I was recently watching a documentary about people who proclaim themselves vampires and drink human blood. I remember reading somewhere that consuming human blood is actually bad for your system, but I cannot remember if this is true or not. Does anyone know? Also, these people claim to gain some positive nourishment from drinking the blood. Do they actually gain anything?

*note: I personally do not condone this practice
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First Helper Dragoneyes
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replied September 6th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
I have also heard of people who drink human blood and gain nourishment from it. CSI even did and episode on it.

The thing is, drinking blood will make most people nauseous. It's not because it's harmful in any way (aside from diseases, but we're assuming a clean blood supply), but it's the taste and consistency that does it. Soured milk won't hurt you at all either (again, as long as it went sour in the refridgerator and doesn't have diseases) but the taste, texture and smell causes most people to vomit.

Obviously, consuming your own blood is of no benefit since you had to make it in the first place.

You can't say blood isn't a good source of nutrients, because it is! It's just normally not enough to sustain a human. Some tribes in africa actually make milkshakes with milk and cow blood and drink them, so blood consumption is nothing new.

The medical world is still debating the issue of people who need to consume blood to survive. I doubt there will be any serious consensus on it any time soon.
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replied July 1st, 2009
I've heard there is a disease out there that people have, where drinking human blood is a necessity for them to survive. Not vampires, but something else. Is there actually a disease like this?
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replied July 2nd, 2009
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BrightEyes09, this is an old post but since you asked... Some people say celiac disease causes a craving to drink blood. There is a psychological disorder called Reinfeld Syndrome, named after bug- eating Reinfeld in Bram Stoker's Dracula. RF occurs in people who feel a pyschological, not physical need to drink blood.
On a side note, 2 diseases that are mistaken for vampirism are porphyria and Xeroderma pigmentosum. These disorders involve skin sensitivity to sunlight.
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replied October 6th, 2010
I have drank blood for non-psychological reasons all my life.

I have yet to know for sure if it benefits me in any way other than stopping the nagging cravings for it, but I do recover more quickly from illness if I do get ill soon before I consume blood.

Either way, it makes my life easier and I've grown up doing it and I have never had any major medical mishaps during the times where I have been consuming blood regularly.

The times when I have not consumed blood....well, medical problems occur consistently and in odd ways and for varied unrelated reasons, which happen to vanish when I drink blood again.

As I've said, benefit from blood in my case is essentially unproven. But I can say that it does not, in any way, effect my health negatively.
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replied April 23rd, 2012
When you eat food, it gets broken down and eventually defuses into the blood. All the nutrients needed for a person to stay alive is in the blood. In a way, bleeding out (exsanguination) is actually just starving to death extremely quickly.
Blood has all the nutrients a person needs to live, but it also has things such as uria, Hormones and a certain amount of what ever the person has eaten recently.
Our blood is, along from exercise, self harm and genetics, what determines what sort of body we have. If a person eats a lot of fatty foods, it shows up in their blood, gathers just under the skin (and other places)and makes the person overweight.

There are various dynamics you have to consider. These include...

Hormones
If a person were to theoretically sustain themselves purely off of blood, both people would have to be of the same physical gender. Hormones are different in each physical gender, and they are present in the blood. They have dramatic effects of health, and should be kept the same to what the genes of a body encode them to be (unless the person consciously wants gender reassignment
therapy).

Health of the person
Obviously, a person with HIV or AIDS has it in their blood, and it is passed around through bodily fluids. A person with any disease will have it in their blood as well, but they will also have anti-bodies appropriate to the disease. Also, the person would have to have a diet you want to be substituted by with blood. So, if you want to have a body and health like someone who eats veggies and fruits all day and exercises sufficiently, you are going to have to exercise sufficiently and find someone who eats veggies and fruits all day, AND NOTHING ELSE. Everything comes up in a persons blood, be it food, diseases or drugs.

Digestion
You will be digesting blood cells directly, instead of through your spleen. This means you will get more protein and salt from drinking the blood directly than if you had injected it. You need water to facilitate the reactions for separating and using those nutrients. This means you need someone who is both eating *slightly* more carbohydrates then you want to be under the influence of, and more water.
In addition, depending on how much it clotted and how much water you drink, you could end up with either; almost no bowl movements of which to speak of, or extreme constipation. Drink plenty of water and drink the blood fresh, and failing that, not clotted. Don't use blood thinning substances as these can be very unhealthy in the amount needed.

