Medically reviewed by Karen Cross, FNP, MSN — composed by Annamarya Scaccia — to update on may 30, 2018

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Lestat, Dracula, Angel, Spike: as soon as you listen “vampire,” you probably think that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or any kind of one of anne Rice’s novels. But vampires aren’t simply a matter of lore or pharmacy fiction. Some human being do drink human blood.

Sanguinarians, or “real vampires,” crave blood as a life force. They shouldn’t be perplexed with way of life vampires — human being interested in the culture, however who have no must “feed.”

Curious for a taste? Then read on to learn more about real-life vampirism.

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Clinical vampirism is a rare however documented disorder identified by a obsession to drink blood. It’s additionally known together Renfield’s syndrome, which is named after a personality from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” human being who feeding on blood — whether human being or animal — execute so out of what’s thought to be a biological need, in stimulate to maintain health and vitality.

Although clinical vampirism is a real disorder, yes no way to recognize if that the reason of sanguinarians’ reported symptoms or reason for drink blood. Studies on clinical vampirism room thin. Clinical information about sanguinarians is even an ext sparse.

Some sanguinarians acknowledge that the desire might be psychosomatic. However without research, there’s no real method to know.

deserve to drinking person blood aid treat specific disorders?

Although there’s speak of drinking human being blood to treat problems where transfusions are supplied (think bleeding obstacle or kidney disease), there isn’t any type of clinical evidence to support this.

Researchers do recognize that blood transfusions space processed differently than blood that’s ingested.

With a transfusion, the donor blood is transferred to your vein straight through one intravenous (IV) line.

Drinking blood, ~ above the other hand, is handle by the body the same as water: right into the stomach, to the tiny intestine, then right into the bloodstream. Yet unlike, say, vampire bats, human being bodies don’t have the right mechanisms required to digest blood. Swallowing copious quantities of blood might hurt her stomach and also may reason vomiting.

That hasn’t stopped civilization from acquisition this strategy to treatment, though.

Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is a rarely disorder that reasons the skin to become incredibly perceptible to sunlight. Nowadays, physicians advise people who have actually EPP to stop sun exposure. Regular blood transfusions are additionally used to help ease symptoms.

Some speculate that premodern humans who drank animal blood and also only went out at night — fueling vampire folklore — may have done so come treat EPP.

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It may be for sure to drink blood in little amounts, suspect the blood is disease-free. However drinking more than, say, a pair of teaspoons puts girlfriend in the peril zone.

Why? healthy and balanced human blood is affluent in iron. Our bodies have a hard time acquiring rid of overabundance iron. If you drink much more than what you might consume when eating a raw steak, you’re at hazard for steel overload. This condition is dubbed hemochromatosis.

Hemochromatosis might be hereditary or prompted by other underlying conditions. In this case, it can happen if her body absorbs too much iron indigenous the blood girlfriend drink.

Reaching this level of toxicity can increase your danger of developing other life-threatening disorders, consisting of heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes. That’s since the excess steel is stored in her liver, heart, and pancreas, resulting in all type of health problems.