Health Benefits of Blood Donation

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Donating blood is quick, painless and beneficial.
Donating blood is quick, painless and beneficial. (Image: blood transfusion dropper image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

Donating blood has obvious benefits to the recipients but there are also lesser known benefits for the donor. If you donate blood on a regular basis you can get more than just a great feeling that you have saved a life. You are also helping to save your own. You also get the benefit of becoming very aware of your body, facts like your blood type, cholesterol, blood pressure and iron levels.

Iron Removal

You might be seeing iron removal from your blood as a bad thing but in reality most people have excess iron in their blood stream. This excess can actually be more harmful than beneficial, leading to heart disease. When you donate blood, you are actually removing some of the iron it contains as well, according to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center. If you are still concerned there is some reassurance that you won't be loosing too much iron because your iron levels are tested each time before you give blood and there is an eight-week wait period between donations, according to Mayo Clinic.

Mini-Physical

Each time you go to give blood you go through a mini-physical, where they check not only your iron levels, but also your blood pressure and temperature. This is a regular way to check your basic vitals and make sure everything is in good working order. During this examination problems like high blood pressure can be identified. As a public service to all blood donors, your cholesterol can be tested as well, with the results mailed to your home, according to Miller-Keystone Blood Center.

Decrease Cancer Risk

According to a long-term study that was conducted on over a million Scandinavian blood donors, the more an individual donated blood, the lower their chance of developing cancer, according to Miller-Keystone Blood Center. The study pointed to blood donation lowering cancers of the liver, lungs, colon, stomach and throat.

Emotional

The instant gratification you receive from giving blood can make you feel really good. You get the pleasure of knowing that you not only helped improve your life but you have potentially saved others. This uplifting feeling makes you feel good and can help you relieve stress.

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