Although there's no way to prevent porphyria, if you have the disease, taking the following steps may help prevent symptoms:

  • Avoid medications known to trigger acute attacks. (Ask your doctor for a list of safe and unsafe drugs.)
  • Don't use alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Avoid fasting and dieting that involves severe calorie restriction.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Minimize sun exposure.
  • When you're outdoors, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen.
  • Treat infections and other illnesses promptly.
  • Reduce stress.

Because porphyria is an inherited disorder, your siblings and other family members may want to consider undergoing genetic testing to determine if they have the disease.

May. 07, 2011