While donating blood is obviously extremely beneficial to the patients who receive it, there are many amazing benefits of donating blood.
A Reflection on Your Own Health
One of the amazing benefits of donating blood is that when you book an appointment for a plasma donation or a blood donation, you are booking a mini health checkup for yourself.
To donate blood, you must first pass a small physical exam. This includes checking your blood pressure, your heart rate, your body temperature, hemoglobin, and iron levels.
With all of these factors being examined, it can reveal telling truths about your health. When you donate blood as often as possible (which is, on average, every 56 days for males and every 84 days for females), you can take advantage of these regular glimpses into your cardiovascular health.
You Can Get Rid of Your Surplus of Iron
While many people suffer from low iron levels, some people also have a disease called hemochromatosis, which is a surplus of iron in the blood. Donating blood is a great way to lower these excessive iron levels, which carry their own health risks in the body.
Lower Your Risk of Heart Attack by 88%
An amazing benefit of donating blood can easily be its ability to lower your risk of a heart attack.
Giving blood regularly can be a great way to lower your iron stores while helping other people. And it can also potentially save your life.
One study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology notes that by donating blood and lowering these surplus iron stores, you can lower your chance of heart attack. As the study says, “blood donors had an 88% reduced risk of acute myocardial infarction.”
Avoid Certain Liver Diseases
High iron in your blood can increase the risk of the following diseases:
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Hepatitis C
Regular blood donation can help control and lower the levels of iron in your blood, and this, in turn, can lower the risk of these diseases.
Do Good, Feel Good
One of the main benefits of regular blood or plasma donation is the mental effect. Performing good deeds, like volunteering, donating plasma, and helping those around you, increases your life satisfaction.
Studies have shown that giving back provides “better mental and physical health, life satisfaction, self-esteem, happiness, and lower depressive symptoms, as well as lowered psychological distress, mortality, and functional inability.”
If you donate blood regularly, you will benefit from lowered stress levels and increased endorphins. Donating blood can save someone else’s life and your own.
Donating Plasma Too?
What is a plasma donation, and does it provide these same benefits? If so, how do you donate plasma? What IS plasma for that matter?
A plasma donation entails the extraction of your blood. Then the plasma, which is the liquid part of your blood, is separated from the solid parts of your blood. The solid parts are mixed with saline and returned to you.
Among these solid parts of your blood is iron. Since the solid components of your blood are returned to you, your iron levels are not lowered as drastically as with regular blood donations.
This is good for those with low iron counts, but it removes some of the health benefits of blood donations.
- NCBI: Iron Overload in Patients With Chronic Liver Disease
- AJE: Donation of Blood Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction
- NCBI: Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms
- PPTA Global: Frequent source plasma donors are not at risk of iron depletion: the Ferritin Levels in Plasma Donor (FLIPD) study/
Need More Reading Material?
Read our latest article on how donating plasma can help COVID-19 patients.