Iron Info For Blood Donations
Maintain healthy iron levels by eating regular, nutritionally balanced meals, and drink plenty of fluids. In most cases, a low red blood cell level is caused by insufficient iron in the body. If you are in good health but have a low red blood cell level, you may need to increase the amount of iron-rich food in your diet. Suggested foods and recipes are included below and in the sidebar of this page. Today’s diets tend to be lighter, with less iron-rich foods like as red meat.
This is a standard protocol to ensure donors do not experience any adverse side effects. If you are still having trouble donating blood due to low iron after implementing these tips, talk with your doctor about taking an iron supplement. Iron supplements come in a variety of dosages and formulations, with different characteristics. Some examples are ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate and carbonyl iron. It is important to look at the amount of elemental iron available for absorption.
Tablets labeled "325 mg ferrous gluconate" usually contain 38 mg of iron, which is also called "elemental iron". However, both hematocrit and hemoglobin readings are blood tests, but they’re not testing the same thing. Meats have the highest iron content, so vegetarians have to work harder to get enough iron, but still have lots of good dietary choices.
For example, have your coffee or tea before or after your meal instead of with your meal. Even if your iron levels are within the permissible range, a low hematocrit measurement can be caused by poor blood circulation in the hand. By diluting the blood, taking an aspirin a few times a month can help avoid blood clots.
The best way to recover from a donation is to stock up on iron. This can be done through normal dietary changes or by taking iron supplements. One of the many preliminary checks pre-donation includes a hemoglobin level check. The World Health Organization set up what they call a “cut-off” level wherein hemoglobin levels must exceed 12.5g/l for women and 13.0g/l for men. For the most part, voluntary donors tolerate blood donations easily. Most people cannot get too much iron from food they choose to eat, which is why a balanced diet is important.
Why Do Blood Donors Need Iron After Blood Donation?
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. Donating blood when your iron is low will cause your levels to drop even further, leaving you feeling tired and faint. It also affects your ability to generate new red blood cells and can cause a longer recovery time.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
The latter , can reduce the recovery period by about percent. As an average, it takes six months to recover the iron depleted from a single donation. With a regularly supplemented iron pill, you can cut that period to around 90 days.