Livin' on the MDedge

Seeing is bleeding, and smelling is perceiving


True Blood casting call!

woman with a bloody tear Lauren Bates/Moments/via Getty Images

If you’ve seen the show True Blood on HBO, you’re probably familiar with blood coming out instead of tears when any of the vampires start crying. Apparently, this interesting phenomenon isn’t unique to vampires on TV.

If you know about female anatomy, you know that the eyes aren’t usually involved in the menstrual cycle. However, a 25-year-old woman went to the ED when she experienced haemolacria, the term for blood tears, for the second time in 2 months during her cycle. She did not appear to have any injuries or illnesses that caused the eye bleeding, but physicians noted that both times she had eye bleeding, she also had her period.

Menstrual bleeding outside of the uterus, called vicarious menstruation, can occur, and it seems that the patient may have had that condition.

Since there are rumors of a True Blood remake circling, perhaps the show’s writers could blend in a little medical fact with vampire fiction.

What does skinny smell like? Lemons apparently

lemons anilakkus/E+/via Getty Images

When you smell a lemon, what comes to your mind? How does it make you feel? Now think of the scent of vanilla. How does that one make you feel? Current research suggests certain smells may have an effect on how you perceive your body image.

Researchers from the University of Sussex (England) have found that certain olfactory stimuli (such as lemons and vanilla) and audio stimuli (light steps vs. heavy steps), have a moderate effect on self-image.

During their study, participants were put through a series of auditory and olfactory tests, from listening to stilettos and boots walking across the floor, to being exposed to certain essential oils with different sound pitches.

Exposure to lemon and higher-pitched sounds (like stilettos) made participants feel lighter and was associated with thin, spiky shapes. Exposure to vanilla and lower-pitched sounds was more associated with thicker, rounded shapes. This made researchers believe that multisensory stimuli, such as scents and sounds, can have a bigger role in treating eating disorders.

Our brain functions with multiple “mental models” of ourselves. Based on sensory stimuli from our day-to-day lives, those images and perceptions of ourselves change. Someone complimenting your snazzy new sweater provokes one self-perception, while someone letting you know that your fly is down provokes another.

Well, the researchers believe that, through a sense of smell, we can alter that perception of ourselves when paired with positive influence. Doing this through wearable “interactive clothes” could help boost the confidence and self-esteem of patients struggling with body image. Light smells equals light feelings. Of course, this won’t help the nearly 5% of the world who have some kind of smell disorder.

The researchers said that more research needs to be done, but you can do your own little experiment at home. Think about yourself and how you react to certain smells. How do they make you feel? If it makes you feel good, stop and smell more often.


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