January is National Blood Donor Month. Health benefits of donating blood include good health and reduced risk of cancer and hemochromatosis. It helps in reducing the risk of damage to liver and pancreas. Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity.
Benefits of Blood Donation
Every day blood transfusions take place that saves lives of many people all over the world. About 5 million Americans need a blood transfusion. Donating blood is good for the health of donors as well as those who need it. It is important that blood donation takes place in a hospital, a clinic or a blood bank, in the presence of medical experts. Donors should ensure that they are in good health to avoid any health issues post-transfusion to those who use it.
Donating blood can help in treating patients suffering from cancer, bleeding disorders, chronic anemia associated with cancer, sickle cell anemia, and other hereditary blood abnormalities. It is important to know that human blood cannot be manufactured, people are the only source of it and that is why it is important to donate blood and help those who need it. It is also possible to store your own blood for your future needs. Make sure the blood is stored at a good blood bank.
A mini health exam that includes a checklist for diseases related to blood pressure and infectious diseases should be conducted before initiating the collection of blood. Those who have medical conditions such as AIDS and hepatitis should not donate blood. People who have taken vaccinations or have undergone any surgery or have cancer, diabetes, cold, and flu should consult health experts before donating blood. Pregnant women should seek expert advice before donating blood.
Blood donation not only makes the receiver’s life good but also helps the donor to maintain good health. The health benefits of donating blood are mentioned below.
Health benefits of blood donation include reduced risk of hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a health condition that arises due to excess absorption of iron by the body. This may be inherited or may be caused due to alcoholism, anemia or other disorders. Regular blood donation may help in reducing iron overload. Make sure that the donor meets the standard blood donation eligibility criteria.
Blood donation helps in lowering the risk of cancer. By donating blood the iron stores in the body are maintained at healthy levels. A reduction in the iron level in the body is linked with low cancer risk.
MAINTAINS HEALTHY HEART & LIVER
Blood donation is beneficial in reducing the risk of heart and liver ailments caused by the iron overload in the body. Intake of iron-rich diet may increase the iron levels in the body, and since only limited proportions can be absorbed, excess iron gets stored in heart, liver, and pancreas. This, in turn, increases the risk of cirrhosis, liver failure, damage to the pancreas, and heart abnormalities like irregular heart rhythms. Blood donation helps in maintaining the iron levels and reduces the risk of various health ailments.
Regular blood donation reduces the weight of the donors. This is helpful to those who are obese and are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and other health disorders. However, blood donation should not be very frequent and you may consult your doctor before donating blood to avoid any health issues.
STIMULATES BLOOD CELL PRODUCTION
After donating blood, the body works to replenish the blood loss. This stimulates the production of new blood cells and in turn, helps in maintaining good health.
Blood Donation Process
It is always good to plan blood donation in advance. Consult your doctor before donating blood if there are any health issues or concerns. It is always good to have healthy diet weeks before the donation. On the day of donation, make sure you are well hydrated, so keep drinking plenty of fluids. One should wear comfortable clothes during the donation process. In case you are undergoing any treatment or medication, it is advisable to inform the blood bank/clinic/hospital where you are donating blood.
Schedule an appointment to give blood or find a drive near you by visiting the American Red Cross at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive