not pay for your needed lab tests because they may not consider it "customary." But all is not lost. My purpose for sharing this knowledge is to help you recognize groups of familiar symptoms and how your profile fits with biochemical errors known to cause such symptoms. In Depression Free, Naturally, you yourself can gather the right facts, the ones your medical people may have missed.

Armed with these clues, you can seek confirmation in lab work. I will describe these lab tests in detail so that you clearly can understand what to ask for, what these tests will tell you about your health and why they are recommended. Hopefully your own family physician will willingly order what is needed. If not, I will provide you with a list of national medical organizations that can put you in contact with doctors specializing in your area of need.

If you can't have the tests done at this time, but the clues fit for you, I urge you to use the suggested repair formulas on an experimental basis. I say this knowing these natural substances do not carry the risks that drugs do. Any negative information will be included with each formula for your protection. With or without testing, recovering your biochemical balance is, of course, your ultimate goal.

Why Not Use Drugs?

No doubt about it, anti-anxiety drugs work fast! The benzodiazepine family of drugs like Valium, Librium, Xanax, Ativan, artificially fire your calming GABA transmitters into your brain at a fast clip, continually damping down any ripple of anxiousness.

At first, no one suspected the level of addiction they could induce. But it finally became apparent that our tolerance for these tranquilizers just grows and grows. And simultaneously their ability to control symptoms weakens unless the dosage increases. For many unwary Americans (mostly women), tranquilizer addiction has turned their lives into nightmares. In their drugged state they act and feel like zombies, but when they try to reduce or quit their drugs, they suffer full-blown fearfulness, sweating, racing heartbeat, upset stomach, jitters, tenseness, and even panic attacks. The Physician's Desk Reference (P.D.R) warns that these drugs are only for short-term use ... (and then, what to do about anxiety???) But many people I have treated have been on them for years. Several years ago our clinic came close to tragedy while trying to solve a heavy tranquilizer addiction in a thirty-year-old strapping farmer. His doctor had loaded these drugs into him for several years until he had reached the ZOMBIE stage. Finally, his wife and children walked away seeing no future for them together. At that point, his parents brought him to our clinic.

He was a sweet-natured, hulk of a man and the staff became very attached to him. We began gradually lowering his daily drug dose, while reloading his near empty GABA transmitters. We ran lab tests to identify biochemical causes of his lifelong anxiety. We were finding the answers we needed, but unknowingly were cutting back on his drugs too rapidly. He suddenly made a suicide attempt halfway through his program and woke us all up. I learned a lesson I've never forgotten about the time schedule for reducing those wretched tranquilizers. After about eight weeks he went back home and still continued the slow reduction for many more weeks before he was finally free and healthy again.


A Door of Deception

The medical profession has always behaved strangely about the dangers of prescribed drugs. In 1884, Sigmund Freud, who was hooked on cocaine, wrote, "I expect (cocaine) will win its place in therapeutics, by the side of morphine and superior to it. I take very small doses of it regularly against depression...with the most brilliant success."

Freud pressed cocaine on his patients, his colleagues, his family and his friends, with seemingly no understanding of the powerful addiction he was inviting. And through the years doctors continue to prescribe a virtually uninterrupted succession of addictive drugs, especially for anxiety, in the mistaken belief they will not cause dependence, or if so, it is the patient's fault. Morphine was used for years to treat opium addiction. Later heroin was routinely used to try to break cocaine addiction. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Librium, Ativan) are still prescribed widely for anxiety. After twenty-five years and a lot of patient anguish, the addictive nature of these drugs is finally recognized. Still, not many years ago librium manufacturers took center-spread ads that proclaimed "WHATEVER THE DIAGNOSIS - LIBRIUM"!

What does the Physician's Desk Reference say about these anti-anxiety drugs? You'll be surprised to know that Librium, Xanax, Ativan, all state they are for "short term relief of anxiety." In fact, the effectiveness of Ativan and Librium for long-term use that is defined as more than four months "has never been assessed in systematic clinical studies." About Xanax, the P.D.R. says

"Even after relatively short term use at doses recommended for treatment of transient anxiety (.75 to 4.0 mg daily) there is some risk of dependence. Withdrawal of the drug may cause a return of symptoms to a level substantially greater in frequency or more severe in intensity than those seen before active treatment was initiated. In any case, reduction of dose must be undertaken under close supervision ... some patients may prove resistant to all discontinuation regimens!" (My emphasis)

Describing Ativan, the Physicians Desk Reference warns that "withdrawal symptoms similar to those noted in barbiturate and alcohol withdrawal: convulsions, tremors, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, have occurred following abrupt discontinuance."

Their benzodiazepine drugs create a NO-WIN situation. They provide temporary relief while they addict you. (If you keep using them, eventually they own you!) What is needed is permanent relief based on tracking down the causes of your symptoms and correcting them, once and for all.


A New Non-Addicting, Anti-Anxiety Drug

The anti-anxiety agent, BuSpar, differs from the benzodiazepines in that it has no muscle relaxant or sedative effects. It is not addictive and so is not classified as a controlled substance. BuSpar has a high affinity for serotonin receptors and may affect other neurotransmitters systems.

Again, this drug has never been tested for effectiveness beyond 3 to 4 weeks in controlled trials. The danger of BuSpar causing "acute and chronic change in dopamine-mediated neurological function" hasn't been resolved, according to the 1997 Physicians Desk Reference.

When BuSpar first made its appearance, the manufacturer marketed heavily to alcohol treatment centers because it is common knowledge how anxious and stressed the newly abstinent alcoholic is. Our physician became enamored with prescribing it, even though almost all of our clients either hated the side effects and stopped it immediately, or stopped using BuSpar after their initial ten-day supply ran out. This went on for almost two years before it dawned on me that this drug was failing to deliver much of anything for the high cost of those prescriptions. (Nearly one hundred dollars for an initial supply.)

I am more concerned with the unknown damage from artificially stimulating important brain neurotransmitters. Several years ago we witnessed the cardiovascular destruction done by fenfluramine, the popular prescription diet pill that works by increasing the neurotransmitter serotonin just as BuSpar does.

I hope you are beginning to agree with me that utilizing our bodies natural chemicals rather than drugs, offers a far greater safety net against irreversible mistakes.

Beta Blockers

Another class of drugs used for anxiety are the beta-blockers that suppress the brain's epinephrine, quieting heart pounding and tremors. Doctors Michael Ormes and Matthew Connolly point out in Patient's Desk Reference that beta blockers do not address the cause of anxiety, and they create side effects such as feelings of mental and physical slowness, cold hands and feet, aching muscles and occasionally, asthma. Such drugs are popular with some public speakers who probably would pass on them if they realized beta-blockers slow down their brain functioning.

Defining Anxious Disorders

Do you fit the category of "Generalized Anxiety Disorder" as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM III)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Table divides anxiety symptoms into four categories:

    1. Motor tension
    2. Autonomic hyperactivity
    3. Apprehensive expectations
    4. Vigilance and scanning

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

    1. Motor Tension
    ______ Shakiness
    ______ Jitteriness
    ______ Jumpiness
    ______ Trembling
    ______ Tension
    ______ Fatigability
    ______ Inability to relax
    ______ Eyelid twitch
    ______ Fidgeting
    ______ Restlessness
    ______ Startle easily

    2. Autonomic Hyperactivity
    ______ Sweating
    ______ Heart pounding racing
    ______ Cold, clammy hands
    ______ Dry mouth
    ______ Dizziness
    ______ Upset stomach
    ______ Frequent urination
    ______ Diarrhea
    ______ Lump in throat
    ______ Flushing
    ______ High resting pulse & rate of respiration

    3. Apprehensive Expectation
    ______ Anxiety
    ______ Worry
    ______ Fear
    ______ Rumination
    ______ Anticipation of misfortune to self or others

    4. Vigilance & Scanning
    ______ Hyper attentiveness resulting in:
    ______ Distractibility
    ______ Difficulty concentrating
    ______ Insomnia
    ______ Feeling on edge
    ______ Impatience
    ______ Irritability

If you are experiencing symptoms from three of four categories listed in this table and if these symptoms have lasted at least one month of continual duration, you can "officially" classify yourself as suffering from generalized anxiety disorder.


Variations on the Theme

Other categories of anxiety disorders include panic attacks and phobias. In both, people suffer tidal waves of inexplicable fear. These "attacks" occur without any real danger being present. However, major biochemical changes are taking place. The sudden outpouring of adrenal hormone in response to perceived danger, or, in response to loading refined sugars, will produce many common symptoms of anxiety: pounding heart, rapid breathing, racing pulse, rising blood pressure. Your body swings into a fight or flight mode, flooding the brain with adrenaline to mobilize for action.

Anxiety attacks are often one of the symptoms of low blood sugar levels. This is biochemically predictable. When glucose levels fall too low, the downward plunge must be stopped, or the result would be passing out and finally death. The body breaks the fall by releasing a flood of adrenalin into the blood stream. The adrenalin causes an outpouring of emergency sugar from the liver, refueling the brain and saving the day. Unfortunately, releasing a surge of adrenalin into your veins at a time when your brain has lost too much fuel to function normally can result in high anxiety, even panic disorder.

