New Scientific Perspective on "Blood Drinkers"
Tue Jun 29 19:03:39 1999
"An urge is just another name for an addiction/craving. The body might
very well be telling your brain that it's missing something, and expecting
you to replace it. If it falls in the realm of an addiction, then
all bets are off. Noone knows conclusively what the mechanics of addiction
are, much less how to stop it. If it's a craving related to the condition
of the sufferer's body, then that is something we can more readily
sort out and investigate."
"Addiction" is VERY well understood, and is a function of our sensory
neurology. Specifically, the senses of Smell and Taste, which operate
based upon the molecular "lock and key" neuroreceptors located in
the mouth, nose, and key input/recognition areas of the brain (for
the purposes of this topic). Since all substances have specific molecular
configurations at any point in detection and metabolism, they will
only interact with neuroreceptors having the corresponding configurations.
Also, neuroreceptors are often capable of accepting more than a single
substance, if the molecular configuration is nearly identical (such
as certain opiates and their synthesized "safe" counterparts used
in treatments, including Methedone).
A key point should be recognized here. While molecular configurations
of neuroreceptors are "object" (identical for each specific type of
receptor from one person to the next), the numbers of each type of
receptor are not. Neither are the neural pathway associations formed
in detecting and experiencing them. Some are "hardwired" genetically,
if you will. But the majority are spontaneously created as a result
of the over-all influences at the time of the experience. So each
of us possesses common yet unique abilities for forming neural association
due to substance detection and metabolism. We each come "pre-packaged"
with unique genetic predispositions in terms of the relative numbers
of any given type of receptor, and we also have distinct and varying
experiences during the association forming process.
This means that one person with a genetically low number of receptors
(we'll call them Type#A), that experiences some new scent or taste
in a relatively quiet environment without strong emotional influences,
will have a predisposition to forming a relatively weak association
as well as perceiving it as a mundane experience. By contrast however,
the person with a genetically high number of receptors (still Type#A),
that experiences some new scent or taste in an excited environment
with very strong emotional influences, will have a predisposition
to forming a very powerful association as well as perceiving it as
an intense experience. Which is the result of the stronger electrical
signal generated by the additional receptors all firing at the interaction
with the molecular configuration of whatever substance they interact
Obviously, particularly in the latter case, this merely demonstrates
the mechanism of the experience and neural pathway association formation.
It doesn't determine the relative sense of Pleasure vs. Pain (or Good
vs. Bad, if you will) that becomes more significant in more intense
experiences. The point being that addiction always hinges upon 2 principles.
First, that there is a strong state involved when the addictive association
is formed. Secondly, that the momentary new state perceived during
the formation of the new pathway is stronger and more pleasurable
than the pre-existent state and association. This is why it is so
common for genuinely sincere individuals to "fall off the wagon".
It is not exactly a lack of Will Power, so much as an internal neurological
default to the stronger state association. Until the addictive pathway
is collapsed and superceeded by a newer stronger one, there will always
be that default predisposition toward the addiction.
The mechanism is not a simplistic Causal one either in that "It's
physical, and there's nothing I can do about!", or "It's all in my
head, and I'll just Will it away!". The "Will" approach occaisionally
APPEARS to succeed, but only because at some point a new association
has been created to override the addictive one. Which is never truly
accomplished by pure Will alone, but rather through comprehension
and understanding of the nature of the process and/or the perception
of real need and desire for change. The term used in desribing this
psychology/physiology cyclic interaction process is known as a Cybernetic
Now it strikes me that there may be a key to "blood drinking" here.
Recall the mention of genetic predisposition toward the relative numbers
of a given type of receptor? If certain individuals have anomalously
high numbers of a given receptor (we'll call it the Type#B receptor),
and that receptor is configured to interact with some key component
in the bloodstream, then it logically follows that such individuals
would be genetically predisposed toward a stronger experience and
association to the taste of blood. That alone might be enough to create
a subconscious memory file of the experience. The body filing away
that it noticed a strong response to this stimulus which was the result
of the stronger electrical signals generated by the additional receptors
all firing at the interaction with the molecular configuration of
whatever component in the bloodstream they interact with.
What comes most to mind is the blood's high concentrations of electrolytes
(particularly iron and sodium) and glucoses. Iron seems likely, because
the experience of eating meat so closely parallels that described
of blood drinking. If there is an inordinately high number of these
receptors, or a genetic variant of this receptor, then that would
show a physiological basis for the body's reaction to the taste of
blood, as well as the mechanism for creating the psychological association
that forms the cybernetic loop that drives the "hunger", even though
it (reportedly) doesn't truly fill you as food does.
It would also explain the short term and long term effects perceived
from blood drinking. The initial rush would be the body's reaction
to the receptors "informing" it that fresh electrolytes were on the
way. The body "powering up" in anticipation of the need to metabolize
them, and the psychological anticipation of the Pleasure experience.
Then, the sluggishness that can occur with the digestion of all foods.And,
the long term energy effects of elevating your eletrolyte/iron count
in your bloodstream. Just as the amount of blood in your system is
self-regulating, like the ability to consume extra fluids after donating,
the body probably perceives the new imbalance of electrolytes, and
begins to correct that until the natural balance is more closely approximated.
Which sets the stage for the entire process to repeat itself.
Perhaps most significantly, the testing for neuroreceptors is something
that would never be done as a part of any medical procedure, and so
would probably be overlooked completely. And as the self-regulating
process of the body would return the bloodstream to a close approximation
of its original state, nothing would particularly show up in the blood.
Except perhaps very slight cases of the iron and/or electrolyte levels
fluctuating, which is to a degree normal. Including mild acute cases
What this leaves us with is a "naturally" (physiologically) occurring
process, that results in a what is perceived to be an "unnatural"
psychology, through genetic predisposition. Such a "condition", if
confirmed scientifically through testing, would show that blood drinkers
have no conscious role in the creation of their state. However, it
would equally show that they could consciously choose to change this
state through the use of cybernetic loop re-association, the same
mechanism that solidified it as part their nature.
From everything that I've read and observed, this seems far and away
the most comprehensive and plausible scientific theory re: a physiological
mechanism of the "Sanguivorous" nature.