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losing weight and giving blood

As often happens during the summer, there is a blood shortage in my area and I am going to donate tomorrow. I know that I should make sure to be well-hydrated before I donate, and that I should take it easy for the rest of the day afterward, and that OJ is a good way to keep my blood sugar up.

It has been a long time since I gave blood. Will I be able to work out on Thursday morning? Should I eat a larger-than-usual meal on Wednesday night (obviously choosing iron-rich foods)? Red Cross materials don't really address diet and exercise questions for people who are restricting calories and working out a lot. So what are people's experiences?

thanks, Neon

Tue. Aug 29, 11:35am

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i am a regular donor. i usually eat an iron-rich meal for the few evenings before i donate. i am always able to simply rest at the donation site for about 10 minutes after donating and then get on with my daily routine-except for working out. they strongly advise to lay off strenuous activities for the day. i try to get in some extra time on the couple days before, and then just take it easy the day of. usually the next day, i am back to normal 100%. it's a great thing to do, donating!! you can save up to 3 lives with a single donation. and for the day you donate, you are about 1 lb lighter (1 pint of blood equals 1 lb). lol!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006, 12:07 PM

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donating is very healthy-it helps restore red blood cells. it saves many lives, too! they will give you a pamphlet after donating discussing what you should and shouldn't do following donating.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 1:09 PM

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Come on, guys!

Okay, so I gave... Drank even more than the recommended amount of liquids, and am taking it easy. As a relatively small person with really low blood pressure (the poor Red Cross people had to wait on me to go home, I was like, "I'm bleeding as fast as I can!") I'm still kind of woozy today. It's interfering with my work and I don't think I'll donate again on a weekday. (And of course I didn't do a workout this morning!)

BUT, what I and my colleagues all noticed was that, although we work in a predominantly male environment, the great preponderance of donors were women. The Red Cross people said that men give much less often, and are generally much more frightened of the process. Good Lord! For a great big guy, a pint of blood is proportionally a LOT less than it is for me!! My bf is a donor every 6 weeks and never feels any different afterward.

So I'm just posting to say: Come on, guys! If a bunch of short little women can do this, you definitely can too!

Thursday, August 31, 2006, 10:35 AM

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I have found the day I donate isn't so bad but the next day is when I really feel it. Plan on not having a lot of energy that day and reserve it for a light workout (like Yoga or Pilates) or maybe use that as your day off.

Also be careful after the donation they have those donuts and stuff there that are so tempting but they have healthy snacks too. I normally eat a Quaker chewy granola bar after I donate.

Thursday, August 31, 2006, 10:38 AM

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i bring my own juice, not the sugar/high fructose corn syrup-lade "juices" that they tend to offer) and a small bag of pretzels or soy crisps. no one seems to mind that i bring my own snack. sometimes they offer "a pint for a pint" and will give donors a coupon for a free pint of ice cream from our local shoppe. i give this away to someone in line at the shoppe and it always makes someone smile.

Thursday, August 31, 2006, 10:57 AM

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At every single blood drive I've gone to they give away T-shirts but no food. Donuts? Ice cream? I think they had orange juice at one Bloodmobile I went to like 15 years ago.

Thursday, August 31, 2006, 11:11 AM

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Wow that's surprising 11:11 they always have high sugar foods to help you from feeling faint or dizzy afterwards. Donuts, ice cream, heck they had pizza there one time when I went around lunch time. I literally would love to skip the canteen area all together :)

Thursday, August 31, 2006, 11:18 AM

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when i donated in boston they gave away t-shirts and/or movie passes. in princeton, nj they give away the coupons for ice cream and in ewing, nj they always had an assortment of dunkin' donuts to eat after donating. i've also donated in arizona where i received coupons for local restaurants and in new hampshire where i got to choose from coffee mugs, calendars, hot beverage thermal cup or baseball cap. i think you needed to donate a few times for the thermal cup and baseball cap. these places are all on different budgets and are trying to attract many demographics, so they probably alter their "thank you" gifts accordingly. in boston, we got to choose which chair section to sit in and could watch a movie or tv depending upon your seat. there is nothing like that is any of the other places i've been.

Thursday, August 31, 2006, 11:18 AM

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and just a thought for those here or for those you know who are afraid to donate blood-you can also donate money to your local blood donor program to help offset the costs of snacks, pillows, and all their other supplies. donating to this cause is very much needed, whether you give blood or money, you are helping to save lives-literally!

Thursday, August 31, 2006, 11:24 AM

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wanted to bring this thread to the top...

Friday, September 01, 2006, 10:14 AM

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how many of us have donated blood recently?

Monday, August 20, 2007, 5:01 PM

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never, I am totally scared of needles.

Monday, August 20, 2007, 5:23 PM

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i have a standing thursday afternoon appointment every 2 months, or thereabout. wonderful gift, wonderful rewards. it's free and relatively painless to donate blood. one single donation can save up to 3 lives!!!!! what else can a person donate that has such a value? YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE. something that has given me more motivation at times is the fact that i want my organs to be harvested upon my death and donated. this donation becomes much more valuable if i keep my organs in the best shape / health possible while i'm still using them. my fat-laden arteries and over-worked heart wouldn't be much help to anyone, especially if their failure is what does me in!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 8:29 AM

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remember that being afraid of needles isn't the end of your opportunity to help out your local blood donor center!! you can donate healthy, appropriate snacks for blood donors (individually wrapped products), juice boxes, office supplies (many donor centers send out prepaid postcards as reminders to donors to let them know when they will again be eligible to donate. you can purchase some from the post office and donate them!), money, your time (you don't ever have to see the needles! just hand donors the clipboard with the obligatory paperwork and maybe hand out snacks/juice after a person has sonated), there are many ways to help these facilities and even if you're afraid of needles, you can still help!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 8:37 AM

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Haha, anyone who's scared of needles hasn't heard my story.

