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
- Have a Pyrrole test – a simple urine test through a laboratory is used to determine if you have this condition.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 www.inaturally.com.au
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.