Phobias grow out of panic attacks. The association of extreme fear occurring in a particular setting sets the stage for irrational fears that recur when the same situation is encountered again. Thus some people fear being trapped away from home in a public setting (agoraphobics) others fear heights, elevators, social situations, etc. I remember getting my clothing caught in a moving escalator when I was a small child. After that frightening experience, I became convinced that the "monster" would suck me in and swallow me whole if given the chance. For years after, I insisted on using only elevators. As a teenager I finally taught myself to risk riding the escalator again.


Hidden Biochemical Causes of Anxiety

People who live with anxiety are well aware they can't just talk themselves out of it. The symptoms may look and feel psychological, but they can't be reasoned away.

A majority of the thousands of people we have treated over the past two decades have complained of anxiety problems. Over time we have discovered many biochemical reasons for their suffering. We found ways to measure our suspicions scientifically by tests, and we have seen many miracles happen as a result of correcting their biochemical errors. Now I want to share all that we've learned so you too can recover your sense of well-being.

The most exciting research that we utilize is the identification and treatment of a genetic chemical imbalance called PYROLURIA, which is responsible for many signs and symptoms in nervous diseases.

Pyroluria, An Inborn Mistake

This disorder is connected to an abnormal production of a group of body chemicals called pyrroles. Pyrroles are a worthless byproduct of hemoglobin synthesis. Most people have very little if any of these pyrroles circulating in their bodies. We know that through measuring levels of pyrroles excreted via the urine. Some of us, however, are not so fortunate. Pyrroles are abnormally high in about:

  • 30% of schizophrenics
  • 40% of persons with psychiatric problems
  • 11% of normals
  • 25% of disturbed children
  • 40% of alcoholics

Pyrroles do damage to us by binding to aldehydes throughout our bodies and causing their excretion along with the pyrroles. B6 (pyridoxine) being an aldehyde is systematically removed from its many needed sites and a severe B6 deficiency results. Equally damaging is the further scavengering done by the combination of B6 and pyrroles. Together this duo also seeks out and attaches itself to zinc and so both of these essential natural chemicals (B6 and zinc), are promptly dumped into the urine.

The loss of B6 and zinc is a psychiatric disaster. Many seemingly unrelated symptoms develop. Our interest in pyroluria is that it creates symptoms of inner tension, and bouts of nervous exhaustion and fearfulness that can be traced back to childhood or teen years. Without proper identification and treatment, pyrolurics slowly tend to become loners to avoid stressful situations. Their lives become an ongoing struggle to protect themselves from too much emotional and physical stress.


Are you Pyroluric?

An abbreviated form of The Pyroluria Screening Test found in Depression Free, Naturally is shown below. If you answer postive to several of the items, you may wish to consult the full version in the book. The purpose of the test is to help identify physical and neurological symptoms that develop from losing large amounts of B6 and zinc. B6 is the co-enzyme (meaning it is absolutely essential) in over FIFTY enzymatic brain reactions where amino groups are transformed or transferred. B6 has an important role in your nervous system's balance. It is required to utilize protein for energy. Brain depletion of dopamine and serotonin occur without B6, creating ongoing anxiety and depression. B6 slows the conversion of pyruvate to lactic acid. Elevated lactic acid creates anxiety.

Zinc deficiency also results in multiple disorders. The brain uses at least sixty zinc enzymes so zinc deficiency has a marked effect on mood states. Anxiety and depression have been observed in patients who develop zinc deficiency from intravenous feedings. These patients experienced prompt relief from their acquired depression after zinc was supplied.

Zinc plays a starring role in our immune functioning and our brain development and performance. A deficiency means poor growth and poor sexual development. We will suffer with a raft of "emotional" problems: irritability, fatigue, apathy, amnesia, depression, as well as poor appetite, and poor sense of taste and smell. In the last decade, over 50 papers in professional journals established the link between anorexia nervosa and zinc unavailability. Zinc has the job of removing toxic metals from our brains, particularly copper, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Without zinc to do this, high copper levels result in paranoia, violent behavior, mood swings and schizoid behavior. High lead leads to learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Mercury toxicity results in anxiety, emotional liability, exaggerated responses and insomnia. Elevated cadmium causes hyperactivity, hallucinations and central nervous system toxicity.

Maintaining adequate B6 and zinc in our bodies is an absolute MUST! It is easy to see how their continual destruction can turn a normal human being into an emotional cripple. The gradual changes in over one hundred body systems of pyrolurics slowly take their toll as the years pass. Now you have the opportunity to investigate for yourself the possibility of pyroluria being the cause of your ongoing anxiety. If you score high on the test, take heart. PYROLURIA is correctable. The important task is to identify it.

HRC Pyroluria Presceening Test (Abbreviated Version )
Copyright © 1999 Health Recovery Center

 Yes No


 ____ ____

 1. When you were young did you sunburn easily? Do you have the lightest skin and hair in your family?

  ____ ____

2. Do you have poor dream recall or nightmares? 

  ____ ____

3. Are you becoming more of a loner as you age? Do you avoid outside stress because it upsets your emotional balance? 

  ____ ____ 

4. Have you been anxious, fearful, or felt a lot of inner tension since childhood but mostly hide these inner feelings from others? 

