"Insomnia, leg cramps, muscle spasms, constipation, broken blood vessels on your cheeks, tiny pin-sized red dots on the trunk of your body, abdominal pain. Does this sound familiar? [yes] These are common symptoms of AIP: Acute Intermittent Porphyria. My mother describes it as the intense pain you feel when you slam your finger in the door. Only it's not just your finger, it's your whole body. Can anyone relate?"
With just this first paragraph, I was yelling out loud "Yes, this is me! I can relate!" So I continue...
"Porphyria is difficult to diagnose. You can't just call the doctor and complain of one symptom. Not only does your stomach hurt, you probably have a headache and you may even be experiencing mental confusion. This sends most physicians into a tailspin. They will do a sonogram. Then a CAT scan, maybe even a spiral scan. If you still have your appendix, you won't for long. Just ask someone with Porphyria and they will most likely tell you that was the first thing the docs took!
Muscle weakness may occur during a severe attack due to the fact that all symptoms of AIP appear to result from effects on peripheral nerves, the nerves in the abdomen, or the central nervous system. Leg cramps, muscle spasms, and stomach cramps usually originate from this area. All the spasms may bring on another little symptom: petechia. Petechia are tiny strawberry red blood dots. These are most common on the trunk of the body and usually caused by all the stress from the spasms in the abdominal area."
Hmmm.... petechia rash on cheeks and trunk of the body. That sounds familiar. See my trunk pictures in past posts.
"What's so insidious about AIP [and all other acute Porphyrias] is that it is truly intermittent. You may be fine for months, then WHAM, a severe attack will hit you. Or you may slowly slide into the symptoms until one day you just can't get out of bed. Everyone differs. Since more women than men inherit AIP it is common for other women family members who don't even know about AIP share these symptoms. A lot of women simply put it off as PMS."
The article continues to talk about what porphyria is, the different types, what can cause an acute attack, skin sensitivity, testing, and passing the porphyria gene onto children. If you would like a copy, please email me and I'll be happy to send it to you.