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Donating Blood For Your Own Good
by Jack Wellman
2010-02-23 07:31:05
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There are more reasons for donating blood than just getting a good feeling. Not only does it help cancer patients with blood transfusions for their battle with leukemia, it also lowers the risk of many common health problems and chronic conditions. It is also the next best thing to getting your blood-works testing done, absolutely free.

Every blood donor’s blood is tested for STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) and the donor receives a notification from the Red Cross if they find irregularities in your blood. Even more, this can lower the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) while elevating the good levels (HDL). Donating blood also lowers the number of blood platelets that can cause congestive heart failure.

For men, it is even more important as it reduces the risk of heart attacks, and some evidence suggests in might even lower the occurrence of Dementia and Alzheimer’s. And men are far more prone to have iron build up than women. This medical condition can lead to Hemochromatosis, which is greater for me. Hemochromatosis is basically an iron build up, which can reach toxic levels and blood removal called phlebotomy may become unnecessary if your are a bi-monthly blood donor. Most people are able to give blood ever 56 days.

When you donate blood, it undergoes a battery of tests and a multitude of diseases or systemic problems can be discovered: Antibody to Chagas Disease ,Serologic test for syphilis "RPR" or "STS" , Antibody to Cytomegalovirus "anti-CMV", Atypical red cell antigen screening ,and blood typing, Antibody to HIV types 1 and 2 "Anti-HIV1/2" , Nucleic acid for HIV "HIV-NAT" , Antibody to HIV p24 antigen (this test has been mostly replaced by HIV NAT) , Antibody to Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus I/II "anti-HTLV" , Nucleic acid testing for West Nile Virus "WNV-NAT", Antibody to Hepatitis B core "anti-HBc" , Hepatitis B Surface Antigen "HBsAg" , Nucleic acid testing by Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for Hepatitis B "HBV-NAT", Antibody to Hepatitis C "anti-HCV" , Nucleic acid testing for HCV "HCV-NAT" , and Alanine Transaminase "ALT" (this test is used to check for liver problems which may be a sign of hepatitis and has been phased out as tests for hepatitis have improved). In fact, blood may also be tested for additional infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus.

Donating blood can help cancer patients, and provide donors with critical information about their own blood, in some cases, even warn them about certain conditions that are life-threatening. So there is every good reason to donate blood to the American Red Cross, particularly during the winter and summer months when, traditionally, donations drop considerably. So you can see, it’s not only good for others, it good for you too.

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