Yeah, porphyria is also used to torture neurology residents.
I've come to suspect that porphyria is actually a made up disease, used only for pimping students and episodes of House.
Just because an illness is rare doesn't mean it's made up or fake. It's true that rare illnesses often end up on TV shows like House but they should never be written off. I spent 5 years under the misdiagnosis of Fibromyalgia brought on by my abusive childhood, the pain and weakness has left me house bound. A recent blood test showed extremely low levels of cortisol and it now looks like I may have Addison's Disease (I need more tests). My GP hasn't seen Addison's before and apparently it's uncommon...thus a lot of people don't look for it. I've been in pain for five years slowly watching my life be swallowed by an illness that no one thought of as real. Your attitude is damaging and insulting.
I have Porphyria. It is NOT made up and it is not a picnic to live with, either.
You should have asked him what KIND of porphyria.
I had a similar thing happen to me when a particularly insane pediatrics attending told me to consult nephro for a kid who was having some viral myositis because she was sure he was having rhabdomyolysis despite the fact he was putting out 150 cc of urine an hour and had a CK of about 2000 (her logic being that since he'd had the myositis before, it must be a chronic thing....or something like that. No one on our team was really sure what she was doing). Needless to say I got a similar reaction.
My personal favourite was having to consult neurology on a man with newly detected brain metastases - for workup of his gait instability. You know, because the multiple masses in his brain weren't enough reason for him to have difficulty walking.
Testing for porphyria: Go take some pee in the UV light.My grandfather went through 3 months in hospital, seizures (from the medication), unnecessary appendectomy, a cardiac arrest... before someone accidentally put his urine under UV light, and noticed that it turned brown. He was then diagnosed with porphyria.Your attending would have made a diagnosis occur much faster with him!However, if I was working in GI, I would also be laughing at you!
Porphyria is common in pet rats./the more you know
Cattle with porphyria have teeth that glow pink under UV light!/the more more you know
It's believed that King George III most likely had porphyria, which was responsible for his well-documented mental illness.../the more you know