We all know that human blood has no substitute. When the need arises, donating blood is the only way to save lives. But, did you know that blood donation is equally beneficial for the donors as it is for those who receive the blood?
Read here how donating blood is beneficial for your health and also explore the guidelines for donors and what careful measure a donor should take after donating their blood.
Benefits of Donating Blood
There are surprising health benefits a donor gains out of regular blood donation. If you donate blood, it:
1. Balances the level of iron in your body - Iron has a significant impact on the body and high blood iron can cause various chronic ailments such as Hemochromatosis (a disease caused due to iron overload in the body). However, by donating blood, 225mg to 250mg of iron from your body gets reduced thereby decreasing your risks of major health complications.
2. Improves your blood circulation - Repeated blood donations help your blood to flow better by thinning the dangerous thick, viscose blood that is known to damage to the lining of your blood vessels.
3. Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke - High level of iron stored in the body aggravates the risk of acute cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, regular blood donation helps to reduce the risk by lowering body's stored iron level.
4. Burns calorie faster - A single blood donation helps to burn around 650 calories !!!
5. Improves liver health - A reduction in the iron level from your body due to blood donation helps reduce the risk of various liver-related ailments like cirrhosis, liver failure, and damage to the pancreas.
6. Triggers formation of new blood cells - After donating blood, the body works to replenish the blood loss, and in turn, stimulates the production of new blood cells. This, in turn, helps us in maintaining a good health.
Donors' eligibility guidelines
A suitable donor should be a healthy individual:
Above 17 years
With body weight above 50 kg
With vital signs like blood pressure and pulse should be in the normal range.
However, you cannot donate blood if you:
Have been treated for Malaria or Hepatitis B and C or any other transmittable disease in the last three months
Have a history of drug abuse
Have received human pituitary hormone or any immunization in the last one month
Indulge in high-risk multiple partner sexual behavior
Have hemoglobin level less than 12.5gm/dl
Take regular medication for any health disorder like hypertension, kidney alignments, epilepsy, or diabetes
Gender-wise, a man can give blood every 12 weeks, while a woman is eligible to re-donate only after a gap of 16 weeks.
Post blood-donation care
After donating blood, you must:
Drink fruit juice immediately after donating, and consume at least 10-12 glasses of water within 24 hours
Prepare yourself before you donate blood by having enough fruit juice and water from last night onwards. Do not donate on an empty stomach, rather consume foods rich in iron such as eggs, whole grains, spinach, leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits almost three hours before donating.
Now don’t think much! Donate blood to save lives and stay healthy!
Dr. Vishesh Rohatgi is a Cardiologist and Head of the Medical Content team. He is an extensive reader and writer. He has a special interest in doing social service and is working with different NGOs in his hometown. His articles have been published in various national and international journals.