Hematidrosis (also called hematohidrosis) He-ma-ti-drosis is a very rare condition in which a human being sweats blood. It may occur when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress, for example, facing his or her own death. Several historical references have been described; notably by Leonardo da Vinci: describing a soldier who sweated blood before battle, men unexpectedly given a death sentence, as well as descriptions in the Bible, that Jesus experienced hematidrosis when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22,44).
There are a few names and conditions which may pertain to this, such as hematochromatosis, or staining of tissues with blood pigment. Hemochromatosis a disorder due to deposition of hemosiderin in the parenchymal cells, causing tissue damage and dysfunction of the liver, pancreas, heart, and pituitary. Other clinical signs include bronze pigmentation of skin, arthropathy, diabetes, cirrhosis, hepatosplenomegaly, hypogonadism, and loss of body hair. Full development of the disease among women is restricted by menstruation and pregnancy.
There are varying degrees of hemochromatosis, including:
In a lecture, Dr. Zugibe stated: "The severe mental anxiety...activated the sympathetic nervous system to invoke the stress-fight or flight reaction to such a degree causing hemorrhage of the vessels supplying the sweat glands into the ducts of the sweat glands and extruding out onto the skin. While hematidrosis has been reported to occur from other rare medical entities, the presence of profound fear accounted for a significant number of reported cases including six cases in men condemned to execution, a case occurring during the London blitz, a case involving a fear of being raped, a fear of a storm while sailing, etc. The effects on the body is that of weakness and mild to moderate dehydration from the severe anxiety and both the blood and sweat loss."