Could This be a Cure for Introversion & Social Overwhelm for Empaths?

I think you will probably all agree that, for the Empath, when it comes to wellbeing, there certainly seems to be never ending hurdles to overcome.

Like many of you lovely Empaths out there, I consider myself to be somewhat introverted. And living in this extrovert world can often make me feel like I’m a large square peg being pushed into a small round hole.

And as is typical of an introvert, the thought of going out in busy peopled places or having to attend bustling social events sometimes ignites a bout of ‘social dread’ for me.

So, when I recently came across a condition that causes unnecessary social anxiety and excessive introversion, it immediately caught my attention.

The condition is called Pyroluria. and is caused by a lack of vitamin B6 and the mineral zinc.

Vitamin B6 and zinc are stripped from the body when under a lot of stress. As most Empaths suffer with high levels of emotional stress, they have to consider their nutrient levels may be low.

Empaths often have to work hard to heal their mind, body and spirit and what works for one will not always work for another. Because they carry not only their own stress, but the stress of others too, they have to work harder to stay physically and mentally balanced.

From my research, and self-trials, I have found when it comes to an Empath’s mental and emotional stability, we are not only affected by stress but by what we do and don’t eat.

The wrong foods can affect our emotional energy, and the way we interpret the emotions of others, more than you could probably imagine.

Eating a food that does not agree with your bio-chemistry has a detrimental knock-on effect on the chakras, and their corresponding endocrine glands, it can also make you depressed and cause mood swings.

When the body is lacking certain nutrients it also has a harmful effect on mental and physical health.

I know too well the importance of proper nutrition, I have studied it for years, and that is the reason why I wrote the book: The Eating Plan for Empaths & HSPs.

The right diet can be transformative to the Empath.

I also know that many Empath’s diets are nutritionally imbalanced due to the cravings they get from suffering emotional overwhelm. For example, many Empaths find themselves drawn to sugary foods when they have been bombarded with other people’s energy or if they themselves have been emotionally traumatised. The reason for this is that sugar acts like an uplifting drug, it can temporarily make you feel happier and more lifted…

But what goes up artificially tends to come crashing back down. Consuming sugar (and sugar forming foods) may seem like a comforter, but it can cause chaos with emotions and moods.  Sugar not only robs the body of nutrients it also imbalances the emotions.

Bearing this in mind, as an Empath, you have to consider that you could be suffering unnecessarily. Your social overwhelm and/or excessive introversion could be caused by nutrient deficiencies and eating foods not suitable for you (It is such an important subject that it needed a book to explain it).

So, getting back to pyroluria, I came across the condition after listening to an interview with an exceptional nutritionist called Trudy Scott, who found her life turned around by treating her own symptoms.

It is worth taking a moment to look at the symptoms, listed below, to see if they match with any of your own.

If any of your Empath anxieties can be relieved by taking a couple of simple supplements then it is certainly worth considering.

I have included a questionnaire from Trudy’s website which may help you determine if you suffer with pyroluria:

Trudy Scott’s words: The physical and emotional symptoms below are caused by deficiencies of vitamin B6 and zinc.

When you experience high levels of stress (as Empaths do), vitamin B6 and zinc will be further depleted, so you may notice worsening symptoms and more anxiety.

Based on my review of questionnaires and results of pyroluria tests for hundreds of clients, I’ve grouped the most common or classic signs and symptoms first. I’ve also labeled the symptoms that could be directly related to low levels of vitamin B6 or zinc so you can individualize your supplements and dosages. Symptoms without these designations are due to a deficiency of both vitamin B6 and zinc. Check off any of the following signs or symptoms that apply to you:

Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Pyrolurai

  1. Being anxious, shy, or fearful or experiencing inner tension since childhood, but hiding these feelings from others
    2. Having bouts of depression or nervous exhaustion
    3. Poor dream recall, stressful or bizarre dreams, or nightmares (low vitamin B6)
    4. Excessive reactions to tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol, or other drugs, in which a little produces a powerful response (low vitamin B6)
    5. Preferring not to eat breakfast, experiencing light nausea in the morning, or being prone to motion sickness (low vitamin B6)
    6. White spots or flecks on the fingernails or opaquely white or paper-thin nails (low zinc)
    7. Liquid zinc sulfate having a mild taste or tasting like water (low zinc)
    8. Poor appetite or having a poor sense of smell or taste (low zinc)
    9. Joints popping, cracking, or aching; pain or discomfort between the shoulder blades; or cartilage problems (low zinc)
    10. Pale or fair skin or being the palest in the family, or sunburning easily, now or when younger
    11. Disliking protein or having ever been a vegetarian or vegan
    12. Being sensitive to bright sunlight or noise
    13. Upper abdominal pain on your left side under the ribs or, as a child, having a stitch in your side as you ran
    14. Frequent fatigue
    15. Being prone to iron anemia or low ferritin levels
    16. Tending to have cold hands or feet
    17. Having frequent colds or infections, or unexplained chills or fever
    18. Reaching puberty later than normal or having irregular menstruation or PMS
    19. Having allergies, adrenal issues, or problems with sugar metabolism
    20. Having gluten sensitivity
    21. Neurotransmitter imbalances, especially low serotonin
    22. For women, belonging to an all-girl family or having look-alike sisters
    23. For men, having a mother from an all-girl family or a mother with look-alike sisters, or all the females in the mother’s family bearing a strong resemblance to each other
    24. Avoiding stress because it upsets your emotional balance
    25. Tending to become dependent on one person whom you build your life around
    26. Preferring the company of one or two close friends rather than a gathering of friends; becoming more of a loner as you age
    27. Feeling uncomfortable with strangers
    28. Being bothered by being seated in the middle of the room in a restaurant
    29. Being easily upset by criticism