   ____ ____

5. Are your eyes sensitive to sunlight? 

   ____ ____

6. Do you get frequent colds or infections or unexplained chills or fevers? 

   ____ ____

7. Are there white spots / flecks on your fingernails or do you have opaquely white or paper thin nails. Are you a nail biter? 

   ____ ____

8. Do you have stretch marks on your skin? 

   ____ ____

9. Do you have, or did you have before braces, crowded upper front teeth? 

   ____ ____

10. Do you prefer not to eat breakfast, or even experience light nausea in the morning? 

   ____ ____

11. Do you have a poor appetite, or poor sense of smell or taste? 

   ____ ____

12. Do you have any upper abdominal, splenic pain? As a child did you get a "stitch" in your side when you ran? 

   ____ ____

 13. Do you feel uncomfortable with strangers?

   ____ ____

14. Do your knees crack or ache? (poor formation of knee cartilage) 

   ____ ____

15. Do you over react to tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol, or other drugs? (a little produces a powerful response.) 

   ____ ____

 16. Does it bother you to be seated in a restaurant in the middle of the room?

   ____ ____

17. Do you have cold hands and / or feet? 

   ____ ____

18. Do you tend to become dependent on one person whom you build your life around? 

Scoring the Test: Circulating levels of pyrroles may be slightly elevated or profoundly abnormal. In all cases, these levels rise even more when the pyroluric is under stress. If you are B6 and zinc deficient, you will easily identify with some of the following symptoms. If you score 7 or more, it will be worth your while to consult the full version pyroluria prescreen found in Depression Free, Naturally or to be lab-tested for pyroluria, and get on with the needed biochemical repair.


Getting Medical Testing

Your doctor can determine if you have elevated levels of kryptopyrroles by submitting a sample of your urine to a lab for testing. I have learned from experience that very few labs are proficient in doing this test. Our initial experience with the accuracy of the results was excellent. The high symptoms matched the high pyrrole readings. The lab that ran the tests was Dr. Carl Pfeiffer's Brain Bio Center in New Jersey. After six months of this good fortune, that lab became aware that their licensing disallowed interstate business. "No problem," I thought. "We'll find a lab closer to home." What happened then still haunts me. Some of the large labs never heard of the test and wouldn't run it. We finally located a well-established east coast laboratory that claimed much expertise with this test. That year, almost every test result that came back failed to match the symptoms. I called many times to argue with the director. He insisted he was the expert, not me. Then, by God's grace, I heard about a lab in Kansas that actually used the equipment designed by Dr. Pfeiffer to measure kryptopyrroles accurately. He had built several machines, and after his death, they were put into the hands of groups who continued his research. The Bio Center Lab in Wichita, Kansas had Pfeiffer's own machine! We immediately flooded them with our tests, and Viola! All the lab results once again matched the screening symptoms. Gradually we found quite a few of our old clients who had been told they were not pyroluric, and retested them. All of them showed high levels of pyrroles! A number of these people were alcoholics who relapsed because alcohol relieved their stress and anxiousness, and made them feel sociable for a little while. I couldn't fault them. They felt trapped between a rock and a hard place, and we had told them we had done all we could. I learned a huge lesson about relying on the truthfulness of lab work even when symptoms are shouting in your face.


A Family Affair

Pyroluria runs in families. If you are pyroluric, the same anxiety and poor stress responses will occur with other family members. They may also suffer from fatigue, nausea, sensitivity, too cold, anemia, poor dream recall, and even suicidal depression.

Despite the burden of this inborn inner tension, a high degree of creativity has been noted in most pyrolurics. Many great people in history have shown signs of pyroluria. I personally have corresponded with a few brilliant researchers who identified themselves to me as being pyroluric. Pfeiffer cites two well-known people who made great scientific and literary contributions but their secluded lives reveal many of the red flags of pyroluria. Charles Darwin and Emily Dickenson both possessed great creativity, but chose to isolate themselves from the world before they were thirty. When younger, they enjoyed friends and parties, but as years went by they became reclusive, choosing to avoid friends completely except by correspondence. Both maintained a "safe" environment for themselves and their work, avoiding outside stress of any kind. They shared a strong dependency on their families, both having the good fortune of protective fathers. Any change of routine or intrusion by someone outside the family provoked stress. Darwin suffered nausea and vomiting, as well as crippling fatigue and blinding headaches. Both shared bouts of depression, nervous exhaustion, crippling fatigue, and severe inner tension. Emily's eyes became so sensitive to daylight that she could no longer read. Their handwriting deteriorated markedly as the stresses of the years took their toll. I suspect that both Dickenson and Darwin would have tested dangerously deficient in B6 and zinc.

