The antiseptic swab, the blood bags and small poke of the needle into your skin... It’s all rather overwhelming. And for most of us – this can be quite a hard to overcome. The personal reasons attached to blood donation may vary from person to person. But there’s no denying that there is a flipside. The benefits, other than saving lives, come aplenty. There is much to gain from a small act of kindness. Let’s take a look what they are.
They say the best things in life are free? Well, maybe…
Before undergoing blood donation, there are a series of health checks in place to ensure your blood is safe for transfusion, and these checks are free of charge. Yes, FREE. Now, do I have your undivided attention?
Now, let me continue… The need for such rigorous medical checkups is absolutely necessary to make sure that there are no abnormalities in your blood pressure or cholesterol level. Additionally, your donated blood will be screened to identify any viral infections such as HIV, syphilis, hepatitis and others. It is perhaps a well-known fact that Malaysians tend to only see doctors when they fall ill – but this should not be the case – a medical checkup is a necessity, not a chore!
A healthy body means a healthy mind
Successfully undergoing the health check and eligibility to donate will effectively reduce your health worries. This will increase your self-confidence. Plus, did you know your blood will be replaced by new fresh blood cells after a donation? This forces the body to replace the blood you lose.
Burn it, not preserve it
Surprisingly, blood donation can also reduce your calories just by lying on a chair. And yes – it’s totally true – a study found that blood donation can burn 650 Cal in a session. This helps you lose weight, stay healthy and trim, while preventing obesity. Sounds like a win-win? You got that right.
Nonetheless, blood donation has its limit. Donors can only donate once every two or three months, depending on their health status, hemoglobin and iron level.
Say no to heart disease
Although iron is an essential element to the body functioning properly, if it is excessive, it can lead to oxidative stress - a major contributor to heart attacks, strokes, aging acceleration and other diseases. Hence, if you donate blood regularly, it can help to balance the level of iron in your body. Those who donate blood at least once a year will lower their risk of getting a heart attack by 88% compared to those who do not.
Goodbye cancerous cells!
It is fact not known to most people, but consistently donating blood reduces the risk of various cancers such as lung cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer and cancer of the throat.
Yes, those needles are nerve wrecking, but hey, there are several valid benefits attached to regular blood donation. Plus, you can even invite friends and family to come with you to donate. Activities that are done together can help build relationships with your loved ones, while contributing to the community to save the lives of others, as well as gaining many health benefits.