Obtaining the blood
If possible, use a clean needed to obtain blood from a ARTERY (these look blue under pale skin, purple under olive (Asian, Hispanic, Tanned Caucasian, pale person with dark brown/ almost black skin normally) and grey under dark skin). Veins (the red looking ones; the others) have to higher levels of waste products compared to artery blood.
Try to refrain from sucking the blood out. This is potentially unhealthy as the surrounding area of skin may be contaminated; you could also give the person an infection (cannibals should at least attempt to be hospitable!).
Drinking from an open wound is also not advised for similar reasons.

Practicality:

1) Drinking just blood, gender and health not accounted for...
You will dehydrate from lack of water reserves and to much salt. Will cause severe constipation that may result in internal bleeding and anal fissures. Your health will be very bad from the hormonal influence from the opposite sex (it is for this reason that you should avoid the blood of children and adolescents, and twilight fans) and the unpredictability of the health of the person. Overall, this is the worst choice. If you plan to do this, at least make sure the person is disease free and that it is not repeated.

2) Drinking blood with water, specific people to draw from whose health is very good, disease free, has recently eaten a healthy meal and has not consumed drugs, poisons or other unhealthy substances in the past 24 hours...
Among the best options. You may need a large amount of people (so as to allow them to regain the blood they lost) and ultimately, their health is still out of your hands.

3) By means of injections, rather than consumption...
This is another dynamic to work with. The disadvantages, of course, is the constant need of needles. You also absolutely need to make sure that person's blood is compatible with your own (I would include a list, but I am becoming conscious of the size of this post). If not, you blood will clot and you will die. This is bad.
The advantages, however, is that you also get a quick immune system boost. By digesting the blood, you are also digesting the white blood cells (part of our immune system). With successful injection you will have a slightly better immune system for a short while, but it will not last for long. This is similar to short term vaccination.
It should also be noted that, to avoid high blood pressure (extremely high, actually), you need to take your own blood out by roughly equal amounts (it can be slightly less but you blood pressure WILL INCREASE for quit some time).

Useful Notes
Drinking your own blood is counter productive; you need energy to make the blood and energy to digest the blood. Don't drink your own blood.

Digested blood releases an enzyme the calms the heart. A fast beating heart will slow down, and heart beating too slowly will speed up.

Period blood is also unsuitable for consumption due to the composition of it. Technically, it isn't even blood; just red blood cells. "Blood" blood has red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, hormones, food, and blood plasma.

You need to drink a lot of blood to actually survive off of this. It would amount to almost a gallon of blood, not including water, every day, depending on your body size.

This can be psychologically disgusting and emotionally draining on you and people involved with you. The novelty wares off quickly (it can get boring) and most people find that they prefer food they can chew. The taste is also off putting to some people (but it can be an easy way to remain healthy, provided the other requirements are met).

Being what basically amounts to a cannibal does not make for good stories to close friends, the religiously inclined, people who are particularly sensitive, those who are afraid of blood, almost anyone.

It is also possible to have a fluid only diet, although fat and protein are harder to get. It may be more possible to use blood only as a supplement.
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replied April 4th, 2013
I'd like to begin by first saying I'm a 30 yr old, emotionally stable, single mom. As a child growing up I did have a bit of an unnatural obsession with vampires and the idea of drinking blood. Of course, to even consider the act of consuming blood seemed ridiculous, if not to question all the obvious implications of sexual deviancy, repression, childhood trauma, psychological dysfunction - all the tidy little motivators that scream socially unacceptable behavior. However, I now suffer from celiac disease and fibromyalgia that, though they may not be associated and probably aren't, increase my desire to consume blood. And I do, under very strict and legal circumstances that are procured by myself when the need arises. At which time, upon drinking, such physical ailments I normally endure, does indeed fade away. I feel almost normal, if a bit self-loathing. I'm certainly not a doctor, I've never claimed to know anything more than my pointless biology degree and experience allows. Anyhow, that's my input.
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