Donating blood is passively saving someone’s life without your own knowledge. But were you aware of how blood donation benefits your health?
Probably not, right? For the most part, it is an act of selflessness that imbibes amazing benefits not just for the people in need but for you as well.
In this article, we are going to be discussing about the benefits of donating blood and also touch down on some of the various prospects of precaution that one needs to take notes of.
Why is Donating Blood Important?
When you actually do end up donating blood, especially if you have a rare blood group, it not just helps boost your own blood circulation; it also actually helps out a person who might be in need of the rare blood group to make it through fighting a deadly disease.
Blood banks are present all around the globe and it is important and necessary for healthy individuals to donate their blood to not just feel better mentally but also have a sense of achievement which is often hard achieving. If you are donating blood, do it for selfless reasons and not to flash it across the social media platforms because then, the act becomes something you do to gain likes and appreciation and that is not the main goal behind the act of donating blood.
What are the Benefits of Donating Blood?
When it comes to discussing the common benefits of donating blood, the list might not be that big but it is quite impactful this is exactly what matters in the end.
If you didn’t know this, every 3 seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion, the amount being around 20% more for children and if the blood group is rare, chances are that the risks are going to be further heightened.
So, were you aware of the common blood donating benefits for your own health? If not, we are here to help you out with the same.
1. You Get A Health Checkup
All of the blood donation camps have dedicated health check up centers in the site to help them assess every donor’s health vitals before jumping head first into donating the blood because every single vile of blood is necessary for a patient who is suffering from a deadly disease and there is no point in subjecting them to further risks.
Getting a free overall health check up is actually an added benefit of blood donation that can help you get an overview of how you are doing – health wise.
If there are any kind of potential red flags that could pose some kind of negative impact, there are chances that you can be aware of the same and get the problems checked out to ensure better health of yours.
2. Reduces Risks of Cardiovascular Diseases and Cholesterol
It might come off as a surprise but donating blood actually does impact your heart health and prevents the risks associated with cardiovascular impairments. It was even mentioned in a research (R) that donating blood benefits by lowering the risks of contracting heart disease by 33% and even reduces the risk of heart attack by 88%.
If you are wondering why the same is actually impactful, it is mainly because of the altered levels of iron in the body. While iron is a quintessential element required by the body, there also needs to be a proper maintenance of the levels and when the same exceeds the normal levels, it impacts the major organs of the body.
High levels of iron (R) are often associated with symptoms like irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, accelerated cholesterol oxidation, enlarged liver to name a few. Blood donating (R) benefits by regulating the levels of iron in the body and prevents the excess accumulation of it in the bloodstream.
3. Donating Blood Helps Burn Excess Calories
Don’t get surprised by the sub-category because it is actually beneficial and not something that is pulled out of thin air. Donating blood benefits but burning off the excess calories and help regulate high levels of cholesterol in the body which is related to higher risks of heart diseases.
It is believed that donating blood just once helps burn off 650 calories (R) because the body has to work more to replenish the lost blood from the body which, in turn, contributes to the lowered levels of calories in the body.
If you want a steady stream of benefits of donating blood, it is necessary that you donate blood on a regular basis and not just once in a while. Donating on a regular interval is what helps impact the benefits that you have been seeking from the process.
4. Lower Risks of Cancer
Yet another one of the benefits of donating blood is the fact that it aids in getting rid of the risks associated with cancer. Majority of the cancers (R) which are often related to the higher levels of iron are the ones which are often at a reduced risk because of the fact that regular blood donation helps people have a better precautionary shield against the risks of cancer.
Some of the common types of cancer that are often averted with regular blood donation include:
Not just that, in a conducted study (R), it was found that blood donation vehemently impacted the anti-inflammatory markers and even increased the antioxidant activity in the body which is associated with the lowered levels of free radicals and hence, lowered risks of cancer as well.
5. The Boost to Mental Health
You will often find people saying that they feel really good after donating blood. Ever wondered why? People often state that because of the fact that they are donating blood without any kind of end goal knowing that there donated blood could actually end up impacting someone’s life for the better, it does imbibe a sense of happiness and fulfillment that many don’t get otherwise.
This actually impacts one’s overall mental health, providing them healthy ways to fight off their stress and anxiety which is definitely an added bonus.
When you donate blood, you are unknowingly ending up helping around 3-4 people which is definitely amazing. Even a study has shown that donor who donated blood selflessly experienced a reduced rate of mortality that the people who didn’t. It is a win-win situation, isn’t it?
6. Prevents Hemochromatosis
As mentioned priorly, donating blood benefits by preventing the excess rise in the levels of iron in the body. The excess of iron in the body is known as Hemochromatosis. This condition is either hereditary or even sometimes caused because of a number of lifestyle conditions.
A regular donation of blood actually does benefit the overall process and helps get rid of the heightened levels of iron in the body which further reduces the risks of a number of health ailments.
7. Boosts Weight Loss
If you are wondering how the blood donating benefits even include weight loss, you are in for a ride. As mentioned before, blood donation helps keep the levels of calories and the cholesterol in check which have predominant impacts on the overall body, especially in increasing the weight of an individual.
If you are an obese person, donating blood can actually be an amazing and very effective way of getting rid of the excess calories off of the body which can, in turn, contribute to the overall aspect of weight loss in an individual.
8. Stimulates the Healthy Production of Blood Cells
The red blood cells in our body primarily generate from our bone marrow through the process of erythropoiesis. If you didn’t know, our blood vessels are not forever lived but die after a time interval and in order to replenish the levels of blood in the body, it is necessary to indulge in blood donation.
