Madness of King George III: Why Now?
1788 is the year that the king of England was first said to have gone mad. The citizens were left not knowing what was going on and what was to become of the government without a healthy king. But did he really go insane from mental issues? Did anything in his environment contribute to his mental illness? Was it, in fact, a mental illness at all? Can he ever recover? Some questions were answered, others pushed under the rug in hopes of being forgotten. There is one question that may never fully or truly ever be answered. Why now?? Porphyria is an inherited disorder that complicates a group of normal enzymes so that there is an overproduction and accumulation of porphyrins. The word porphyria is derived from the Greek term “porphyra” meaning “purple pigment” which is a reference to the purplish feces or urine discoloration. There are two types of porphyria: acute and cutaneous porphyria. King George III was suspected to have the acute version of this disease. Acute porphyria predominantly affects the nervous system with a possibility of some skin conditions and complications. One main sign that King George III had this disease was the urine discoloration. The signs and symptoms of porphyria also include: abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, pain in extremities, confusion, seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, and many more. To diagnose this disease today it is necessary to have a DNA test, an enzyme test, or a biochemical analysis of the blood, urine, and stool. There are many complications that can come with a flare up of porphyria, but people with this disease are at a very increased risk for primary liver cancer and it should be monitored most of their life. Since porphyria is heredity and is random as to when the disease comes to life, it can be very unpredictable as to why now would this affect King George III. Porphyria is known to be hereditary disease. The only other causes for a person to obtain this disease are...
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