Can You Donate Blood If You Have Iron Deficiency

Study shows iron supplementation after blood donation shortens hemoglobin recovery time National Institutes of Health NIH

Non-heme iron is not as easily absorbed by your body, but is still a good source of iron and essential if you don’t eat meat. Examples of foods high in non-heme iron are breakfast cereals fortified by iron, breads and pasta , tofu, beans, lentils, peanuts, dried fruits like raisins and eggs. Over-the-counter multivitamins usually contain a small amount of iron that’s well-tolerated, but it’s kind of an expensive way to build your levels back up.

In addition to having high levels of heme iron, red meats can also help the body absorb non-heme iron. Our bodies are able to recycle iron when red blood cells break down at the end of their life cycle. But if you’re anemic due to chronic or acute blood loss or iron-deficiency anemia, it will likely need to be replenished by an outside source.

Whether this is your first donation or you have been giving blood for years, it’s important to know how your hemoglobin level may be affected by donating blood and steps to follow to ensure you feel your best. In women of child-bearing age, it’s usually related to their menstrual cycle. In others, it could be due to a stomach ulcer, or some other previously undetected internal bleeding. It could also be due to a condition called thalassemia, in which red blood cells contain abnormal or lower levels of hemoglobin than usual. Donors ages are eligible for a whole blood donation once every six months or a double red blood cell donation once every 12 months . Donors 19 years of age or older are eligible for a whole blood donation every 56 days or a DRBC donation every four months.

Become a Blood Donor

Iron-containing products should be kept out of the reach of children to prevent accidental poisoning. Iron is an essential mineral that is a part of hemoglobin which helps maintain your strength and energy. Your body needs iron to make new blood cells, replacing the ones lost through blood donations. Oral or parenteral iron supplementation to reduce deferral, iron deficiency and/or anaemia in blood donors. Each blood donation is the equivalent of one unit of red blood cells, while each Power Red donation is the equivalent of two units of red blood cells.

Studies have shown that although it is beneficial for your overall well-being, a healthy, well-balanced diet may not be enough to replace the iron that is lost through frequent donations. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is why we recommend eating foods high in vitamin C. Foods such as tomatoes, oranges and other citrus fruits, and bell peppers have high levels of vitamin C.