Physician: cut yourself?
Or rather is it possible for the chemical imbalance caused by haemochromatosis to trigger a self harm response?
For the record, I'm NOT advising you find out!
Its something which a Steven D. Levitt could answer (you can tell I've just finished reading Freakonomics).
What started this is the New Scientist podcast and article about the survival of the sickest. The gist of the article is that haemochromatosis is a disease which causes too much iron to be stored by the body, but it has an odd side effect. If you have the condition, its harder for you to pick up certain diseases... like the black death. This may explain why the disease is especially common in people of "northern European extraction". In this way Haemochromatosis may be a benefit with a bad effect in the same way that Sickle-cell disease helps the carrier be resistant to malaria.
The treatment for haemochromatosis is to have a blood donation. There is an anecdotal story in the article about Sharon Moalem's (the author of the article and the papers) grandfather feeling better after a blood donation. It may also explain why the medicinal leech was used so much in Europe as a treatment. The patient felt better after their regular blood letting.
Which brings me to self harm, and cutting in particular. While the "relief" brought about by the cutting is from the actual cutting and very little blood is lost, is there a correlation between cutters (or former cutters) and haemochromatosis sufferers?
Dumb question, but that's why I'm the idiot.
blood, blood chemistry, cut yourself, chemical imbalance, haemochromatosis, self-injury, self harm, Steven D. Levitt, Levitt, Freakonomics, Sharon Moalem, New Scientist, survival of the sickest, iron, black death, Sickle-cell, blood donation, leech, correlation, cutter