ITALIAN WOMAN SWEATS BLOOD FROM FACE AND PALMS FOR THREE YEARS
Have you ever had one of those days where something’s going on and you just can’t stop sweating? It makes you feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable, maybe wishing for somewhere else to be besides near anyone else. So, what do you do when you find yourself sweating blood? You get some damn help is what you do. This was the scenario that a 21-year-old woman in Italy found herself in recently. She entered a medical ward after three years of bleeding from her face and palms. Can you imagine? It’s caused the young woman to develop depression like symptoms.
WHEN YOU BLEED FROM YOUR FACE, YOU HIDE YOUR FACE AND DEVELOP DEPRESSION, PANIC DISORDER
After three years of what became isolation from blood sweating, the poor woman had to seek help. There were no obvious causes she could identify, nor any triggers for her face and palms sweating blood. But the condition was so bad that her deep isolation of three years led her into what is likely both depression and a panic disorder.
BLOOD SWEAT A RARE CONDITION, CAUSES UNKNOWN, NOSFERATU A POSSIBILITY
After some time observing the patient and treating her for both her depression and anxiety, the Florentine doctors diagnosed the young woman with “hematohidrosis,” the rare condition of “blood sweat.” Somehow even to this day, doctors don’t know what causes the condition of sweating blood—and some are even skeptical that it exists at all. An analysis of the patient’s skin found nothing abnormal, as reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
SWEATING BLOOD CONTROVERSIAL IN MEDICAL SCIENCE, MOSTLY BECAUSE IT’S THOUGHT OF AS A BIBLICAL REFERENCE (NO WORD IF LEPROSY IS REAL?)
Of course, there’s a long history of blood sweat diagnoses, according to a CMAJ commentary. Incidents of blood sweat occurred as far back as Aristotle in the third century, B.C., and throughout the Middle Ages. Unsurprisingly, the condition has religious undertones especially as it has an association with the religious relic called the Veil of Veronica, which is a cloth imprinted with Jesus’ face. Still, the dialogue and disagreement continues, with a 2012 dermatology textbook saying the disorder “has not been confirmed scientifically,” despite the fact that the authors of that text didn’t deny its existence.
Michelle Sholzberg, a hematologist practicing at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, told the CBC the case was “most unusual.”
The author of the commentary, a medical historian Jacalyn Duffin from Queen’s University in Ontario, has reviewed 42 medical articles on the condition since 1880. She first noticed that almost half of those articles were recent and from the last five years, yet many still doubt the condition’s existence. “Ironically, for an increasingly secular world, the long-standing association of hematohidrosis with religious mystery may make its existence harder to accept,” she wrote.
The Italian scientists opted in the end to treat their patient with a beta blocker called propranolol, since others cases had success with that in the past. This worked, but it didn’t completely stop the bleeding.