An extreme case of hypertriglyceridemia.
In this rare medical case, a patient’s blood became so thick that it changed to the colour of milk. The condition became so life-threatening for the man that doctors had to manually draw out the blood to save his life. The 39-year-old German man presented to the emergency with complaints of nausea, vomiting, headache, malaise and deteriorating alertness. He had visited a doctor earlier because of unexplained weight loss and headaches that had progressively worsened. He was diagnosed with hypertriglyceridemia.
Diagnosis and treatment
Based on his presentation, doctors diagnosed the patient with an extreme case of hypertriglyceridemia. A disease in which there are extremely high levels of fatty triglyceride molecules in the blood. Generally the first choice of treatment for this condition is plasmapheresis. In this technique the machine extracts the blood plasma from the patient’s body, removing the excess triglycerides. The machine then returns the clean and filtered blood to the patient’s body. However, doctors could not rely on this traditional method of treatment in this case. The blood was so thick that it clogged the plasmapheresis machine’s filter with thick and fatty blood. Not once, but twice.
Therefore, the case called for a different approach. Doctors resorted to a long-abandoned treatment. The ancient technique that ancient pioneered healers thousands of years ago requires withdrawing blood from the body. The doctors withdrew 2 litres of blood, allowing the triglyceride levels to reduce. Replacing the blood with fluids each time. Fortunately, the remedy worked well for the levels to drop low enough for the machine to take over and not get clogged.
By the 5th day the patient was free of any neurological symptoms.
According to the researchers knowledge, this case was a first of using an ancient approach for treatment.
What caused this to happen?
Researchers say that this man was experiencing these symptoms because of hyperviscosity syndrome. In this the blood becomes abnormally thick that in severe cases it can also trigger seizures and coma. This can be related to a number of factors including obesity, diet and insulin resistance. Additionally, the patient was inconsistent with his diabetes medication which may have led to ketoacidosis. As a result, developing into a life-threatening scenario.
Bloodletting to Treat Severe Hypertriglyceridemia https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/L18-0706