CBS Local — A young woman in Italy has been diagnosed with a rare condition that causes her to sweat out her own blood. The bizarre symptoms have plagued the woman for the last three years and regularly leave her hands and face in a gory state.
According to the CBC, the terrifying case was reported to the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) by dermatologists in Italy who studied the 21-year-old’s bleeding episodes. “I can say with clarity that I’ve never seen a case like this — ever,” Dr. Michelle Sholzberg of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto told the CBC. “I can say that I’ve seen some of the worst bleeding disorders, and I’ve never seen them sweat blood.”
The bleeding spells reportedly began whenever the young woman would become physically active or when she went to sleep. The CMAJ also reported that the bleeding got even worse if the 21-year-old was under stress. “Our patient had become socially isolated owing to embarrassment over the bleeding and she reported symptoms consistent with major depressive disorder and panic disorder,” the dermatologists wrote, according to CTV News.
The patient’s condition was eventually diagnosed as a rare case of hematohidrosis. Cases of the syndrome are extremely rare and reportedly have been recorded as far back as the 16th century. Much of the knowledge about the condition before then was heavily linked to religious texts.
Canadian medical historian Jacalyn Duffin says there has been a recent spike in occurrences of the disorder, with at least 18 cases of hematohidrosis reported since 2000. Doctors have reportedly given the woman a beta blocker medication to help diminish the symptoms but they have not been able to stop the bleeding completely.