Does Blood Donation reduce strength to some level ?

You must have seen banners to donate blood. Some of you must have done it either for some friend, family member or in a blood donation camp. One thought that comes in mind is that if blood donation will reduce your strength temporarily. Usually you get some sort of refreshment after donating blood, which makes this believe stronger that some sort of strength must have been sucked out of your veins and now they are compensating for that by giving refreshment. Here we will try to provide answers to such thoughts, if they are really true or just just a misconception.

Before you read this article further, we want to tell you one thing that feeling low for some time after donating blood is better than someone loosing his life due to shortage of blood in a blood bank. It also saves thousands of those people who sell their blood for money, and become a part of blood scams in some low income countries. Donating blood not only saves someone's life but also improves quality of life by discouraging people from selling their blood for money. Donating blood also gets you tested for blood pressure and some other diseases, which can also diagnose any of your existing medical condition that you are unaware of.

Does Blood Donation reduce strength to some level ?
Yes, surely it affects your strength. Your stamina is reduced for next 24 hours, so you are normally advised to stay away from high stamina work during that duration.

How much strength is reduced due to blood donation ?
A normal blood donation makes about 10 to 15 percent of your total blood volume. Plasma level returns to normal with 24 hours, but RBC (Red Blood Cells) and hemoglobin takes 2 to 4 weeks to return to normal level. It affects the oxygen carrying capacity of blood and you might feel low while doing jobs that require more stamina. Some researcher who have spoken to heavy-duty soldiers after donating blood found no visible difference in their stamina, but researchers feel that reduction in strength must be there (may be marginal) due to reduction in RBC count.

What are the precaution that one should take after donating blood ?
You should take following precautions.

  • Don't race for at least next 24 hours
  • Do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the rest of the day
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours
  • Take plenty of fluids, eat fruits and take iron supplements for at least a week to regain the strength. 

People in which type of Jobs should take extra precautions before blood donation ?
How much blood donation affects you, depends on the work you do. If you are doing any of the following jobs then your stamina is surely affected for next 24 hours.

  • An athlete who needs to run daily
  • A labor / worker who needs to do heavy jobs like loading and unloading
  • A bodybuilder who spends hours in a gym
  • Somebody with a standing job
If you are doing any of the above jobs, then its better to avoid blood donation. But still if you want to then do it at such a time when you can take rest for next few days and regain your strength during that time. 
The truth is that most of us are not in such jobs and donating blood won't affect the normal life of a normal person. 

Note: If you have suffered from any disease during past 6 months then you should tell the doctor before donating blood. It will save both recipient and you and also the cost of testing your blood before giving it to someone.
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