Shy and Introverted? Discover Nutrients That May Help

Does receiving an invitation to a social gathering involving more than 2 or 3 people have you immediately reaching into your bag of excuses of why you “just can’t make it, sorry” ?

Being a self-confessed introvert, I understand what it’s like to be uncomfortable in crowds.   It’s something that our counterparts (the extroverts) simply cannot comprehend.

Help could be a lab test away!

Being socially shy is one of the symptoms recognised with a type of anxiety brought about by a genetic condition call Pyroluria (also known as high mauve, pyrrole disorder or kryptopyrrole).   Some of the signs of this condition are feelings of social inadequacy, avoidance of crowds, feelings of inner tension, and bouts of depression, along with some other physical symptoms.

People with this condition can experience different degrees of unexplained anxiety or fear, which usually begin when they are quite young children.   They learn to socially cope by trying to cover it up.

If you have this condition, you produce an excessive amount of a metabolite known as a pyrrole.  These excessive pyrroles bind to the nutrients zinc, biotin and B6 and prevent these valuable nutrients from reaching areas in your body where they are needed for certain biochemical actions.

An important function that can be inhibited is the adequate production of certain neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that allow brain cells to communicate with each other and have a distinct effect on our mood, behaviour and personality.

Three neurotransmitters that can be affected are:

  • serotonin – our “happy” neurotransmitter
  • dopamine -our “pleasure and reward” neurotransmitter
  • GABA – our “calm and relaxed” neurotransmitter

These all require zinc and/or B6 for production.

One of the worse things to say to a social introvert – Don’t stay reclusive – get out and socialise!  That approach will never work.

The Good News

If you have this condition, symptoms can be relieved quickly by taking supplements such as zinc, B6 and biotin. Supplementation with these nutrients will help to reduce your pyrrole levels and reduce the severity of symptoms.

What You Can Do if You Are Socially Shy

  1. Have a Pyrrole test – a simple urine test through a laboratory is used to determine if you have this condition.
  2. Keep your stress levels under control – when you have high levels of stress, B6 and zinc will be depleted even further.  Not only will your anxiety levels increase, but other symptoms will worsen.
  3. Eat nutritious food – you can’t expect your body to be supplied with all the nutrients it needs if what you are putting in there is garbage.   Eat whole foods that are high in nutrients.
  4. Fix your gut – if you have a digestive system that is not up to scratch, work on sorting it out.  Not only will you be able to break down and absorb all those great nutrients your body needs, but you will feel amazing without the bloating, pain, reflux and other nasty symptoms of a sub-optimum digestive system.

With your health in mind,


 Get more great health tips, recipes and lifestyle inspiration from iNaturally by subscribing to the iNaturally Newsletter here

Catherine McCoy

Catherine McCoy is a qualified Naturopath, Coach and Speaker who is the founder of iNaturally.

Catherine helps women experiencing anxiety and overwhelm to regain their health and re-connect with their passion and purpose.  

Get your health back on track and create the change in your thinking and lifestyle to be the healthiest and happiest person possible.




2 thoughts on “Shy and Introverted? Discover Nutrients That May Help

  1. I have recently started to experience being socially introverted. Several years ago, this was not an issue, but has started to show its ugly head after multiple traumatic life events. Instead of taking care of myself and going through the grieving process, I buried myself into my work, so I wouldnt have to “deal or cope” with the loss of my mother passing. After a couple of years of nonstop working, i believe it finally caught up with me. I am definitely going to try your suggestion with the supplements and I will ask for the lab work to be ordered. Thank you so much for this blog!

  2. Hi Cathi – thank you for reaching out with your story. Anxiety will often creep up on us over time when we are busy living and are not aware of how traumatic life events affect us. Most people who experience anxiety have an accumulated history of varying events or situations and are not aware of what is happening on the inside. We become so good at suppressing and getting on with life. When we do crash and burn it can be quite a shock and becoming socially anxious and more introverted is a sign that all is not well! Now is when the healing can begin. I’m pleased you are looking at ways to heal and get your life back. The pyrrole testing may be beneficial, but I also encourage you to seek additional support from a Naturopathic or Integrative practitioner as well as support from a counsellor or psychologist. Anxiety is a multi-faceted condition and better results are gained from a network of practitioners. If you need any further information, please let me know. Wishing you all the best. x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s