… Bizarre disorder also causes blood to seep from her fingernails
A teenager suffers from a rare condition that causes her to cry and sweat blood.
Delfina Cedeno 19 began suffering from the bizarre disorder – which also causes blood to seep from her fingernails and belly button – four years ago.
As her condition deteriorated, she started crying the red fluid, having nosebleeds and suffering hair loss.
As her worst, she has bled for up to 15 days and was once left in such a critical condition that she needed a blood transfusion.
But despite hundreds of tests, doctors in her hometown of Veron, in the Dominican Republic, were left baffled.
Miss Cedeno said: ‘When this started happening to me I didn’t know what to think – I was terrified and in complete shock.
‘At first no one could help me and they looked at me like a crazy person when I told them what was going on.
‘It was only when I started bleeding in front of a doctor one day that they begin to take me seriously’.
She says she became so ashamed of her condition that she was terrified of leaving the home she shares with her mother Mariana, 36.
She dropped out of school and many of her friends deserted her out of embarrassment or fear that she was contagious.
She said: ‘people were terrified of me. They thought if they touched me I would stain them with blood.
‘Kids laughed and shouted at me. For a long time I just stayed in my bedroom’.
Miss Cedeno became so depressed by the ordeal that she even tried to take her own life by overdosing on sedatives.
She said: I wanted to die. My family found me in a heap in my bedroom with my mouth foaming. I ended up in intensive care for a week and when I woke up the doctors told I me I had technically died.
‘I’d gone into cardiac arrest and they had to give me electric shocks. There was a chance I might have lost the use of my limbs.
‘But amazingly I recovered. And now I’ m really glad because after that my life started to get better’.
A few months later she met her boyfriend, Recaris Avila, who paid her a visit in hospital after hearing her story.
She said: ‘He said I was beautiful. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life’.
Now, four years after it all began, specialists have finally made a breakthrough.
It is thought Miss Cedeno suffers with a rare condition called hematidrosis, which means she has 20 times the level of adrenaline of a normal person.
The anxiety attacks it causes makes her blood pressure rise so severely that she sweats – and this comes out of her body as blood.
The condition is extremely rare. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, the many blood vessels which surround the sweat gland constrict, or narrow, under the pressure of stress.
As the anxiety increases, the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands, which push it along with sweat to the surface, presenting as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.
Miss Cedeno has now been given medication to control her anxiety, which has helped to control the bleeding.