When’s the last time you laid back and appreciate all that your blood has done for you?
Thinking how stupid the first line is? Not really. Without blood, the oxygen would never reach your cells and carbon dioxide would be filling your blood vessels as you read this.
Just enhancing your general knowledge, in every two seconds there is someone who is in desperate need of blood and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. So while you may never worry about having enough blood to function, plenty of others aren’t as fortunate. Simply put, patients with sickle cell diseases or cancer need blood transfusions throughout their treatments, and a single car accident victim can require up to 100 pints of blood. World Blood Donor Day now gives you more reason than ever to get out and donate.
You would think that blood donation is all about helping those in need, but there are a few good things lined in for you.
Here are five health perks a blood donor has:
- Donating Reduces Harmful Iron Stores
- Improves your Mental State
- Better Blood Flow
- Maintains Healthy Heart & Liver
- Reduces Your Risk of Developing Cancer
Blood Donation Reduces Harmful Iron Stores
It is estimated that every two hundred people in the U.S. is affected by a condition called hemochromatosis and they are the ones who do not even know it. Hemochromatosis is a disease that causes due to an overload of iron in the body. It is labelled as the most common genetic disease among Caucasians. It is said that donating blood can reduce the body’s extra iron stores. By the removal of red blood cells by phlebotomy or by donating blood, is the preferred treatment for patients with excess iron in their blood.
Improves Your Mental State
While there are multiple and internal benefits to donating blood, the most powerful health benefit is arguably in the psychological realm. Donating blood means that someone somewhere will be getting a new life and some help which they desperately need just because of you. Donating blood, especially on a regular basis, can be similar to volunteer work. You are giving your blood to a stranger in need. This kind of regular, altruistic interaction has major psychological benefits. Getting out of your usual environment to do something good for someone else is stimulating in the best kind of way.
Improved Blood Flow
Regular blood donations can help the blood flow in a way that is less damaging to the lining of the blood vessels and could result in fewer arterial blockages. Blood donors seem to not be hospitalized so often because their blood is flowing in a smooth manner and all the nutrients are supplied to each and every part of the body in an efficient manner if they are hospitalized, they have shorter lengths of stay.
Maintains Healthy Heart & Liver
Blood donation is extremely beneficial in lowering the risk of heart and liver diseases which are usually caused by the overload of iron in the body. the increase in iron content may be due to the intake of iron-rich diet that may increase the iron levels in the body, or it can also be genetic. The overload occurs because the body can only absorb a limited portion of iron letting the excess iron gets stored in the heart, liver, and the pancreas. This, in turn, increases the risk of liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, damage to the pancreas, and heart abnormalities like irregular heart rhythms. Blood donation helps in maintaining iron levels and reduces the risk of various health ailments.
Reduces Your Risk of Developing Cancer
There are true studies of reduced risk of cancer for blood donors with different maladies, one of which is hemochromatosis. Phlebotomy, which is the process of drawing blood was said to be an iron-reduction method which in turn is associated with lower risk of cancer and mortality.
Now that you know the benefit, have an insight into the things you should know before you donate:
- You need to be 17 years or older to donate whole blood.
- You need to weigh at least 110 pounds (49.8kg) and be in good health.
- You should not have any medical conditions and have to specify the medications you’re taking.
- You must wait at least 8 weeks between whole blood donations and 16 weeks between double red cell donations.
- Platelet donations can be made every 7 days, up to 24 times per year.
The following are some suggestions to help you prepare for donating blood:
- Drink an extra 16 ounces (nearly 500ml) of water before your donation.
- Eat a healthy meal that’s low in fat.
- Wear a short-sleeved shirt or a shirt with sleeves that are easy to roll up.
It is never too late! If you haven’t donated blood ever, go to your nearest blood bank and do something good this World Blood Donor Day!
Bring a light of hope in someone’s life!