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HomeExclusiveDoes Donating Blood Help Cholesterol

Does Donating Blood Help Cholesterol

High Blood Pressure High Cholesterol

Does Donating Blood Lower Cholesterol

You can donate while being treated for high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. If your blood pressure medication changes you have to wait at least 4 weeks before donating.

Why do we ask this?

Studies have shown that Covid-19 could cause damage to the heart and blood vessels and that this damage could last beyond recovery from the virus.

Why do we ask this?

The Welsh Blood Service only covers Wales. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have their own blood services.

When and if you have donated will indicate what eligibility questions we ask you.

Why do we ask this?

If you have had cancer you are not able to donate blood/plasma. This is both for the safety of yourself and the safety of patients.

Why do we ask this?

If you have inflammatory bowel disease you cannot donate. This is for your safety and the safety of patients.

Why do we ask this?

If you have had, or think you have had, a blood transfusion anytime since 1st January 1980 we cannot accept your blood/plasma. This is to reduce the risk of variant CJD being passed from donor to patient.

Why do we ask this?

You are not able to donate if you have a history of heart conditions. Removing blood/plasma from your circulation may put you at risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other vascular incident.

Why do we ask this?

You are unable to donate until a full 6 months from the birth of your baby.

If I Receive A Transfusion I Might Get An Infection

Although not strictly related to blood donation, another common myth is that there is a high risk of infection when someone receives a blood transfusion. As Dr. Kenny explained to MNT:

People can contract an infection from a blood transfusion if the blood is infected. this is very rare because the blood is rigorously screened for a number of viruses and bacteria. For instance, it is estimated the chance of contracting hepatitis C from a blood transfusion is about 1 in 100 million.

Medical Examinations And Blood Donation

Before donating blood, all potential donors are subjected to basic medical examinations that may pick up signs of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is, therefore, possible that blood donors are heart healthier than non-donors because they are forced to undergo regular medical checks.

This does not explain why blood donation lowers the risk for only male donors, so it is certainly not the whole explanation. Moreover, there is no guarantee that potential donors with high cholesterol and blood pressure will visit a physician or make the required lifestyle changes.

Still, it may contribute to the findings; the studies certainly did not investigate whether or not potential donors with troubling medical checks made work of it later, so it cannot be ruled out.

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Can Blood Donation Reduce Your Risk Of Hypertension Metabolic Syndrome Heart Attack And Stroke

Anecdotal evidence and many studies make the connection between blood donation and a range of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and body weight, and avoiding metabolic syndrome, heart attacks and strokes

There is growing evidence to suggest that high blood pressure and other risk factors of vascular disease are lower in people who donate blood regularly. ;This makes donation very much a win-win: you are giving blood to save someones life and at the same time reducing your risk of vascular disease, thus perhaps saving your own life.

He started giving blood to save his brothers life

Whilst going through his medical history, Mark recalled that at the same time, when he developed the above symptoms, his brother had a serious car accident.; His brother lost a lot of blood and required multiple blood transfusions. ;His brother was blood group A negative, a rare type, and the hospital struggled to find enough units in the local blood bank to save his life. Fortunately, Mark was the same blood group and managed to donate blood to help his brother.

So, two days after he donated blood, Mark was pleased that his symptoms of fatigue and headache had improved. ;As he felt the benefit, he continued to donate blood regularly, four times a year. ;But he recalled that he did not donate blood over the last 18 months to avoid hospitals because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When he avoided giving blood during Covid, his symptoms returned


Giving Blood Lowers Blood Pressure

Does Giving Blood Lower Cholesterol?

Giving blood is an excellent way to help others and, if you have high blood pressure, it may help you too.

A German study involving 292 blood donors, who gave blood on up to four occasions within a year, found their average blood pressure reduced with each donation.

Quick links: Here are some of the supplements I recommend for blood pressure support fromHealthspan, Boots, and .

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Reducing The Risk Of Hemochromatosis

Haemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which the body absorbs too much iron from food that our bodies undergo the course of causing excess iron.

Excess iron is then deposited in various organs, especially the liver. Excess iron can also be stored in the pancreas, liver, testis / ovary, skin and joints. The main action in overcoming Haemochromatosis is the removal of blood routine, it is done to reduce the excess iron from the body.

It can be inherited or may be caused by alcoholism, anemia or other disorders. Donating blood regularly donors can help reduce overload iron.

Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease

Another significant benefit is the opportunity to lower the risk of potential heart diseases, or even an impending heart attack.

Some studies suggest donating blood can decrease your chances of a heart attack by at least 88%. Other studies, like one conducted in 2013, found that donors who regularly donated blood benefited from lowered cholesterol. This is consistent with enhancing cardiovascular health.

