It is estimated that about 36,000 units of red blood cells, 10,000 units of plasma, and 7,000 units of platelets are needed daily in the United States. However, less than 38% of the country's population is eligible to donate blood. Thus, the nation experiences severe blood shortages and eligible citizens are encouraged to give blood regularly.
Why Should You Donate Blood?
As an old saying goes, "safe blood saves lives." Blood is needed every day by different groups in the US, including:
- Women with complications during childbirth
- Accident victims
- Surgical patients
- Cancer patients
- Children with severe anemia
So, donating blood ensures that blood is always available wherever and whenever it is needed. A decision to give blood can save a life somewhere. It also gives you a great sense of satisfaction knowing that your blood will save someone. More importantly, donating blood is good for your health.
Here are five ways that donating blood benefits your health:
1. It Eliminates Excess Iron
If you have excess iron, you suffer from a condition known as hemochromatosis. In most cases, iron overload is asymptomatic, and you may not realize that you have it until it's too late. However, donating blood frequently eliminates excess iron. Essentially, giving blood is the most effective treatment for hemochromatosis.
2. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Iron overload increases free-radical damage in your body, leading to an increased risk of aging and cancer. By donating blood regularly, you lower iron levels, significantly reducing the risk of colon, liver, throat, and lung cancers.
3. Burns Calories
If you have been trying to lose weight with little success, try donating blood frequently. Studies indicate that donating blood is an effective weight loss strategy. Maintaining a reasonable weight is good for your cardiovascular health and prevents other diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, and hypertension.
4. It Reveals Health Problems
Before any transfusion takes place, blood is thoroughly screened for a wide variety of diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis. So, donating blood is one way of keeping an eye on your health. Apart from checking your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and hemoglobin, the doctor also checks for anything unusual in the blood.
5. Reduced Risk of Heart Attack
If you don't donate blood, you have may have high iron levels. Iron overload can constrict blood vessels, limiting the free flow of blood in and out of the heart. Long-term constriction of blood vessels leads to a heart attack. However, you can help reduce your risk of a heart attack by donating blood every eight weeks.
The rise in trauma cases, surgeries, and transplants has led to severe blood shortages in the United States. Donating blood benefits not only the recipient but the donor too. So, you should also consider giving blood today.Share