Heme Synthesis: Size Matters

In my last posy, I talked about a variable I believe is being overlooked in our analysis of human health: scale.

Another place where scale is salient: the size of the blood. Normally, I make a whole new set of red blood cells every 120 days.

But I can make them faster. In response to a car accident. In response to metabolic gear-change (e.g. extreme cold). I used to suffer from Reynaud’s, where the tips of your fingers blanch in cold weather, for many years.

If I make new red blood cells that are too large, they will not be able to fit into the smallest capillaries.

If I make new red blood cells that are too small, I will have to keep my blood pressure too high in order to feel them. I am not squeezing in a vacuum; there is a feedback system. When I squeeze, I have to feel the cell pushing back.

If I turn over my red blood cells too quickly, it can dramatically tax my spleen. If my spleen cannot handle the turnover rate, I will effectively have two different sizes of RBCs in circulation. This is damaging to my perception. And it limits me.

The “too large” cells restrict my ability to vaso-constrict. If I vaso-constrict too much, I could deform or damage them.

The “too small” cells restrict my ability to vaso-dilate. If I vaso-dilate too much, I won’t be able to feel them.

And how do I know what is “too large” and “too small,” anyway? It depends on my frame of reference. But what if my frame of reference is tied to the size of my blood?

The blood gives me a baseline from which to scale myself—to scale the image of myself that I am rendering.

If I am a little too wide in time, I am, in effect, too watery. I can perceive myself as too watery vis-à-vis my blood. My creatinine will be too low.

If I am too wide, I can squeeze (vaso-constrict). But when I squeeze, I have to feel the floor. If I can’t feel the floor, I just keep squeezing (pre-eclampsia, hypertensive crisis).

Conversely, if I am a little too narrow in time, I am in effect, too dense. My creatinine will be too high. If I am too narrow, I can widen; I can vaso-dilate. But when I dilate, I have to feel the ceiling. If I can’t feel the ceiling, I will continue to dilate, will continue to over-utilize nitric oxide as if under a mild state of general anesthesia, until all my energy is shunted toward simply remaining conscious.

In me, being “too wide” and “too narrow” seem to be flip sides of the same coin, seem to travel together. I definitely felt “too wide” in time after living in mold, too vaso-dilated, and a micro dose of psilocybin helped with this.

After living in a moldy house, my initial diagnosis—in addition to high levels of mycotoxins—was pyroluria, a defect in heme synthesis. I no longer take the pyroluria protocol (zinc + B6). But when it comes to supporting my heme synthesis, I do find that supplementing P5P, the active form of vitamin B6, helps quite a bit. It also helps my mood, my sleep, and it reduces a feeling of systemic inflammation.

Some people react poorly to vitamin B6. I know people in the chronic illness community who have “B6 toxicity,” and deeply regret taking it. I have never had a problem with it, especially with the active P5P form, and because a doctor diagnosed me as being low, I feel confident taking it. But I would be remiss if I did not mention the severe problems some people have.

Interestingly, the symptoms of low B6 (nerve pain, peripheral neuropathy, balance issues) are the same as the symptoms of high B6.

Blood tests to diagnose deficiency can be tricky, even paradoxical. My B6 is high in the blood—does that mean my B6 is actually low, because it’s not getting into the cells? (Perhaps because it’s not the right size?) Remember, one of my main areas of focus is scale.

We are seeing long-term changes to the size and stiffness of blood cells in Covid-19 and Long Covid. https://www.fau.eu/2021/06/21/news/research/long-term-changes-to-blood-cells-triggered-by-covid-19-infection/

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