It’s a great thing that so many people generously donate their blood. Over 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, and since it can’t be produced in any way other than through human donation, there is a constant need for new supplies all the time. It is also true that less than 10% of the US population actually donates blood every year of those that are eligible. But although most people only give blood because they are helping other people, there are some excellent health reasons for blood donors.
Here are some of the reasons why those who give blood give a very nice health reimbursement:
1. Giving blood balances your iron levels. Everyone who donates blood loses a small fraction of their iron. If they are iron deficient this will be an obvious problem, but because everyone is screened before they give blood no one with iron deficiencies will be eligible to give. But actually having too much iron in your blood Blood balance, especially for postmenopausal women and men, has been known to increase the risk of heart attacks. This has become known since it was discovered that too much iron can have inflammatory effects.
We know that iron is essential for life, as without it our cells wouldn’t get the proper oxygenation. But because the body has a limited capacity to get rid of iron it can build up in our organs. As a potent oxidizer it can easily damage body tissues if too much is in our system, so it is essential that we always keep a balance.
2. Every time you donate you get a small physical. Actually the screening exam can take more time than when you actually donate blood. The blood is tested for 13 infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis B and C and others. Blood pressure will be checked, your pulse taken and you will be checked that you have ample iron content in your blood. These certainly are never a replacement for full medical checkups, but they could be a forewarning for any medical issues.
3. Allows for better circulation. Vigorous exercise or anything that gets the blood circulating through the system less unencumbered is going to improve your health. Thick, slow-moving blood will not be able to adequately reach the capillaries, which in turn will not allow those cells to be flushed out and nourished again. Repeated blood donations are thought to allow the blood to flow better, and this will help limit damage to the blood vessels and prevents arterial blockage. Regular blood donors are found to have less strokes, heart attacks and cancer.
4. Encourages healthy aging. This goes back to the altruistic reasons why people give blood, but those that reach out and help others in society seem to live longer and happier lives than those who are more self-centered. People who do volunteer work merely for the sake of helping others seem to be blessed with less stress and a better sense of well-being.