Acute intermittent porphyria

Living with

Can I prevent attacks of acute intermittent porphyria?

You can take steps to lower the chance of having an attack of acute intermittent porphyria by avoiding triggers and living a healthy lifestyle. Triggers to avoid include medications not prescribed by your doctor, illegal or street drugs, too much alcohol, smoking, and going long periods of time without eating. A healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet, regular meal times, visiting the doctor and getting treated for any illnesses, and reducing stress. There are also treatments such as heme therapy that can prevent attacks. You can speak to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

Preventing ovulation in women can prevent attacks of acute intermittent porphyria, since hormones associated with the menstrual cycle can trigger an attack. Also, regular infusions of hemin (usually weekly) can help decrease the risk of attacks. Maintaining a good diet that includes a healthy level of carbohydrates and calories can also help decrease the chance of an attack. In most severe cases, the patient may need a liver transplant to cure the disease but this is the last resort.

Acute Intermittent Porphyria. Gene Reviews. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1193)

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