Guest Post By: Dr. Karen L. Dallas - Specialist Physician, Certified Personal Trainer, Nationally-Qualified Physique Competitor
As a physician, I actively encourage all who are able (check with your local Red Cross for your state’s requirements) to become blood donors if they are not already. In fact, you may not realize just how many life-saving treatments can come from your blood! It’s not just Red Blood Cells, Platelets and Plasma as many donation appeals would have us believe (“…you could save up to 3 lives!”). Rather, our plasma can be fractionated even further to produce special proteins used to treat patients with rare bleeding disorders, immune system disorders, and more!
If you are a blood donor, ensure you are taking a multivitamin which contains iron – not all of them do, so be sure to check the label – and eating a healthy, balanced diet. And next time you visit your family doctor, tell him/her that you are a blood donor, have been or have started taking multivitamins but want to ensure you are not iron deplete or deficient. A simple blood test can tell you about your level of Red Blood Cells and about your iron levels.
Certainly, if you feel you have signs and symptoms of anemia, you should see your doctor sooner.
Remember, taking better care of ourselves helps us to take better care of others! Have you donated blood? What was your experience like? Maybe we can help to encourage those who have not donated so they can become future donors.
PS - Just found this great website that can help you explain what blood is made of to your children!