Vampire and werewolf legends might have arisen from fear of people who suffer from a rare genetic disorder called Porphyria. Individuals who suffer from this disorder have many of the same characteristics attributed to legendary vampires and werewolves. Every country has its own vampires and werewolves, but there are similarities even between different regions. Porphyria is also found throughout the world.
PORPHYRIA PATIENTS ARE NOT VAMPIRES OR WEREWOLVES. ALL WE ARE SAYING IS THAT PORPYHRIA MIGHT HAVE CONTRIBUTE TO THE ORIGIN OF THE LEGENDS OF THESE BEINGS
Porphyria comes from the Greek word "porphyrus", meaning purple. Porphyria is a genetic and metabolic disorder that effects both sexes and all races, but mainly Slavs and Anglos. (Metabolic disorders affect the body chemistry). Porphyria is caused by the excess production of porphyrins, an iron-free chemical in the body that forms the base of chlorophyll and hemoglobin, and the lack or over production of the heme. Excess porphyrin causes photosensitivity, in which a person is oversensitive to sunlight. This occurs because when porphyrins are exposed to light and oxygen they generate a charged, unstable form of oxygen that can damage the skin. Nerve damage, pain and even paralysis occurs in some porphyrias.
Porphyria can be divided into two groups, the hepatic which involves the liver and the erythropoietic which involves the bone marrow and the blood. It can also be grouped into smaller groups. Hepatic porphyria comes from excess porphyrins in the liver and other enzyme deficiencies. Erythropoietic porphyria stems from the over production of porphyrins in the bone marrow and the blood cells and causes photosensitivity. Cuntaneous porphyria affects the skin, causing skin fragility such as blistering and cracking. Acute porphyria involves the nervous system and can lead to hallucinations, lunacy and paralysis.
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