Could Giving Blood Have Health Benefits for You?

Dr. Mary Townsend
Dr. Mary Townsend

Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - There's an immediate need for blood donors in our area, and now, there may be a new reason to roll up your sleeve.

As of mid-July, Coffee Memorial is in dire need of o-positive, a-negative and o-negative blood. And while they stress the main reason for donating should be just to help out someone who needs it, there may be a few health benefits in it for you as well.

Some people have too much iron in their blood, which, if it's bad enough, can cause heart attacks or liver failure. But, if you donate, you'll get rid of some of that iron-overloaded blood, possibly decreasing your health risks.

The blood center has a word of caution, though, if this is your main incentive for donating.

Dr. Mary Townsend says, "If you have too much incentive to give a unit of blood for your own health, are you going to be as cognizant about the impact of that on the recipient? they have to be sure to be honest about any of their own health risks because there is a patient whose going to receive that blood."

That means not lying about things that could prevent you from giving blood, just you so you can reap any possible health benefits. Things like if you have an STD, if you've recently gotten a tattoo, or if you've traveled to disease-ridden areas.

Right now, the blood is not accepting any a-b blood. When it comes to donating, there can be too much of a good thing... giving too much blood can make you anemic, which can result in a whole other host of problems.

It's not recommended you donate more than 4 times a year. It's important to remember that not every man has too much iron, and not every health risk can be decreased by donating.