Less Common Signs and Symptoms

  1. Stretch marks or poor wound healing (low zinc)
    31. Crowded upper front teeth, many cavities, or inflamed gums or wearing braces (low zinc)
    32. Bad breath and body odor (or a sweet, fruity odor), especially when ill or stressed (low zinc)
    33. Being prone to acne, eczema, herpes, or psoriasis
    34. Reduced amount of hair on your head, eyebrows, or eyelashes, or prematurely gray hair
    35. Difficultly recalling past events and people in your life
    36. Focusing internally, on yourself, rather than on the external world
    37. Tending to have morning constipation
    38. Tingling sensations or muscle spasms in your legs or arms
    39. Feeling stressed by changes in your routine, such as traveling or being in new situations
    40. Your face looking swollen when you’re under a lot of stress
    41. Cluster headaches or blinding headaches
    42. One or more of the following: a psychiatric disorder, schizophrenia, high or low histamine, alcoholism, learning and behavioral disorders, autism, or Down syndrome

If you check off 15 or more items, especially the more common ones, it’s highly probable that you have pyroluria and will benefit from taking zinc and vitamin B6 supplements. I encourage you to be tested, but if this isn’t possible, or even if you don’t have pyroluria, supplementing with zinc and vitamin B6 may be worthwhile if you have a large number of these symptoms.

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!” –

If you think you want to discover more about how food affects you as an Empath I recommend the book: The Eating plan for Empaths and HSPs, it could just transform your life!

Hope this helps on your Empath journey…

Until next time,


If you have found my work to be helpful please consider donating here

©Diane Kathrine at Empaths Empowered

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4 thoughts on “Could This be a Cure for Introversion & Social Overwhelm for Empaths?

  1. I think I’m going crazy and maybe I need to do more research on Empathy or schedule to see a psychiatrist. I used to be a marathoner and cyclist. I could run for days. But about 9 years ago I noticed I would see something and go through the scenario in my mind and it would affect me horribly. For instance, I would see a brand new shoe on the road. I immediately went into playing out a scenario in my mind – “the person was on the way to an interview on his motorcycle, it fell of the back, he lost the job because he only had one shoe….” I saw a runner at a race one time with a picture of her twins on the back of her shirt that said “Running for my babies in heaven.” I had to stop. I couldn’t breathe. I see a dog roaming somewhere I can’t get to to save it and play the scenario and feelings of how sad the family will be, how frightened the dog must be….” It has in turn affected my cardio. I can no longer go on long runs or rides; I can hardly walk across the parking lot. I feel myself starting to hyperventilate.

    Does anyone else feel like this? It’s causing me a lot of stress and anxiety which exacerbates the breathing, and keeps me from moving. I really feel like I’m going crazy. Is this what an Empath is?

    • Hi,

      An Empath will most certainly feel other people’s pain, especially if the other has felt great loss. Going past a funeral cortege, for example, can cause an Empath to feel overwhelmed with grief, which then may ignite their own memories of loss. But from the information you have provided, it sounds to me like there may be some psychic phenomena (perhaps a type of psychometry) going on. Many Empaths are psychic and vice versa. Some can hold an object, such as a ring, in their hands and give information about the owner. Or will come across a certain person and flashes of information from their past or future will come to them.

      Have you ever had your visions of objects or people to be verified as true?

      Do you recall if you had psychic abilities as a child but shut them down as you got older?

      Staying in balance is very important for you. There is lots of information on here on how to ground yourself when out in the world (See An Empaths Guide to Living in The World) and protect yourself from other people’s energy and emotions (whether an Empath or not) but I would also suggest you do some research on psychometry and other psychic abilities. If you are opening up to other psychic traits you will need to learn how to control/develop them.

      Hope this helps

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