There are a lot of benefits of giving blood to those who are in need. As stated by the American Red Cross, one blood donation can save about three lives. Moreover, many Americans need blood donations every two seconds.
It is vital to know that donating blood benefits the recipients. In fact, there are multiple advantages for donors as well, on top of the benefit that comes from helping those in need.
However, it is vital to know that you should ensure that you are qualified to donate blood, especially if you are taking some prescription drugs. This is because some drugs affect your ability to give blood.
Advantages of Donating Blood
Giving blood is an advantage for your physical and emotional health. The Mental Health Foundation reports that helping others can:
- Improve your emotional well-being
- Reduce stress
- Reduce isolation and provide a sense of belonging
- Help eliminate negative feelings
- Benefit your physical health
The following are also considered as benefits of donating blood:
Identifying Adverse Health Effects: An individual who decides to donate blood is required to complete a blood test and physical examination before they can give blood. These are simple tests, but they can help identify unknown health effects, like low or high blood pressure and anemia.
The test will evaluate the donors:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Body temperature
- Iron or hemoglobin levels
Your blood is also tested for other diseases:
- West Nile virus
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Trypanosoma cruzi
Contributing To The Community: As mentioned, one blood donation can save as many as three individuals, as stated by the American Red Cross. It is essential to know that blood donors supply a vital service to the community. They make a huge difference to the lives of those in need and can also uplift the donor’s sense of well-being.
Weight Management: Several claims report that donating blood can burn 650 calories. But, it is vital to keep in mind that there is no scientific evidence published to support these claims. Any calorie loss benefit will only be short-term and will not affect a person’s weight loss journey.
On the other hand, a 2012 study states that since blood donation is built on the need to weigh people before giving some blood, this can help identify individuals with obesity.
It can offer obese people some help to manage their weight and other health problems during the physical examination. Furthermore, it can also benefit individuals with low weight by giving them counseling sessions and advice.
Lower Iron Levels: It is vital to know that your body needs iron in order to produce several red blood cells. However, there are about 1 million individuals in the US who have type 1 hereditary hemochromatosis. People who have this condition have too much iron in their blood.
Since people with hemochromatosis have loads of iron in their blood, the excess iron goes through to several different organs in the body, affecting its functions.
People with hemochromatosis are allowed to donate blood. Donating blood can be an affordable treatment option for them. However, not all agencies must allow such blood donation.
Blood Pressure: Several types of research suggest that donating blood can help reduce blood pressure. In fact, in 2015, scientists observed the blood pressure of 292 blood donors who donated blood 1 to 4 times a year. Around half of them have high blood pressure.
In conclusion to their study, donors with high blood pressure noticed an improvement in their blood pressure readings. The more they gave blood, the more significant the improvement was.
Temporary Reactions: It is essential to know that people can experience side effects after donating blood. However, severe adverse effects tend to be rare. Moreover, a temporary reaction can occur, which includes the following:
- Feeling faint
- Bruising or bleeding under the skin
- Bleeding from the needle prick
Adverse Effects: As mentioned, adverse effects are rare. An individual may experience the following:
- Low blood pressure
- Breathing difficulty
- Muscle contractions
What You Should Know Before You Donate
The following are critical factors you need to know before you donate blood:
- You need to provide relevant information regarding your medical conditions and any medications you are currently consuming;
- You need to be 17 years old or older;
- You will need to have a weight of at least 50 kilos or 110 pounds and be in good health;
- Platelet donations are allowed every seven days or up to 24 times a year;
- You will need to wait at least 16 weeks between the double red cell donations and eight weeks between the whole blood donations.
To Wrap It Up
One of the most fulfilling benefits of donating blood is helping those who need it. However, it does not stop there. There are multiple benefits the donor can experience when they choose to give blood. This can be encountered both physically and emotionally.
Donating blood is not as easy as it seems. You may experience some side effects. However, these are only temporary and can be eliminated with a long rest and a healthy diet.