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How is porphyria treated?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Treatment for porphyria depends on the particular type of the condition you have. The term porphyria refers to a group of disorders caused by problems with how your body makes heme, an iron-containing chemical that makes blood look red. Some types of porphyria affect the body's nervous system. Other types, cutaneous porphyrias, cause skin symptoms such as itching, swelling, and blistering, usually in the presence of sunlight. Depending on the type of porphyria you have, your doctor may treat it by encouraging you to avoid the triggers of the disease or using intravenous heme therapy and medication to relieve symptoms.

Each type of porphyria is treated differently. Treatment may involve avoiding triggers, receiving heme through a vein, taking medicines to relieve symptoms, or having blood drawn to reduce iron in the body. People who have severe attacks may need to be hospitalized.

This answer is based on source information from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.