On World Blood Donors Day, people are urged to donate blood because their blood can save many lives. However, a very small percentage of eligible people (between the ages of 18 and 65) donate blood. There may be many reasons why they don’t- ignorance, fear of feeling sick at the sight of blood, misconceptions etc. But what if by donating blood, you not only help a fellow human being but also do a lot of good to your own body? Actually, there are a few health benefits of donating blood.
Reduced risk of hemochromatosis - You get hemochromatosis when your body absorbs too much of iron. It could be a condition you are born with or it could result from alcoholism. But if you donate blood regularly, it will scale down the amount of iron in your body.
Good for your organs - You may unwittingly be consuming an excessively iron-dense diet. While iron deficiency is dangerous, consuming too much iron can damage your liver because it has to get rid of the surplus iron. Iron may build up in your pancreas and heart. But donating 1 unit of blood every 3 months will prevent liver cirrhosis, arrhythmia, failing pancreas etc.
Lowered risk of cancer - It was been observed that balanced level of iron in the body is linked to a higher possibility of preventing cancer. And donating blood is an excellent way to keep the iron level in your body stable.
Speeding up of blood cell regeneration - Once you donate blood, there will be a small paucity of blood in your body. So you will immediately start making new blood cells and remove the old and dying ones. This healthy rate of regenerating blood cells is good for your body.
Some minor health problems may come to light - Before you donate blood, you will undergo a few basic health tests like blood pressure, body temperature, pulse rate, weight check etc. if anything is out of the ordinary, the physician at the blood donation centre may ask you to visit a doctor. If you have contracted a viral or bacterial infection or developed hypertension, it will be diagnosed soon.
Good for your mood - Other than all the health benefits, blood donation will also boost your mental health. You know that the blood you donated will help others and may even save someone’s life. So your altruistic act will make you feel good about yourself.
Blood donation is a win-win scenario. Someone will benefit from your kindness and your health too will thank you for it.