Most pyrolurics reading Depression Free, Naturally have not been forced into seclusion from the stress and tension of life. More likely, they hold down jobs and are quite good at covering up their bouts of inner tension from others.


The Signs and Symptoms

I have observed that pyrolurics typically pick out strong, protective spouses. Often pyroluric males will marry an older female, more mother than wife. This preference changes as they recover their normal sense of well being with biochemical repair.

They favor low protein or vegetarian diets, being unable to tolerate protein well without B6 and zinc. They have pale skin with little B6 and zinc to produce pigment coloring in both skin and hair. A Caucasian pyroluric may have a china doll complexion. An Afro-American pyroluric will have the lightest skin in the family. Without a good immune system, they tend to be vulnerable to infection and may notice unexplained chills and fever. Pyrolurics avoid eating breakfast as they have no appetite for it and may have morning nausea. Motion sickness is common. Their upper dental arch is narrow, crowding the teeth. Zinc deficiency also causes poor tooth enamel. Pyorrhea from retracted gums is also the mark of too little zinc. Fingernails may be opaquely white or have white marks on them. The thinness of the nails combined with their anxiety produces nail biters. Without zinc, their skin tears rather than stretches, creating areas of stretch marks.

There may be a sweet, fruity odor (trans-3-methyl-2-hexanoic acid) to their breath and sweat, especially when feverish or stressed. Their adrenals, exhausted from stress, may be sore, causing a pain in their upper left quadrant.

Depression is common, as is fatigue. If the lack of zinc allows brain copper to reach toxic levels, hyperactivity, paranoia, and even hallucinations may occur.

Living with high inner tension causes some pyrolurics to become easily irritated, even violent when over stressed. Dream content recall is usually rare until enough B6 has been replaced in the brain. Tryptophan cannot break down into serotonin without B6. Without adequate serotonin there will be erratic sleep and ongoing irritability.


Exhaused Adrenals

A by-product of living with pyroluria is the gradual exhaustion of your adrenals from a lifetime of coping with your ongoing tension. Over the years, the frequent outpouring of adrenalin in response to anxiety, takes its toll. Gradually your adrenals no longer have the strength to respond properly. This condition, called hypoadrenocorticism, interferes with or destroys the ability of your adrenals to continue protecting you against stress. It also adds more emotional instability.

A total 17-ketosteroids urine test will identify how much damage has been done. The next important step is rebuilding your adrenals, and unfortunately this takes some patience. Correcting your pyroluria, as well as ending your low blood sugar plunges (that set off the outpouring of adrenalin) will provide your adrenals with a chance to rest and heal. The raw materials your adrenals use to rebuild are Vitamin C and pantothenic acid. Early American Indians used to eat the adrenal organs of animals during the frozen winters to provide a rich source of Vitamin C. In the pyroluria formula you will find generous amounts of both Vitamin C and pantothenic acid.

IMPORTANT ADVICE: Decide now to completely stop using any form of caffeine. Drinking caffeine to force your adrenals to pump out its meager supply of adrenalin creates only an illusion of energy, and is much like beating a dying horse! Your adrenals have great recuperative powers if you will just give them the opportunity to rest.

Treatment of Pyroluria

Pyrolurics respond very quickly to nutritional treatment. I have observed that within one week there is noticeable relief and often substantial recovery will occur within three to six months. However, the treatment regimen is ongoing, throughout their lives.

The HRC Pyroluria Formula contains the following essential nutrients, in addition to B6 (pyridoxine) and zinc:

Phosphatidal 5 Phosphate: is the metabolite that B6 becomes. Sometimes that first conversion (from B6 to P5P) is faulty, so it is wise to incorporate both forms of B6. P5P also allows a higher intake of B6 without reaching a toxic level (tingling or numb fingers and toes.)

Manganese: is depleted and will be further reduced by taking zinc if not supplemented. Manganese is required for sugar protein metabolism and for cartilage and joint development. It plays a role in preventing depression and in delivering choline to the memory neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.

Warning: In persons over forty, manganese may raise blood pressure. If this occurs, the dose should be stopped until blood pressure normalizes.

Magnesium: taking large amounts of B6 may create a depletion of magnesium. Dr. Bernard Rimland has found that adding magnesium to B6 supplementation prevents such side effects as sound hypersensitivity, irritability, and involuntary urination, when taken at one-half the dosage of B6.

(B3) Niacinamide: Since the body must have enough B6 to make niacin from tryptophan, a deficiency of niacin often occurs in pyrolurics, causing pellagra-like symptoms. Dr. Abram Hoffer has found niacin supplementation to be valuable in speeding recovery. We use the niacinamide form. It is superior to niacin for relief of anxiety since niacin does not penetrate the brain as easily as does niacinamide.

