In addition to genetic risks, environmental factors may trigger the development of signs and symptoms in some types of porphyria. When exposed to the trigger, your body's demand for heme production increases. This overwhelms the deficient enzyme, setting in motion a process that causes signs and symptoms. Examples of triggers include:
May 20, 2014
- Certain drugs (barbiturates or sulfonamide antibiotics or, less often, birth control pills, or some drugs that affect the mind or behavior, known as psychoactive drugs)
- Dieting or fasting
- Physical stress, such as infections or other illnesses
- Liver disease
- Emotional stress
- Alcohol use
- Menstrual hormones
- Sun exposure
- Excess iron in your body
- Information for professionals. The Porphyrias Consortium. https://rarediseasesnetwork.epi.usf.edu/porphyrias/professionals/index.htm. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Learning about porphyria. National Human Genome Research Institute. https://www.genome.gov/19016728. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Porphyria. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/porphyria/. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Anderson KE. Porphyrias: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Overview of porphyrias. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/porphyrias/overview_of_porphyrias.html. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Porphyria. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/porphyria. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Riggin, EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 21, 2013.
- Panhematin hemin for injection (prescribing information). Lebanon, N.J.: Recordati Rare Diseases, Inc.; 2013. http://www.aiporphyria.com/. Accessed Feb. 12, 2014.
- Porphyrin tests. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/porphyrins/tab/sample. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Tracy JA, et al. Porphyria and its neurologic manifestations. Handbook of Clinical Neurology. 2014;120:839.
- Pittelkow MR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. March 17, 2014.
- Solberg LA Jr. (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. March 18, 2014.