Giving Blood may lead to Hair Loss
Did you know that as a blood donor you may be at risk of hair loss?
Giving blood is an amazing experience, and the NHS now send a text to notify you when your blood has been used. It's a fantastic way to support the health service, and a humbling experience to know that your pint of blood will be used to save someone else's life.
A unit of blood amounts to 500 ml which is actually under a pint. The average adult body contains approx 10 - 12 pints of blood. The body can deal with a sudden Loss of blood however it is wise to wait at least 3 months before repeating blood donation.
Most people who give blood are regulars, and once the blood has been taken, the reward is a sweet cup of tea, and a biscuit. It's quite common to feel faint after giving blood, so it's important not to exercise straight after, and to eat a snack, to maintain stable sugar levels.
Haemoglobin is a protein present in red blood cells, which are the cells that carry oxygen around the body. If you donate blood, you will ultimately lose a number of red cells, and after a repeated number of donations your iron stores and Haemoglobin levels can drop.
Here are a few of the Symptoms which are common when iron levels are low
An Increased level of infection
Nails may become brittle
It's interesting to note that a deficiency in iron levels can have an impact on the production of hair follicles, and ultimately result in hair loss. Hair loss will not happen spontaneous after giving blood, but may be more noticeable after a period of say 3 months. The correlation between giving blood and hair loss is not going to be obvious to most people, but if there is a pattern developing, this may be worth a consultation with your doctor. Low iron levels are usually detected with a blood test, and a course of medication, and a change in diet are recommended.
Foods which are known to assist with boosting iron levels are as follows
Red meat, especially liver
Lentils, & black eyed Beans
Cereals fortified with iron
Spinach and green leafy vegetables
Drinking fruit juice with vitamin C will also super charge your body's absorption of iron, and other great sources will come from eating tomatoes, melons, strawberries and oranges.
Giving blood may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's such a worthy cause, we should all try being a blood donor at least once in our lifetime, even if it's just for the biscuit.