Vitamin C and Pantothenic Acid: Are anti-stress nutrients, needed to rebuild your adrenal glands that are exhausted from living with the ongoing tension pyroluria creates. Without this repair, it is near impossible to lift the fatigue and weakness you experience.


The Destructiveness of Stress

Pyrolurics live with the danger of relapsing into an episode of illness when they are severely stressed. This may be a car accident, breakup of a marriage, loss of a loved one, or any major anxiety-creating event. I have seen lab levels of kryptopyrroles double because of such unavoidable stress. Knowing this ahead of time, you will be ready, if need be, to increase your nutrient levels (especially B6 and zinc) and to cater to yourself in every way you can, so as to blunt anxiety's effects on your hyper-reactive chemistry.

The HRC Pyroluria Formula will lower the elevated pyrroles on your laboratory test. Work with your doctor to monitor progress and adjust dosages as needed.


To order the HRC Pyroluria Formula
(6 week supply includes schedule)

  • Bio-B6
  • Pyridoxal 5' Phosphate
  • Bio-Zinc (Reacted)
  • Manganese (Reacted)
  • Magnesium (Reacted)
  • B-3 (Niacinamide)
  • B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)
  • Bio Ester C

More Biochemical Reasons for Anxiety
The Great American Junk Food Diet

If ever there is a recipe for anxious, unstable moods, our American junk food diet is it! Do we seriously believe we can scavenge enough from fast foods, high sugar foods, and play foods in boxes and cans to function optimally? Most Americans keep their cars loaded with gas, but their brains are limping along, devoid of a steady supply of nutrients and steady glucose fuel. Blame U.S. food processors, blame the carbohydrate craze that convinced us a fruit bar and cola is a sane breakfast, blame the food giants that sell their sugar-sweetened play food to our children watching cartoons, blame our lifestyles that dictate "instant" meals out of boxes or from fast food windows, or pizza parlors. Blame the all American custom of delivering "energy" thru Mountain Dews or candy bars when our weary brains signal for fuel.


This Regimen Guarantees a Two-Fold Disaster:

1. Science has tons of studies proving that anxiety will certainly occur when you wipe out certain vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids in your body.

2. The more sugar and simple carbohydrates you eat, the more an outpouring of insulin occurs, creating hypoglycemic episodes of low brain fuel (glucose). Anxiety attacks frequently accompany such brain deprivation.

If you see yourself in this sugar-laden lifestyle, double back to SectionThree and look at your score on The Hypoglycemic Symptometer.

You may believe that low blood only causes hunger and fatigue, but take another look at Dr. Stephen Gyland's research on 1000 hypoglycemics.

Commonly occurring symptom are:

  • Nervousness 94%
  • Cold sweats, tremors 86%
  • Unprovoked anxiety and constant worrying 62%
  • Rapid pulse and internal trembling 57%
  • Pounding heart 54%
  • Panic and gasping of breath 37%

The above list sounds like a task for a psychiatrist, but the most likely cause of such symptoms is hypoglycemia. A glucose tolerance test will absolutely tell you once and for all, if it is. Another, far less expensive way to get the same information is to follow the appropriate diet in Chapter Three of Depression Free, Naturally. A real sugar addict will get much faster results with The Low Carbohydrate Hypoglycemic Diet. Expect your dietary transition to stable health and emotions to take from one to three weeks. Be patient! The rewards are enormous!

Nutrient Deficiency and Anxiousness

Certain B vitamins are crucial to reducing anxiety. In fact the textbook description of anxiety neurosis exactly matches the symptoms of B3 (niacin) deficiency: Hyperactivity, nervousness, fatigue, depression, apprehension and insomnia. Niacinamide is the preferred form of B3 as it penetrates the brain far more easily than does niacin. In 1979, shortly after the original Valium patent expired, Hoffmann La Roche, the drug company who made Valium, published an article entitled: "Nicotinamide is a brain-constituent with benzodiazepine like actions." What that means is niacinamide (nicotinamide is the British name for niacinamide) acts like Valium and that entire group of benzodiazepines, in the brain. Of course niacinamide will not addict you. The reason niacinamide is not widely used as a tranquilizer is simple- it isn't patentable! Dr. Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmond found that a possible genetic deficiency exists in some people who need larger daily quantities of niacinamide to produce a normal state of calm. Since it is water soluble, niacinamide does not store up in the body causing an overdose. Many have used one to three grams in divided daily doses successfully.

Warning: If you persistently experience nausea from taking niacinamide, it means your liver is unable to handle that amount of B3. Immediately stop taking it for awhile and if you resume again, cut the dose in half.

