Bloodletting is the practice of withdrawing blood from patients with the aspiration of healing or curing some disease or ailment. It remains popular since ancient Egypt but now it’s not a common treatment for any illness anymore. The ancient physician came up with the idea of four humors that contains in our body: phlegm, black bile, yellow bile, and blood.
They strongly believed that it could lead to illness if the four fluids were imbalanced, so they drain some blood from the patient’s body to heal. They used multi-blade flame or leeches as a tool for draining blood from the body. Bloodletting stayed really popular through the 17th and 18th centuries.
King Charles II was bled after suffering a stroke and George Washington was bled multiple times when he came down with a throat infection. Both of them died within a few days.
But today bloodletting is referred to as phlebotomy in medicine, instead of using blood vessel shredding tools though blood is now mostly taken intravenously with tubes.
Few studies have shown conclusive benefits from phlebotomy but most hypotheses focus on the role of excess iron in certain diseases most of your body’s iron is in your red blood cells in hemoglobin (a protein important for shuttling oxygen through your body).
Too little iron is a well-understood cause of fatigue and has serious consequences for the fetal brain on the other hand too much iron is bad which can accept and donate electrons easily which is great for shuttling oxygen but it can also lead to the formation of free radicals. These highly unstable molecules have unpaired electrons so they react readily with DNA RNA and proteins and can lead to various diseases. One idea is that by reducing excess iron fewer free radicals will be floating around and your cells may be safer.
One very small case seven patients who had frequent phlebotomy treatments for a few years spent less total time in hospitals just over 30 visits instead of 150 the patients also reported less pain after treatment.
A person with polycythemia has bone marrow that’s producing too many red blood cells which could lead to blood clots and serious consequences like permanent organ damage routinely removing blood has been shown to improve blood flow and decrease that risk.
The article is obtained from the video given below, for further understanding watch the video.