disorder - or rather a group of disorders - that result from improper breakdown of haem
. The same pigment
that makes blood red causes problems if not dealt with completely
by the body. Some sufferers have skin
problems, especially after exposure to light which seems to sensitize the skin. More dangerous is an acute attack - vomiting
and even mental disturbances like depression, hallucinations or schizophrenia
. Attacks can be brought on by diet, certain pharmaceutical
s and alcohol.
Interestingly, George The Third may have been a sufferer. His behaviour under the influence of severe attacks, combined with symptoms such as the colour of his stools suggests porphyria. Since certain types of porphyria are inherited, the disease can be traced through the royal family (in much the same way as haemophillia was).
Culled from various internet sources, and a play I saw once.