I've gone twice (I'm 17 and my school's only held 2 of them during the year). The first time, the person played "in and out" with the needle (which hurt..sniff) and ended up giving me a bruise on the entire crook of my elbow.

The second time, they went right thru my vein and collapsed it.

Both times, I couldn't use my arm for a day lol and it hurt.

BUT, I'm guessing dying hurts more - I'm going back this week. Especially because I'm lucky and I'm very tall and "full", so it doesn't affect me any. They usually take the required blood, and I just swing my legs over and leave as soon as the needle's out.

So c'mon! If I can "survive" those experiences and still go...a LOT more people should be going !

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 9:08 AM

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Be careful if you've lost a lot of weight and are pretty small, donating will affect you more than others.

I'm about 5'1". At my high school, they required that you be at least 110 lbs before you could donate. At the time, I was about 115lbs, and my doctor told me that I was still too small to donate. So I didn't. Instead, I volunteered at the blood donation site. You can help out even if you can't donate.

Later, I gained weight in college and was up to about 125lbs. I donated with no problem. I've been back under 120lbs now for some time, and donated once during that time. I got so dizzy that I nearly vomited. I had to sit in the chair for close to an hour while they brought me sugary juice, etc.

Anyway, it wasn't the end of the world, but I just wanted to let people know that if they've recently lost weight, they may react differently than before. Make sure you give yourself the time to recover, if need be. And, skip the "I won't drink sugary juices" stuff for that one hour. That doesn't mean drink 3 juice boxes and eat 6 donuts. But, have one juice box, and one snack, and let it be what your body wants. You just lost a pint of blood!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 1:15 PM

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no! you didn't lose a pint of blood, you donated it to someone whose life can be saved with it!! don't hurt yourself by taking care of others is a good lesson, though!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 1:21 PM

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I would never do it. It's so unnatural. And I am prone to dizziness. Also, afraid of unnecessary body invasion, colapsed veines, mistakes, etc. I understand if it makes others feel better about themselves, but not me. Egh.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 1:28 PM

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WHAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD ABOUT DONATING BLOOD is that i am able to go through a small amount of discomfort with the purpose of saving another person. unnatural? prolonging life with medications and advanced medical techniques is unnatural, too. i guess we all make decisions about what is acceptably unnatural versus what is not acceptably unnatural. just remember that someday, if you are in a car accident or otherwise hurt and you end up needing blood, you have strangers who put your needs first to thank for the life-saving blood you may receive!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 1:43 PM

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1.43 - Mhm, I'm 9.08 back and I agree with you.

I mean, for people who CAN'T give blood (weight requirements, dizzy, sick, etc) I totally understand...but people who CAN give blood, like 6ft healthy men, and DON'T just annoy me.

I mean, how can I expect to get blood if I ever (god forbid) need it if I'm not willing to give some? The stuff doesn't come out of trees.

And the people who don't do it because they're scared of needles annoy me. I hate needles as well, but I can imagine the fear of dying from want of blood seems pretty scarier.

I just wondered how it'd be if it went to the other extreme? Would all of you who refused to GIVE blood because they were scared of needles feel the same in the other situation? "Oh, no, I don't RECIEVE blood, because I hate needles"

Food for thought.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 2:01 PM

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I am bummed they won't take my blood anymore, something about me living in Germany during the 80's and mad cows. I used to donate all the time and then they passed this new rule. Just wanted to say thanks to all that do donate. My son(adopted) was born sickly and I know he had to have 3 pints of blood in the 3 months he lived in the hospital. So thank you, it saved his life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 8:24 AM

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I'm in my 40's and I've been donating since high school - the first time, I also experienced some pain, but went back anyway because I"ve never felt dizzy. Luck of the draw I guess. I'm getting close to some sort of milestone of how many gallons I've donated over the years. If you can, do, if you can't then find something else you can do!

I can tell someone who is new or thinking about it - it has kept me healthy! I have forced myself to maintain a healthy lifestyle because I don't want them to tell me I can no longer becuase of pills I am required to take, etc.

Also - I've had my blood tested when they've asked and discovered things that I did not know. For instance - I"ve been told that there is something in the cells of my iron (in my blood cells) that helps cancer patients cure at a faster rate. I don't undertand exactly what because the letter I was sent explained it in doctor tems but it does make me feel good to know that my blood is slated to be used for that purpose. The local bloodbank also makes sure that I donate every chance that I get!

I also have met up with someone who discovered that his blood was good for premature babies - so he gets a phone call in the middle of the night sometimes to get himself over to a local hospital.

Your best bet is to eat good the night before, drink lots of water, take it easy for a day or two (slow down the workout, but no reason to do away) and then gear back up. If you can, do it! If you find you can't find something you are good at and keep at it - as long as you are doing something good for the community you do something good for yourself!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 8:45 AM

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I used to give blood fairly regularly but I stopped. I don't have "good" veins and they have to insert the needle farther to the side of my arm which is very painful. Last time after repeated sticks they finally found a vein, but then I wouldn't bleed. I finally just gave up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 12:12 PM

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going again today at 4:00. looking forward to lying down in repose for 30 minutes!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007, 2:45 PM

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Felt hot?

Has anyone ever felt hot all of a sudden right after giving blood? I broke a sweat right after I sat up, I was dizzy, and my ears were ringing... needless to say I had to lay back down. But has anyone else had similar symptoms after giving?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 7:54 PM

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I've long wanted to donate blood -- but I've always tested as far too anemic to do so, which is a shame, since I'm O negative.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 8:17 PM

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