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Giving Blood Can Help Your Liver Stay Healthy

Another danger of iron overload is the health of your liver. In recent years, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , the hepatic expression of metabolic syndrome, has reached epidemic proportions, reports the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Research has linked too much iron with NAFLD, Hepatitis C and other liver diseases and infections. Though there are many other factors involved in these problems, donating blood can help relieve some of those iron stores and avoid extra issues in your liver.

Giving Blood May Lower Your Risk Of Suffering A Heart Attack

Strategies to Help Lower Your Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

Donating blood at least once a year could reduce your risk of a heart attack by 88 percent, according to a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology.* This relates to the iron issue again, says Dr. David Dragoo, healthcare expert at Money Crashers.

Dr. Dragoo explains that high levels of iron in the blood constrict your blood vessels and create more risk of a heart attack. Depleting those extra iron deposits by donating blood gives your vessels more room to operate.

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Whats The Recovery Time After Donating Blood

In the United States, the recommended recovery time is a mere eight weeks. But this is not the same all over the world. For example, if youre donating from the UK, you get double that amount of time its recommended you only give blood in 12-16-week intervals.

Whys there such a large discrepancy between recovery times? The experts are trying to figure that out as well. For example, to determine whether or not the UK standard is worth following, researcher Edward Murphy embarked on a study that analyzed the gaps in international transfusion standards.

The study was conducted for over two years and had a subject pool of about 45,000 blood donors. Recovery periods were different for men and women, with some subjects getting up to 12 weeks and other only 8. By the end, over a quarter of the regular donors reported having experienced side-effects and were confirmed to have developed iron deficiency.

However, despite such findings, the research team reported their results to suggest that frequent donations, like the ones seen in America are acceptable. A sensible approach has to be taken by donors. If you dont feel comfortable with shorter recovery times, or experience side effects after donating blood, leave a significant time lapse between donations.

Vegetarians And Vegans Can Never Donate Blood

This is another myth. As Dr. Ferro explained to MNT, these individuals can as long as they meet all of the health screening requirements to donate blood. Some vegetarians/vegans do not ingest adequate iron and may be borderline anemic. However, we screen each donor for anemia, and potential donors are not allowed to donate.

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What Are The Health Benefits Of Donating Blood

Donating blood is not all that different from volunteer work, and you can feel good about yourself for saving a life. This is due to benefits regarding the donors emotional and physical health, which, as reported by the Mental Health Foundation, can ease the following:

  • Stress
  • Isolation
  • Emotional well-being

Of course, these benefits are not only in the mind. As briefly mentioned above, scientific research has discovered some surprising physical benefits for people that donate blood experience.

What Happens To Your Body When You Donate Blood

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To donate blood, you must be a registered donor. This requires your complete medical history, a mini-physical examination, and test to ensure you have blood that is safe to donate.

In the U.S., youre able to begin the process online through portals like the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. The organization will test your blood for blood type and purity. As for the mini-physical exam, think of it as a sort of bonus. After all, the exam is performed to make sure you are a sound candidate that is free of specific health concerns.

The donation is the most straightforward aspect. A donors arm is cleaned, prepped, and inserted with a small needle connected to a collection tube and bag. Blood is collected until the bag is full, which is almost a pint. According to the American Red Cross, the process of giving blood takes only 8-10 minutes. If the donor is donating platelets or plasma, the session can last as much as 2 hours.

Once you have given blood, you will be asked to sit quietly for around 10-15 minutes and will be offered food and refreshments. This is a standard protocol to ensure donors do not experience any adverse side effects.

But whats going on inside of your body?

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Experts Say That Donating On A Regular Basis Will Lower Cholesterol Levels

How was the study performed revealing that blood donation could improve high cholesterol levels.

Participants had 10 mL of venous blood drawn from each of them, which was transferred into tubes and left to stand in room temperature until it clotted and retracted.

After this part of the experiment, the serum was separated and transferred into cryotubes then aliquoted and stored at -72 degrees celsius.

The results of the experiment were that Markers of increased cardiovascular risk appear to be lower in regular blood donors compared with non-donors as reflected by significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL levels.

Although HDL appears to be significantly higher in the non-donor population, the LDL/HDL ratio which is a better predictor of increased cardiovascular risk is lower in regular blood donors.

Meaning those who regularly donated blood showed signs of low cardiovascular risk along with low total cholesterol and LDL levels.