The B complex vitamins together play major roles in undoing anxiety:

  • B1 (thiamin) deficiency results in mental confusion, apathy, depression, fatigue, and sensitivity to noise.
  • B2 (riboflavin) deficiency causes nervous system changes and an inability to convert energy from foods.
  • B5 (pantothenic acid) deficiency results in sleep disturbances and adrenal exhaustion resulting in ongoing anxiousness.
  • B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency has just been described as the main culprit in pyroluria, an anxiety disorder.
  • B12 (cobalamin) deficiency causes mental confusion, neurological changes, and poor concentration.
  • Folic Acid deficiency causes deterioration of the nervous system, withdrawal, and irritability.

To order B-Complex


A New B Vitamin Discovery

Another B vitamin, inositol, has kept a low profile for a long time. Researchers could not demonstrate deficiency symptoms until recently. In the eighties, studies at the Princeton Brain Bio Center showed inositol has similar quantitative brain wave effects to those of the tranquilizer, Librium. Carl Pfeiffer at that time knew inositol was interacting with powerful brain neurotransmitters but did not understand how loading inositol by supplementation might affect receptor function. He commented, "the possibilities are intriguing and most certainly will be important when ascertained".

In 1996, Israeli researchers discovered that inositol converts into a substance that regulates the action of serotonin within nerve cells. This knowledge allowed them to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (persistent intrusive thoughts, and senseless repetitive behavior) successfully by giving eighteen grams of powdered inositol 3 times daily. It worked as well and as quickly as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSR1s) Prozac and Luvox that are the accepted treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it accomplished this without drug side effects.

Inositol's ability to regulate serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter, has also been applied to treating panic disorder, and it has proven itself a powerful brain chemical in reducing anxiety. Dosage is twelve grams daily, or four grams of powder with each meal. Four grams is equal to one and 1/2 teaspoon of powder. It has a semi sweet flavor and tastes very good. At the above levels there is no danger of overdosing. Fifty grams of inositol have been given by mouth with no ill effects.

As you indulge yourself in your next sugar "treat", remember that you are using up your B vitamins in order to metabolize sugar ... a no-win trade off. Your emotional stability depends on a protein snack instead of a TWINKIE!


Elevated Blood Lactate Creates Anxiety

Also related to your intake of refined sugars, is the level of lactic acid in your blood. The higher your sugar intake, the more elevated your blood lactate levels become. Lactic acid binds with calcium, so calcium can't regulate the balance between excitatory and inhibitory functions in your brain, nor can it fulfill its role as a powerful central nervous system suppressant. Low blood calcium symptoms can be artificially created by an injection of sodium lactate. The result is anxiety neurosis symptoms. Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol all increase the lactate to pyruvate ratio in the body, resulting in anxiety. Certain nutrients raise your pyruvate levels: Magnesium corrects this anxiety neurosis. Calcium and Niacin enhance the conversion of lactate to pyruvate, quieting abnormal levels of anxiousness.

If up to now, this lactate/pyruvate concept has made for dull reading, let me wake you up by sharing the newest information on pyruvate's role in the body. Taking pyruvate as a supplement not only tips the anxiety scale back to balance, pyruvate influences weight loss and cell energy and endurance.

It is the key metabolite that extracts the stored energy in glucose, and is involved in the biochemistry of our energy metabolism. A clinical study of humans on diets with added pyruvate proved they lost weight at a greater rate than a matched group eating the same number of calories but without added pyruvate. The subjects lost about one third more weight, due to their greater loss of body fat. In another set of studies, the physical endurance of those taking pyruvate far outlasted those taking a placebo. Pyruvate reduces fat without exercise, yet the accelerated fat loss does not cause the usual associated loss of muscle (body protein). Optimal daily dose for weight loss is five grams. Taking more does not increase effectiveness.


Brain Neurotransmitters That Affect Anxiety

Certain brain chemicals are calming and relaxing, others are excitatory. Our anxious clients have had more than enough agony from being pumped into high arousal by their excitatory neurotransmitters. The effects of such imbalances are to elicit stress and pour adrenalin. Hearts pound and strong beta waves in the brain take over, creating a state of intense alertness. Our senses react, becoming more acute. All of these changes are a plus if faced with a sudden life threatening situation. But some of us are "wired" to respond to far less threatening happenings with the same alarm system. Newly recovering alcoholics have often seemed to me to be a "bundle of nerves" with no more alcohol to soothe them. We have always looked for natural ways to calm down such anxiety, and eventually we discovered the power of the inhibitory amino acids. The formula that we put together we named Bio-Alpha Waves because those particular amino acids quiet the brain's intensive beta waves and increase the calming alpha waves. We've tested this combination on hundreds of clients and most of our staff, who prefer to keep a bottle handy in their desk drawer.

