Have you ever wondered what a marvelous system our human body is? One of its uniqueness is the ability to produce blood. No other industry, no other animal can produce human blood. Blood produced in the body is regularly generated and in addition to the requirement of your body you have a surplus amount of blood kept as buffer! For every kg of your body, you have 20 ml excess blood! So if you are as much as 50 kg ,you have 1 litre of blood in excess!
So much about our body we take for granted and fret about being dark, skinny, fat etc etc. But there are people out there who only wish they had a normal body like yours. You all must have heard of blood banks right? and the thought that comes into your mind is "Accidents" "surgery" and such situations that require blood to be given only during the treatment.
But imagine someone having to transfuse blood every 15 days! Have you ever heard of Thalassemia? It is a blood disorder, wherein the patient has to be given blood every 15 days all his life! But giving blood has another risk- excess deposition of Iron in the body which can turn toxic. So this patient is pierced an injection every night for 8-10 hours, all his life! Painful thought isn't it? Would you want to give such a life to your child?
Thalassemia can be minor or major. Thalassemia minor is quite common and symptomless and often the person doesn't know all his life that he is a Thalassemia minor, unless he marries another Thalassemia minor in ignorance and their offspring is a Thalassemia major! Yes two thalassemia minors would certainly give birth to a Thalassemia major and this child will require blood every 15 days all his life.
Thalassemia is not detected by regular blood check. There is a specialized test for the same. Please get it done and save your child this terrible painful life. If you are not a Thalassemia minor then well and good, but if you are a Thalassemia minor then please ensure you do not marry a Thalassemia minor.
Some blood banks often do Thalassemia check-up free of cost for the donors. I did mine yesterday. Results awaited!
Educating the readers about Thalassemia was one thing I wanted to do.
Next I would like to stress on the importance of blood donation.
Do we not revere those who save our life? Doctors, soldiers etc. You can be the one for someone too.. a life giver.
Your blood won't save just a single life.. It could save atleast 3 lives.. Your WBCs could be given to an AID's patient, RBCs to a cancer patient, and platelets to someone else!
What would you lose? Just 300-350 ml from that excess 1 litre?? That too will be regenerated in 3 months!
But imagine your blood could save someone in dire need of it. Wouldn't it be great?
I have seen people back out from donation, because they are scared of needles or seeing blood. Would you do the same if your loved one was dying and only your blood could save him/her?
If you are skeptical about the needles, make sure they use new ones or better carry your own which is cheaply available in any chemist shop.
What are the prerequisites for donating blood?
- Donor should be above 18 years of age
- Donor should be minimum 47 kg weight
- Donor should have normal haemoglobin level (this is checked before you donate blood at the blood bank itself)
- Donor should have normal or about the normal blood pressure i.e 80/120 (this too is checked at the blood bank)
- Donor should not be on any medication (antibiotics or hormonal.. some blood banks accept blood from donor having controlled bp i.e those who take bp tablets everyday)
- Donor should not have had any case of malaria, jaundice, consistent fever, unexplained weight lose, accidents, sexually transmitted diseases etc in the past one year.
- If donor is a woman, she should not be menstruating or just completed her cycle in the same week.
- Never donate blood on an empty stomach. You should have had something in last four hours. Never donate blood on a full stomach either. Half hour after a full meal would be correct.
- Have a glass of water prior to donating blood.
- Lie down for 5 minutes after blood donation.
- Eat what is provided immediately after donation (usually Parle-G biscuit and tea is provided at the blood bank)
- Keep having lots of water the entire day after blood donation.
- Do not go out in strong sun the same day.
- Do not donate blood within 3 months of donating blood.
You would be given a donor card at the blood bank. On this card you can get blood once for any of your friends or relative, god forbid, if they need blood. You yourself can get blood for lifetime on this card. So you are doing yourself and your loved ones a favor too ,in addition to saving three lives!
So I would say- karke dekho, accha lagta hai..
Lastly, there is something I noticed at this blood bank, which is a cause of concern.
Out of so many girls who came to donate blood, one or two are selected, rest are turned away!
The reason- low haemoglobin.
I understand that women lose a lot of blood during menstruation which leads to low iron levels in them. But the large number of low haemoglobin women is alarming!
Low blood pressure is equally prominent.
I don't know how many of you know here, that low haemoglobin means anemia sooner or later!
Low red blood cells means low oxygen for your body girls!
Do you feel any of this frequently?
- A feeling of weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Cognitive problems
- Pain in the chest
- Pale skin
- Fast/Irregular heartbeat
The craze for size zero will wither away, but the damage done to your body will be permanent. Take care of your health and start eating right balanced diet. Remember that fat does not always mean "not fit". I m fat but I can proudly say that my body qualifies all that comes under "fit".
To maintain good hemoglobin levels eat proper diet rich in iron and vitamins:
Shell fish, chicken, liver, beef, red meat, turkey, fish, pork, etc are good sources of iron. Eggs, dark vegetables, green leaves, dried fruits, nuts and beans are also rich in iron.
While taking iron supplements and iron rich food, some food items, which affect the body's ability to absorb iron need to be avoided. These iron-blockers include tea, coffee, foods rich in fiber, foods with high levels of calcium like milk, cheese, chocolate, caffeinated drinks and some medicines with phosphates and antacids. It will be more beneficial if you take vitamin C supplements or foods rich in vitamin C along with the treatment of iron deficiency anemia. Vitamin C helps in the increased absorption of iron in the body and thereby increases hemoglobin levels. Iron supplements should be taken as per the prescription of your doctor.
Take care and stay fit :)