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What Do They Test For When You Donate Plasma

All donors must be screened for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C at each donation using nucleic amplified testing , a state-of-the-art testing method that tests for the DNA particles of the virus. In addition, each plasma donation is tested for antibodies that the body produces in response to a virus.

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Older Adults Cannot Give Blood

This is not true. In the U.S., people who are older than 16 years and weigh more than 110 pounds can give blood.

It is worth noting, however, that the rules differ in some countries. For instance, in the United Kingdom, donors must be aged 1766 years. However, people who have donated blood before can continue to provide blood until the age of 70.

Anyone who is older than 70 but has given blood in the previous 2 years is also still eligible to donate.

This is a partial myth. Individuals taking certain medications, including anticoagulants, antiplatelet medications, and some acne treatments, should not donate blood.

However, in most cases, medications do not mean that someone cannot donate blood.

Before donating, a person should speak with a medical professional to check whether their current medications affect their eligibility to be a donor. Just as importantly, if a doctor has prescribed a medication, people should not stop taking it to donate blood.

Iron Levels Cholesterol And Atherosclerosis

British Heart Foundation – High blood pressure and cholesterol

Atherosclerosis is a condition of the arteries that is characterized by the deposition of fatty material on their inner walls. Medical experts have long hypothesized that stored iron in the body promotes the oxidation of cholesterol, the occurrence of which seems to be involved in atherosclerosis.

In fact, studies have found that even people with a high dietary intake of iron are more likely to suffer cardiovascular events because of this. The body stores instead of excreting it, which increases the likelihood that cholesterol will be deposited on artery walls.

Monthly menstruation ensures that women store less iron than men, which may explain why pre-menopausal women are less likely to suffer from atherosclerosis than men. By donating blood, men can shed some of their iron stores and thereby lower their risk of atherosclerosis.

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What To Expect When Giving Blood

Ill be honest, it is not all cupcakes and butterflies . Donating blood is slightly uncomfortable, but usually just for a second or two when you are pricked. The first needle is typically a quick pinch in the finger just to test your iron levels to make sure you are a candidate for giving blood. If you pass, then you are pricked one more time with the withdrawal needle. Other than that, there is usually no pain when the blood is being drawn. If you are in a good health, you shouldnt face any issues.

After the needle is removed and you stand up, you may feel a little dizzy and lightheaded. If that is the case, lie down for a while, eat something and drink lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.

Here is what you need to know before you donate blood for the first time:

Is Donating Blood Good For The Heart

Q. Are there any cardiovascular benefits to donating blood? Is it like getting an oil change for your car, with the donation getting rid of old blood cells and the body making new ones?

A. It would be terrific if doing good for others by donating blood was also good for you. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Physically, there is probably no hidden cardiovascular benefit to donating blood. In fact, the loss of red blood cells decreases the ability of your remaining blood to carry oxygen, at least until the bone marrow makes enough new red blood cells over the next two months. During that time, exercise might actually be a little more challenging. Some elite athletes, like cyclists, have taken advantage of this in a process called “autologous blood doping.” It works like this. An athlete has some blood removed and stored several months before an event. His or her body makes new blood cells to compensate. Just before the competition, the athlete is given back the stored blood. This boosts the blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity well above what the athlete had been used to during the training period, and may provide a competitive edge.

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Giving Blood Can Reveal Potential Health Problems

While it isnt the same thing as a trip to the doctor, donating blood can be another way to keep an eye on your cardiovascular health. Youll receive a mini-physical prior to the blood draw, in which someone will check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin and more.; This can sometimes shed light on issues you didnt even know about.

If your blood is too low in iron, the clinic will tell you and wont draw your blood, says Jan Patenaude, dietician and certified LEAP therapist. They will also inform you of any other blood issues they notice or if anything seems unusual. An occasional check up on your blood quality could be the key to spotting a health issue before it becomes life-threatening.

You Cannot Donate If You Have High Blood Pressure

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This is not always true. As long as someone has systolic blood pressure lower than 180 millimeters of mercury and diastolic blood pressure lower than 100 mm Hg, they can donate blood.

Although certain medications mean that it is not possible to give blood, drugs for high blood pressure do not make someone ineligible to be a donor.

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Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

In the blood there is a component called iron. Iron is an effect on the thickness of the blood. High iron levels cause blood thicker. Besides the increase in iron levels can also accelerate the process of oxidation of cholesterol.

It can affect in blood and increase friction when blood flow in the blood vessels thus increasing the risk of the occurrence of resistance in the blood vessels. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, by donating blood you can lower the risk of heart disease by 33% and reduce the risk of heart attack by 88%.

Researchers from the American Medical Association said that by donating blood every six months can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke at the age of 43 to 61 years.


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