Diseases Sometimes Confused with Vampirism

Over the years, some diseases have sometimes been linked with vampirism because they gave out one or more symptoms that have also been associated with vampires. Those symptoms sometimes confused the person suffering from them and, if that person was already inclined to believe in vampires, even made the possibility of awakening seem plausible. Also, some of these diseases seem to be common among real-life vampires.

Following is of a few of those diseases with a quick explanation of what they are and some of their symptoms. If you can identify with some of them, please go see a doctor and get checked. Health is never something to be taken lightly.

The Diseases

  • Porphyria : During the early years it was known as blood/liver disease. Porphyrias are a group of inherited disorders of heme (heme is the group C34H32N4O4Fe of the hemoglobin aka blood and myoglobin) synthesis. Only one normal gene is present to produce a key functional enzyme in heme synthesis. This results in at least a 50% of the normal enzyme activity. This reduced level of enzyme results in a build up of precursors behind the deficient enzyme which then accumulate in body fluids and tissues. The clinical manifestations, cutaneous lesions, neurologic dysfunction, and hepatic disease, characteristic to each type of porphyria are due to the toxic nature of these precursor compounds.
  • Lupus : An inflammatory connective tissue disease of unknown cause that occurs chiefly in women. It is usually characterized by fever, skin rash, arthritis, acute hemolytic anemia, small hemorrhages in the skin and mucuous membranes, by inflammation of the pericardium and, in serious cases, by the involvement of the kidneys and central nervous system.
  • Photosensitivity : Can be caused as a side effect of certain drugs or just plain genetics. Considered as a disorder by the medical association, it regroups various types or levels (whichever is used medically, I am not sure) and each have their own symptoms.
    • Photoallergic Dermatitis : A delayed hypersensitivity involving the reaction between sunlight or other radiant energy source and a chemical substance to which the individual has been previously exposed and sensitized. It manifests as a papulovesicular (scientific medical term for blister or some solid elevation of the skin - as far as I can tell), eczema, or exudative dermatitis (occurence where there are leaks of fluids on the epiderm) occurring chiefly on the light-exposed areas of the skin.
    • Phototoxic Dermatitis : A nonimmunologic, chemically induced type of photosensitivity producing a sometimes vesiculating dermatitis (once again, the blisterning effect). It results in hyperpigmentation and desquamation (peeling of the skin) of the light-exposed areas of the skin.
    • Sunburn : An injury to the skin causing erythema, tenderness, and sometimes blistering and resulting from excessive exposure to the sun. The reaction is produced by the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. I think we all know that one on some level... I sure have experienced more than my share of sunburns. Now, I find that very comical to read that sunburns have been associated or confused with vampirism. I'll definitely have to check into that some more because right now it sounds like a joke to me. But when in doubt, write it down and keep on looking.
    • Hydroa Vacciniforme : A blistering eruption having a tendency to recur in summer during childhood and commonly appearing on sun-exposed skin. The lesions are surrounded by an erythematous zone (zone of abnormal redness)and resemble a vaccination.
    • Xeroderma Pigmentosum (very, very rare): A rare, pigmentary, and atrophic autosomal recessive (meaning it reduces the number of non-sex chromosomes amd atrophies those remaining) disease affecting all races. It is manifested as an extreme photosensitivity to ultraviolet light as the result of a deficiency in the enzyme that permits excisional repair of ultraviolet-damaged DNA. Also known as Kaposi Disease.

    For more generic information on photosensitivity, you can visit both these addresses:
    CBS Health Watch: http://cbs.medscape.com/cx/viewarticle/2...
    IntelliHealth: http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSI...
  • Chron's disease : A chronic illness that causes severe inflammation and ulcers throughout the gastrointestinal tract. This may include the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestine, colon and rectum. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bleeding, weight loss, fatigue and arthritis. As such, Chron's disease affects what you can and cannot eat.
  • Gluten sensitivity : An inherited trait which causes an auto-immune reaction to gluten which can be found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats. In these people, the intestines react as if gluten-containing foods were poison. The result can be serious gastro-intestinal symptoms and damage to the intestinal tract. Instead of foods being broken down in the small intestine and absorbed in the blood stream, the food passes undigested through the intestines. The resulting symptoms can include diarrhea, increased appetite, bloating, weight loss, irritability and fatigue.
  • Celiac disease (and other Malabsorption Diseases ) : A genetic inability to digest the gluten protein. Even small amounts of gluten, which destroys the intestinal lining of those with the celiac condition, results in tremendous stomach pains, back pains, and mood swings. The "amazing" thing about celiac disease is that no two individuals who have it seem to have the same set of symptoms or reactions. Celiac disease is a form of Gluten sensitivity (some even say those are the same thing, only with a different name).
  • Anemia : Some rare forms of anemia may cause a craving for blood in some cases. Immune Hemolytic Anemia is a term used to describe when one's white blood cells become so aggressive they attack normal tissues or in some very rare cases, the red cells. In my opinion, this is what would bring the need for blood. Note that this is not meant as human blood per se, but more in term of red meat and such.
  • Migraine headaches : Migraine headaches are apparently common among sanguinarians and psychic vampires. Migraines are a severe form of headaches that are characterized by extreme sensitivity to light, sounds and smells. Generally, a migraine will not strike out of the blue but slowly build up. This pre-migraine state has often been called the 'aura' amd is very similar to what some epileptics experience prior to a seizure.

Sometimes, depression can also present some weird symptoms that would lead one to believe he/she has been attacked by a vampire pr has been "awakened". Some depression is common among anyone, teenager or not, as long as it's not a suicidal or otherwise harmful depression.

Author: Jacynthe Durocher
Source: Suite101


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