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EAYW47 Posts: 7,879
11/19/13 4:10 P

I was called to give blood and except for one time within the past year, my number has been 2 points lower than required. It is frustrating but I will keep trying

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,617)
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9/18/13 4:36 P

Thanks to all who donate blood. I can't donate now due to anemia.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/18/13 3:16 P

Arggggggg! All my blabbing about giving doubles and this is what happened: When the nurse ran my card into her data base, the screen said I had to wait 3 more days before I could give doubles. That made no sense to me since I last gave doubles on March 21st, so I should easily have been able to give doubles again today. The head nurse was called, and she explained something to me that I had never been told before. Namely, the lab where my last blood samples from the previous donation had been sent determined that my blood "volume" was low. So even though technically I was easily on schedule to give doubles, in fact, I was not yet able to.

Double Arggggggg! So I was prepped to give single. Despite my eating all those high iron meals in the last few days, my iron was only 12.9. Thus, I COULDN'T have given doubles any way (has to be 13.2 minimum). I am going back to giving singles as many times as I can during the year, up to the maximum of 6, as long as I can keep my iron up.

Feast: Ham and cheese sandwich, a variety of packaged chips, homemade brownies, a variety of homemade cookies, a variety of packaged cookies, meat and cheese and cracker tray, coffee, etc. A nice meal to make me forget my ordeal. LOL!

Note: Next time, I am going to bite the bullet (liver) and eat a couple of liver meals before giving.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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9/18/13 7:04 A

I donate my blood platelets .

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/18/13 12:34 A

JULIA1154: Thanks for your kind words. I, too, think donating is important, and it's interesting that you have seen things from both ends.

Yes, I have had full blood panels done a few times. I have twice asked (different doctors) about my lower HGB. Both said that based on my blood work history that they do not recommend iron supplements. My main concern was my low White Blood Count, which had gotten down to 2.71. It turns out that when I went from 215 to 168 or so that my HGB and WBC both went down. It was 4.8 this last time. So basically it seems that I just run lower on the HGB (and the WBC is similar) because I don't eat as much red meat as I use to.

Yes! Someone else who likes smoked oysters. My son and I are the only ones in the family who will eat them. Now, raw oysters, I won't touch. But all 3 of my children really like them and often order them in higher-end restaurants or sea-food places that have fresh seafood.

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
9/18/13 12:09 A

I've been both a donor and a recipient. I really appreciate those who donate!

I can't do doubles (not big enough) and my hemoglobin tends to run on the low side consistently, both at donation and my MD's office. However, I've learned that sometimes when it's low on a finger prick from my right hand it will be fine if we try my left hand. It makes no sense to me but it's happened twice now.

We don't get a meal afterward - they offer cookies, juice or water. I usually just take a bottle of water and call it good.

AlbertJon, I hope you enjoy your smoked oysters - they're one of my treats, too. But please, do see your MD if you can for a full blood panel. There's usually a reason hemoglobin's low and it's best not to let it slide. I speak from experience! Take care of yourself - and thanks for donating.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/17/13 10:26 P

OK, so now I am wondering if I should have started eating iron foods a few days earlier or maybe have taken 1/4th iron supplement tablet for the last few days. I ate bison and two kinds of beans yesterday; today I had smoked oysters, beef steak, and chicken gizzards. Tomorrow for breakfast I plan to eat more beans and oysters. I will be disappointed if I can not give doubles, since they have to go to special work to set up a station for the allotted appointment time. But hopefully at the very least I shall be able to give single.

Since I am 10-12 pounds off my maintenance weight that usually means my iron is higher.

MOM2ACAT SparkPoints: (190,535)
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9/17/13 4:34 P

I can no longer donate blood because I have cancer, but I want to say a big THANK YOU and give emoticon to those that do.

As a chemotherapy patient, I needed several blood transfusions last year because I was severely anemic from low blood counts. I really, truly appreciate those that donate blood, it really is a precious gift!

9/17/13 2:16 P

I donate regularly, tomorrow actually is the next time. My iron levels are always okay.We have buses that set up in different locations and they give you a snack afterwards like crackers and juice or soda. I'm always offered a t-shirt when I donate as well. Sometimes I take the shirt and give it to my son or have them donate it to the homeless shelter. I go every 60 days or so to donate. I have the blood type that everyone can have, even infants so I will donate as long as they are willing to take my blood.

