Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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PORPHYRIA

(Poor-FEAR-ee-ah)
Porphyria is a rare hereditary medical condition in which a person's body does not produce heme, the main component in hemoglobin. Those who suffer with this disease have a sensitivity to sunlight, allergic reactions to GARLIC, excessive HAIR growth, scars that easily break back open and never heal properly, and a tightening of the skin around the gums and lips that gives the illusion of the incisor teeth being larger than normal. These symptoms certainly add up to what many people consider being textbook vampiric traits. However, there are no vampires, mythologically speaking, that fit this profile. People who claim to suffer from porphyria and claim that their craving to drink blood stems from the disease are incorrect. Although the craving may be real, there is absolutely no medical evidence to support the idea that porphyria sufferers crave blood, human or otherwise.
Source: Bunson, Encyclopedia of Vampires, 210; Evans, Porphyria; Ramsland, Science of Vampire, 91
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