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Author Topic: Sweating blood while under great stress
Pseudo_Croat
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During a Bible study class at church today, we discussed the events leading up to the Crucifixion. During one scene, Jesus was described as having sweated blood. The Bible study leader mentioned that during periods of extreme stress, people have actually been known to sweat blood. Since then, I've been wondering: Is this true, or just a colorful meatphor? My Web searches took me nowhere.

- Pseudo "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" Croat

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TrekkerScout
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Sweating blood (or blood pigment) is a very rare medical condition known as hematidrosis and is usually associated with extreme stress and high blood pressure.
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Pseudo_Croat
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Well, I did find some more information on what you described, TrekkerScout, but I can't seem to find anything on how the doctor would treat it. I assume sweating blood would be a medical emergency, since the skin would get all sore and the bleeding might lead to shock and the like, but would you have to end up in a burn unit or something?

- Pseudo_Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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J'sMommy
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I don't know how you would treat it, but I know that in a church I went to as a child there was an elderly woman who indeed did get so worked up during her prayers that she sweated blood. I never saw it myself, but there were more than enough people who had, so I have no reason to think it wasn't true. I imagine high blood pressure had a lot to do with her bleeding.

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candycane from strangers
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That would certainly make laundry a chore.

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Pseudo_Croat
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quote:
Originally posted by J'sMommy:
I don't know how you would treat it, but I know that in a church I went to as a child there was an elderly woman who indeed did get so worked up during her prayers that she sweated blood. I never saw it myself, but there were more than enough people who had, so I have no reason to think it wasn't true. I imagine high blood pressure had a lot to do with her bleeding.

Now I have something to work on. Was there any pain, either before or after? Any weakness or shock? Did they have to take her to the emergency room? What did her skin look like afterward?

I'm very curious about all this.

- Pseudo_Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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ThistleSoftware
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Why don't you google hematidrosis?

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Pseudo_Croat
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by ThistleS:
Why don't you google hematidrosis?

I did. Most of the stuff I got was either straight medical defintions or medical descriptions of Christ's Passion (man, try reading one of those without getting the chills [Eek!] ). Can't seem to find anything on modern-day treatment.

- Pseudo (that was the least of Jesus' problems) Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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From the sources I looked at, hematidrosis is extremely rare, and it's even rarer for it to be a recurring problem. Perhaps there simply isn't a known treatment.

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FireSpook
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I sounds fake; how can you 'sweat' bloodcells?

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Pseudo_Croat
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quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm:
I sounds fake; how can you 'sweat' bloodcells?

From what I understand, the blood doesn't come out of the sweat glands, but instead the capillaries under the skin burst and the blood comes out of the pores. Kinda like a bruise trying to externalize itself, I imagine.

- Pseudo_Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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cubbie
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I do remember hearing about this on a show about Christ on the Discovery Channel. And the host did talk about some modern cases, like one woman sweating blood during the bombings of London during WW2.

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Rhiandmoi
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I think it would sort of be like a nosebleed only all over. I think you might have to have some other conditions present to have this happen. Like mentioned earlier high blood pressure, thin dry skin, maybe blood thinners.

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Izzy Quigley
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I thought the Bible said that Jesus' sweat was "like drops of blood," and not that He was actually sweating blood. Maybe this varies between translations?

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SmilingJackal
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I saw this, decided to register and put my two cents in.
First off, for those that don't know. Hema = blood. There are a few names and conditions which may pertain to this. First one is hematochromatosis, staining of tissues with blood pigment.[Also called hemochromatosis.] Hemochromatosis a disorder due to deposition of hemosiderin in the parenchymal cells, causing tissue damage and dysfunction of the liver, pancreas, heart, and pituitary. Other clinical signs include bronze pigmentation of skin, arthropathy, diabetes, cirrhosis, hepatosplenomegaly, hypogonadism, and loss of body hair. Full development of the disease among women is restricted by menstruation and pregnancy.
Now, here are some degrees of hemochromatosis.
[h. = Hemachromatosis]

Acquired h.: Hemochromatosis resulting from blood transfusions or excessive dietary iron, or secondary to other disease, e.g., thalassemia or sideroblastic anemia; called also secondary h.

Genetic h., Hereditary h., Idiopathic h.: An autosomal recessive disorder of iron metabolism associated with a gene tightly linked to the A locus of the HLA[human leukocyte antigens.] complex on chromosome 6; iron accumulation is lifelong, with symptoms appearing usually in the fifth or sixth decades of life.

Neonatal h., Perinatal h.: A rare fulminant disease of the liver, of unknown cause, characterized by massive deposition of iron in the liver, pancreas, heart, and endocrine glands; symptoms are those of neonatal hepatitis and appear in utero or within the first week of life, with death usually occurring by 4 months of age.

That's over. Phew. Also known by Hematohidrosis, which is basically cutaneous hemorrhage. I believe this is more associated with one undergoing great stress like, knowing you are about to die. To quote, although rare, according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe (Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York) it is well-known, and there have been many cases of it. The clinical term is "hematohidrosis. Around the sweat glands, there are multiple blood vessels in a net-like form. Under the pressure of great stress the vessels constrict. Then as the anxiety passes the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands. As the sweat glands are producing a lot of sweat, it pushes the blood to the surface - coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat." I think he words it up quite well to understand easily.
So, you can see that it is basically your body under extreme stress, and the blood from your bursted capillaries mxing with sweat. You remember the bruisters you got from your siblings? Or had a really bad bruise? I know I have, a few of them had red spots, like I was hit with a cactus or something. Bruises are usually busted veins deeper under the skin, the internal bleeding is what makes that odd purple coloration.
As far as for how it feels.. Well, extremely painful. Like the worst sunburn ever. The skin remains sensitive for a long time after this occurs, so putting clothing on was most likely a pain for a bit. I relate it to tattoos, since I have a full back one. I had to treat it every few hours when I first got it. The pores were opened up, bleeding, some scabbing over. The 'wound' needed time to heal. I did NOT want to wear shirts at all, and avoided doing so while at home. The only way I could imagine treating this condition is by wraps, salves, ointments, sprays, and such. If in a hospital they would probably be on an IV drop of saline/morphine and another bag of just water to keep the person hydrated.
Well..I think that is enough for now.
[On a side note, I am adding some of this to Wikipedia. =)]

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