When we donate blood, our body gets a signal to boost the production of red blood cells again to replenish the ones that have been lost during the donation. This overall process has an amazing impact on the overall process of blood production and thus improves one’s overall health.
9. Gain a Sense of Significance
Donating blood gives you a sense of belonging and individuality which is often times lost from a number of people’s life making them feel inferior and down which is not something quite favourable. While you are gaining a lot of physiological impacts for donating blood, the primary benefit lies in the realm of psychology which is why it is often advised to donate blood to have that feeling of satisfaction within you.
Knowing that you are able to help others with something you have gives you a feeling of significance which is definitely amazing. You are making a difference in someone’s life and that ends up making a difference in yours.
Tips for Successful Donation
Now that we have walked ourselves through the common grounds of benefits of donating blood, let us go through the various tips that one need to keep into account before and after they are done donating the blood.
We will discuss this in two different phases, one that focuses on the aspects before blood donation and the one that focuses on the after a portion of the blood donation.
Before the Blood Donation
There are a number of things that one need to be aware of before they donate blood. Healthy body is one of the most important factors to ensure because you are donating blood for someone fighting a serious disease and it doesn’t make sense if you end up donating blood that’s not the healthiest.
- Many people have this common question of “Can I drink coffee before donating?” and the answer is a no. It is best to make sure that you avoid drinking coffee or any other forms of caffeinated drinks because they often end up interacting with the blood and thus can affect the quality of the blood that you donate.
- Yet another common thing to keep into account is the fact that people should avoid consuming alcohol as well as stop smoking at least a day before they are supposed to donate blood. This helps ensure that the blood is devoid of any kind of chemicals that could be harmful for the long run and can affect the quality of the body.
- Apart from this, some other factors that the donor needs to ensure is that they should avoid undergoing any kind of dental or medical procedure 3-4 days before the donation is meant to happen. Not just that, it is also necessary to ensure that one should avoid getting tattooed within a year gap between the time.
- Make sure that you are hydrated and drinking excess fluids and even a healthy meal before going to donate blood because otherwise, there are chances that you will feel dizzy and weak because of the drawing out of blood from the body.
After the Blood Donation
The precaution and tips for a safe blood donation is not just limited to the realms of thoughts before the donation, rather focus on the important steps one needs to take note of after donating blood.
- The very first thing to ensure is that you don’t get up right after giving blood. It is important to rest and wait at least for a few minutes before you sit up and get going with your day. There are chances that you will feel weak and dizzy after giving blood which is why it is best to avoid getting up all of a sudden and just lay down for 10-15 minutes to catch a break.
- Eat some nutritious foods that will help replenish the lost strength. Some of the best kinds of food that one should eat after donating blood include that of freshly pressed fruit juices, boiled eggs to replenish the protein levels in the body, banana helps replenish the levels of potassium and magnesium in the body which is beneficial after blood donation.
- Make sure that you avoid eating fatty foods or food rich in trans fats right after donating blood because it ends up affecting the overall health of an individual and it is best to avoid it for good rather than ending up repenting later.
- Because of the fact that these donations are often just conducted by associations, it is best to check of any kind of infections a few months after you are done donating blood.
- Drinking extra fluids after a blood donation is very important. Be it juices, or even just plain water, it is beneficial that you drink as much fluids as you can to keep the homeostasis of the body in check.
- Yet another precautionary step is to keep the bandage they give you after you are done with the donation process. This is quite important because it prevents risks of infection or any kind of skin irritation.
- If you are experiencing dizziness or even lightheadedness for an extended period of time, it is best to sit down and get some rest and eat and drink healthy to rejuvenate and replenish the body off of any kind of lost nutrients and minerals.
- If you are a frequent donor, it is best to consume doctor prescribed iron supplements to make up for any kind of disbalance in the levels of iron in the body because, even the lack of iron is not good for the overall health and can inflict negative impacts.
How Often Can You Donate Blood?
Even though the act of blood donation is quite positive and influencing, even this has its set of limitations. If you are wondering that you can just donate blood every week or even every month, you are slightly mistaken.
Platelet donations can be done every 7 days but ensuring that the total times of donation doesn’t cross the 24 times mark. When it comes to donating blood, it is necessary to ensure that one waits a minimum of 56 days before they donate blood again which is more or less 2 months or so.
That being said, the same also depends on the individual as well and can even vary from person to person depending on the kind of physiological activity that they have. If required, consult a doctor and get the vitals checked before donating blood again.
Side Effects of Donating Blood
Given the fact that blood donating benefits the overall health of a healthy adult, there are some downsides to it. For the most part, it is witnessed that the experts collecting the blood are all professionals and indulge in the usage of sterile equipments, there are risks associated that there could a fluke and they might end up using an infected syringe. Situations like these often can inflict negative implications on the body.
Some of the Common Side Effects of Blood Donation Include:
Nausea and feeling weak is a very common side effect associated with blood donation. Because of the fact that it takes some time to replenish the lost blood cells and the energy after donation, there are chances that you will end up feeling dizzy and weak because of the excess exertion on the body. It is always best to sit down and get some rest to recover properly.
Often times, the donor might witness a mere bleeding at the site where the skin has been punctured with the needle. It is quite common and can be averted by pressing down slightly on the spot or moving the arm up and down. You can develop a bruise at the spot of the puncture but even that is quite common and is nothing that you need to fret about.
The blood donating benefits are too good to just be passed out on. From helping someone or a number of people in need to also helping boost your health, the realm of benefits of donating blood are quite extensive which is what helps in getting rid of the risks of a number of diseases. If you are someone who is healthy and has a rare blood group, it is important that you donate on a regular basis because often times, it is quite hard to source rare blood group and which can even end up taking someone’s life because of the lack of blood.