Know the health benefits of donating blood

New Delhi, June 13, 2019 :

healthysoch : Blood donation is one of the noblest acts one can offer to the society. Every three seconds, someone is in a dire need for a blood transfusion. Most of the recipients are children-many are accident victims, cancer patients or patients undergoing surgery. However, India is short of 1.9 million units of blood which could have aided more than 320,000 heart surgeries or 49,000 organ transplants, as per the official data. As per the recommendation of WHO, 1% of a country’s population be used as a ballpark estimate of its blood needs. By this measure, India was short of 1.9 million units of blood, according to the data presented to the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) on March 23, 2018.

On an average, human body contains approximately 4 to 5 litres blood that can be donated after every 4 months for women and every third month for men. Donors must ensure that they are in good health to avoid any health issues post-transfusion. It is important that blood donation takes place in a lab, a hospital, a clinic or a blood bank, in the presence of medical experts.

 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DONATING BLOOD

Blood donation not only affects the life of the receiver but blood donors too can reap the benefits of blood donation in maintaining good health. The health benefits of donating blood are discussed below in details.

Prevents Hemochromatosis : Iron is required by the body to produce red blood cells. However, excessive iron can be harmful for health. This can be inherited or may be caused due to alcoholism, anaemia or other disorders. Hemochromatosis is a health condition that arises due to excess absorption of iron by the body such as liver, heart, and can affect the way these organs function. Donating blood at a regular interval can help in reducing iron overload.

Maintains Healthy Heart & Liver : 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 and other parts of the body. This, in turn, increases the risk of liver failure, cirrhosis, damage to the pancreas, and heart abnormalities like irregular heart rhythms. Donating blood can be another way to keep a check on your cardiovascular health. Thus, donating blood is beneficial in reducing the risk of heart and liver ailments caused by the iron overload in the body.

Stimulates Production of New Blood Cells : The donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood post donating blood. New blood cells are produced by marrow within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells (RBC) the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within the span of one-two months. Therefore, donating blood frequently a can help to stimulate the production of new blood cells. This process of replenishment can help your body stay healthy, function more efficiently and work productively.

Anti-Cancer Benefits: Although there is no concrete proof, but donating blood can considerably reduce the risk of cancer at the later stage of life. By donating blood the iron stores in the body are kept at healthy levels. And it has been seen that reduction in the iron level in the body is linked with low cancer risk.

Weight Loss: Another benefit of donating blood is that it can help in reducing weight. Those who are obese and are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and other health disorders must donate blood. However, blood donation shouldn’t be frequent and one must inform the doctor about the last blood donation so that it doesn’t have adverse effect on your health.

Identifies adverse health effects: Each person who is intended to donate blood has to undergo a simply physical examination and short blood test before giving blood. This mini-physical test includes blood pressure, pulse check, body temperature, hemoglobin and more. As a result, it is possible that a person could spot unknown health concerns as a part of the blood donation process. These health problems may include low blood counts or blood pressure. An occasional check up on your blood quality could be the key to spotting a health problem before it becomes life-threatening.

Improves Mental State: While there are multiple physical benefits of donating blood, the most powerful health benefit is arguably is the psychological one. Donating blood means that you have saved and impact the lives of up to three people who are in the need for blood to survive. Knowing that you have made a difference, can relieve you from stress and make you feel better about yourself than before. This kind of regular altruistic interaction has major mental and emotional benefits. Going out of your way to do something good for someone else is stimulating in the best way possible.

The Auhor of this article is Dr. Anurag Bansal, Technical Head N&E and Director – Lab Operations, SRL Diagnostics

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