What are common symptoms of AIP?

Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) can cause many different symptoms during an attack:

  • Psychological symptoms such as feeling anxious, confused, or depressed
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Pain in the arms, legs, chest, neck, or head
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Dark or reddish urine after the urine has been exposed to air and light

How does someone get AIP?

AIP is a genetic disease that runs in families:

  • In order to have AIP, you most likely have inherited the affected gene from a parent.
  • Even if you have the gene for AIP, you may not have symptoms.
  • Symptoms may vary in type, intensity, and frequency among family members.

Is It AIP? Watch these videos to learn the signs and symptoms.

AIP is often misdiagnosed due to common non-specific symptoms. Watch this video to understand common symptoms, misdiagnosis, and triggers of an AIP attack.

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Listen to an AIP expert, Dr. Manisha Balwani from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explain the common symptoms and triggers of AIP attacks as well as common misdiagnoses a person may receive along the path to diagnosis.

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What is unique about the symptoms of AIP?

AIP causes symptoms that are common in many other diseases. This is one reason why people with AIP may be misdiagnosed. But there are certain clues that may point to AIP. It’s up to you and your doctor to fit the puzzle pieces together in order to get a correct diagnosis.

  • The pain may cover large, not small, areas of your body. This is because the pain of AIP is neuropathic, meaning it is caused by your nerves.
  • Symptoms of AIP can come and go, and each episode may be different. These episodes are also called AIP attacks.
  • The pain tends to begin slowly, and it may last for hours or days.
  • You may have one or more symptoms in the list, but not all of them.
  • Symptoms are often caused by triggers, like alcohol use or smoking.

Learn more about triggers of AIP attacks