From vampires who glisten in the sun, to those who hunt through a town until it is completely lifeless, vampires have never been thought of as anything but a fake, scary, made-up tale. But did you know, real vampires do actually exist, and thirst for blood is real.
Have you ever heard of anyone craving blood? Vampirism is actually a strange, uncommon medical condition that causes normal human beings to want to drink blood, Medical Daily reports.
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Vampirism is clinically known as Renfield’s Syndrome, which in layman’s terms means to have a compulsion to drink blood. Those with Renfield’s Syndrome often link blood with excitement as a child, which eventually leads to sexual arousal after puberty.
A researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. John Edgar Browning, doesn’t believe that vampirism and Renfield’s Syndrome is the same. Renfield’s Syndrome is considered a psychiatric illness rather than a medical illness.
“Merticus,” a self-proclaimed vampire, told The Daily Beast what it is truly like living with vampirism.
“Without feeding the vampire will become lethargic, sickly, depressed, and often go through physical suffering or discomfort.”
Another vampire claims the only way she can control her “irritable bowels” is to drink up to a cup of blood. Another report, the BBC revealed, stated that one vampire required hospitalization following a prolonged absence of quenching her thirst. She also mentioned that she began to recover after she was given some blood to drink.
Dr. DJ Williams told Medical Daily his take on vampirism.
“From my experience, many vampires seem to think that there is likely an undiscovered genetic or medical explanation for their condition. Real vampires believe that they do not choose their condition. In other words, they report that they have a need for extra energy, which defines their vampiric identity.”
Live Science reveals that there are actually medical risks to drinking blood because humans are simply not meant to drink blood. When drank in large amounts, it can become toxic to a human being. Drinking blood can cause iron build-up, which could potentially cause haemochromatosis, which can cause dehydration, liver problems, fluid in lungs, depression and even death. Of course, you have HIV, Hepatitis B and C, as well as other blood pathogen diseases. However, blood donors are well screened before giving blood to a vampire.
Browning did say, however, that real life vampires do not typically drink enough blood to cause medical issues.
“I, personally, have not met a New Orleans vampire who’s caused harm to him, or herself, by drinking too much blood, nor have I heard of this happening to anyone in the greater community.”
Williams mentioned to Medical Daily that most vampires do not share their blood-drinking habits with doctors for fear of being ridiculed and forced to being diagnosed with a mental illness.
“I think it is very important that doctors and clinicians are open to their clients’ diverse beliefs (including personal identities), meaningful experiences, and lifestyles. The more open and nonjudgmental clinicians are, the more likely they can help their clients.”
Fusion reports that there are no real “good” reasons for a human to drink blood. Why do some vampires get that extra vamp of energy after they drink blood then? An infectious disease specialist at Cornell Medical College, Kent Sepkowitz, said that the iron vampires consume is likely the reason for that.
“The only plausible benefit is that because blood is full of iron and a large proportion of anemia is due to low iron levels, drinking blood is a relatively efficient way to get iron.”
Kent further states that all vampires are doing is giving themselves a “hyper dramatic dose of iron.”
Well, there you have it. Vampires are real and so is a thirst for blood. You may have vampires living next door to you and you may never know because they appear to be just like any normal human being.
[Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]