Inhibitory Amino Acids Found In Bio-Alpha Waves

GABA (GAMMA AMINOBUTYRIC ACID) is the most frequently occurring of all the calming neurotransmitters in our brains. Tranquilizers like Valium, Librium, Ativan and Xanax work by stimulating GABA receptors. Treating such drug addictions by reloading GABA has worked quite well, and many of these people continue to use GABA in place of their former drug to alleviate anxiety.

Tryptophan is the only substance in existence that makes serotonin, a powerful calming brain neurotransmitter. The many copycat anti-depressant drugs now on the market confirm the popularity of flooding our brains with "mellowing" serotonin. Tryptophan's benefits have been well documented in treating anxiety, panic, and compulsive obsessive disorders.

This amino acid strengthens our calming alpha brain waves and reduces excitatory waves. It also works throughout our spinal column to relax and ease rigidity and tension.

This amino regulates the excitability of our nervous systems. It is found in abundance around the heart muscle. In our brains, it's another inhibitory (calming) neurotransmitter.

Now you can see how an inadequate supply of these calming body chemicals can create an anxious state. The following formula is heavy in these aminos and the B vitamins that restore a state of calm. B vitamins and Vitamin C are water soluble, so you can't overdose on them. The amino acids are also quite safe to take at these dosages.

This formula is NOT for pyrolurics. It is for the rest of us who want to turn off our hot-wired brains and mellow out. And you will discover as you relax, your ability to focus on a task improves 100%. Here's the formula:

To order the HRC Non-Pyroluria
Anti-Anxiety Formula

(6 week supply includes schedule)

  • Bio-GABA
  • Bio-Cal/Mag (Reacted)
  • Bio-B Complex
  • B-3 (Niacinamide)
  • Inositol Powder
  • Pyruvate Fuel
  • Bio Ester C
  • Bio Alpha Waves
  • L-Tryptophan

Rule Out Food Sensitivities

A while back a crew from 20/20 spent a day filming at Health Recovery Center. Lynn Shear asked to interview clients who felt they had benefited from treatment here. Marc, a young man in his early thirties had been at the center less than a week, but claimed his continual panic attacks had simply stopped during this time. The producer's remarks to him were "we aren't interested because it's just too quick!" It didn't sound plausible for someone who regularly frequented emergency centers in a state of high panic, to turn around so fast. But the clues to Marc's panic attacks had been obvious to me. He told me at our initial meeting that he had followed all my advice from my first book except that he could not give up certain foods: wheat, and dairy. In fact, every meal included some form of whole wheat and dairy products. He looked miserable when I asked him to stop using any form of dairy products and all breads, pasta, and cereals that were wheat based. But his lab work soon demonstrated his inability to break down and digest these substances normally. Within a few days of being free of these troublemakers, his panic attacks vanished.

Today, science is aware that peptides formed from digested proteins are identical to certain brain endorphins that are linked to panic attacks, and other "mental" conditions. The first two discoveries in this area were peptides that came from poorly digested casein (milk protein) and gluten (wheat protein). These two are the most common allergy foods in the United States today! Marc's lab work confirmed a severe allergy response to wheat, gluten, and dairy. His panic attacks ceased for good when he parted with these favorite foods. He says he is delighted with the trade off.

I have seen some profound reactions from food and chemical intolerances, including crying, anger, loss of control, panic attacks, and even schizophrenic episodes. A tip off to food allergy is compulsive eating and craving for certain foods. If you suspect you fall into this category, Chapter Nine of Depression Free, Naturally is written for you.


Where To Find A Doctor

The medical doctors who specialize in the field of cerebral allergy are called clinical ecologists. To locate a physician in your area who can test and treat you, contact the

American Academy of Environmental Medicine

P.O. Box 1001-8001
New Hope, PA 18938


Where Do You Fit In?

Now that you are familiar with the various biochemical problems that may underlie your anxiety, it's time to determine what you will do to solve your need(s). Look through these options and check all categories that apply to you:


Even if you fit into several of these categories, you are now embarked on a program to restore your health. In some cases you'll need a physician's help. I urge you to seek medical advice from a doctor attuned to your special needs. Orthomolecular MDs are experts in both allopathic and nutritional medicine. They are able and willing to work with you on all of the lab tests I have just cited, and to monitor the restoration of neurotransmitter levels and vitamins, minerals and other natural body chemicals. For a list of orthomolecular physicians in your area, contact the:

Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine

16 Florence Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2N-1E9


This group supplies names of orthomolecular physicians and psychiatrists in Canada and the United States.


 Additional information on formulas, schedules, and optimal doses to achieve biochemical restoration/repair can be found in the book Depression Free, Naturally

 Information on this website is reprinted from the book, Depression Free, Naturally by Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D. (ISBN 0-345-43517-6) Copyright ©2001. All rights reserved. This information may not be reproduced without permission from Ballantine Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc. & Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D.

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