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Thread: Donating Blood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Donating Blood

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    I have been donating blood on a regular basis since I was 18 - as in 40 years, wow. I did have some gaps but for the most part I try to donate at least 4 times a year.

    I have always struggled with low Iron but the last ten years I have been pretty good, until this year. I should preface that I haven't had a blood panel done by my doctor but will do that this next month.

    So went to give blood on January and my hematocrit level was to low for their standards. Then I was successful in April but feel pretty puny for about 48 hours. Yesterday I donated again. His first check of my hematocrit was low but then he tried again with the other hand and it was well within the acceptable range. But again, I now have very little energy despite drinking a ton of water before giving and throughout yesterday. Fell asleep at 8 pm last night.

    Is it age? Anybody else go through this? My blood pressure is always on the low side - but that has been that way my entire life. Resting heart rate is typically somewhere in the 60's which isn't low.
    And I should note I am not underweight (nor overweight)
    Just curious if anyone else goes through this. Hoping to go out on the bike this morning, will see if I can make it over the hill
    Sky King
    ____________________
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    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
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  2. #2
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    I have been donating blood on a regular basis since I was 18 - as in 40 years, wow. I did have some gaps but for the most part I try to donate at least 4 times a year.

    I have always struggled with low Iron but the last ten years I have been pretty good, until this year. I should preface that I haven't had a blood panel done by my doctor but will do that this next month.

    So went to give blood on January and my hematocrit level was to low for their standards. Then I was successful in April but feel pretty puny for about 48 hours. Yesterday I donated again. His first check of my hematocrit was low but then he tried again with the other hand and it was well within the acceptable range. But again, I now have very little energy despite drinking a ton of water before giving and throughout yesterday. Fell asleep at 8 pm last night.

    Is it age? Anybody else go through this? My blood pressure is always on the low side - but that has been that way my entire life. Resting heart rate is typically somewhere in the 60's which isn't low.
    And I should note I am not underweight (nor overweight)
    Just curious if anyone else goes through this. Hoping to go out on the bike this morning, will see if I can make it over the hill
    I usually feel kind of wiped the day I give blood too...that seems normal. I just do any exercise I want to do that day before going in to donate, and then usually take it easy for a day or two after because I do feel a difference. As far as low iron, do you take any iron supplements? I usually take iron (along with vitamin C, which helps with absorption of the iron) a couple times a day for a few weeks after giving blood, to help rebuild the red cells and replenish iron stores. So far my hemoglobin level at each donation appointment has been good, but I also have only been donating for a little over a year.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I'm afraid I feel pretty wiped out for a week... Granted, not as bad all week, but I'v learned the hard way to really take it easy for the first few days, and gradually ease into activity again. Moving around slowly is fine, any energetic exercise and I hit the wall.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
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    I really appreciate the input, Thanks. Good to hear this isn't unusual. I did do a 15 mile ride yesterday and then we noodled downtown for dinner and I was fine. I forgot to mention, I also decided to drink some electrolyte replacement that evening and it seemed to help too. I am horrid, horrid at taking supplements (I know, I need to change that)
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
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    2,604
    bit late, but yes I feel bit weak for a day and I take it relatively easy for about a week.

    My BP is on the low side, and heart rate is pretty darn low, so lots of times, I have to convince them that this is my normal. I used to be on the lower weight limit way back when but now I'm fat, they are okay with it.

    I drink lot of fresh orange juice and eat lot of dark green veggies after donating blood. Along with bad stuff like donuts and other sweets. It seems to help with recovery.

    Oh I also am careful about getting up out of the bed or standing up from a chair. Avoid the dizzy spell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Rereading this thread I wanted to add: we're given iron supplements and pretty much ordered to take them until they're gone, which can take me six weeks if I'm a bit lax. I try to avoid supplements otherwise,preferring real food, but I'm so wiped out after a "bloodletting " that it feels like a good idea to take them.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    494
    I'm wiped out after giving blood too. It takes forever for me to make a complete donation. I don't know if it is because I have low blood pressure or what. I have to drink tons of water the day before and day of for me to even hope to be able to successfully donate; otherwise, I don't finish in the allotted time, and I have to quit. This discourages me from giving blood, and I don't do it as much as I would like to. I would also like to donate platelets since I have a SIL who has had to have multiple platelet transfusions but haven't tried it yet. Any of you donated platelets?


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    I used to donate blood and platelets on a regular basis. Then at some point they stopped taking blood from anyone who lived in Europe in the 80s. I was told it was because of mad cow, which seems ridiculous considering how long ago that was. Maybe that rule has changed. I haven't looked into it for awhile.

    For me I used to feel bad the following day, but was fine thereafter.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

 

 

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