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
9/17/13 1:30 P

All good.

BREWERFAN71 SparkPoints: (32,482)
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9/17/13 1:26 P

In a couple of more appointments I'll be at 4 gallons lifetime! I'm pretty lucky, I always have good numbers-usually at a 13/14 for Hg. Because of my weight I was able to give double red a couple of times-one thing that losing weight will take off the table for me, but I will always do a regular whole blood. One big difference I noticed-I never work out the night after donating a pint, & it doesn't seem to affect me too bad. But, after giving a double red, it took at least a week to get my energy back to normal during a workout. I thought I was crazy, but I Googled the subject & saw that a lot of people have that problem. So one thing I make sure to do is to never schedule a donation appointment in the week lieading up to an even like a 5K. (even if it's whole blood)

Oh-as far as the food! I go to a blood center where you can pick out snacks. I usually take a bottle of water & a small box of raisins.

FIRECOM SparkPoints: (0)
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9/17/13 11:25 A

I have a low HG consistently. In fact, probably due to the chemo, it really dropped and I had two units of blood transfused last week. So I thank all of you who donate blood.

I cannot donate under any conditions because I had Hep A in 1971.

MNNICE Posts: 17,639
9/17/13 11:10 A

About every other time, my hg has been too low to donate since I started several years ago. I've tried most everything, and even when I think I've done things right, sometimes it's too low. When I get it tested at my physicals, it's always okay. It is definitely frustrating when not able to give, but I haven't given up yet!

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/17/13 10:16 A

ARCHIMEDESII: Good point about the veggies. One thing I did learn is if a person wants to get iron from the non-heme sources (veggies), they are more difficult for the body to extract the iron from. Taking vitamin C with the non-heme source seems to help get more iron out.

The heme (animal/meat) iron is extracted by the body much easier.

Well, I am going to go buy some canned smoked oysters, some lean beef, and eat some black and chili beans the next few meals.

Also, thanks for the info about the supplement.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,109)
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9/17/13 5:40 A


I donate blood fairly regularly, but I too have been turned away because of low iron levels. My doctor also recommended I increase my intake of red meat instead of taking a supplement. Has it helped ? It varies. Most times I'm able to give blood. Don't know if I could do one of the doubles since my iron levels hover around the low end of acceptable.

One thing I have learned is that I can't give blood when I'm menstruating. My cycle does cause my iron levels to drop dramatically. So, can't give at that time of the month.

My doctor says I'm really healthy. I suspect that like me, your irons levels may fluctuate. In which case there may be days you can give and other days you can't. As far as eating, just continue to eat as healthfully as possible. One thing I do is increase my intake of iron rich veggies. Eating plenty of servings of veggies is another way to get your iron.

So, be like Popeye and try to "eats yer spinach". That might help along with the iron rich meat.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 9/17/2013 (05:40)
ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/17/13 4:32 A

WOODSYCHICK: Years ago, I could eat beef liver (with a lot of onions and ketchup) a couple of times a year and like it. But for some reason, beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc. liver just is not palatable for me. I know it would be a quick iron fix. Thanks for the suggestion.

One thing I do like is smoked oysters, so I plan to buy some of them today. For some people, smoked oysters would not be palatable, either. LOL!

9/17/13 4:11 A

I usually have iron on the lower side . . and taking vitamins never helped for some reason. I got my level back up by eating iron rich food. Perhaps it's absorbed better that way? Anyway my go-to food for when I feel I'm low-iron is liver. If you like it (i understand that not all do) it works incredibly. I notice an immediate and lasting increase in my energy level whenever I eat it. Liver rules! If you can get chicken livers and stew them, the flavour is much milder than beef liver.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/17/13 3:42 A

LADYCJM: Thanks for the feedback. You bring up some good points.

I have blood work done every year at a "blood fair" where I get comprehensive blood work. For the last 5 years, when giving the blood in late Spring, I have had 12.6, 14.1, 12.9, 12.5, and 13.5. Those do seem low. However, I have never been unable to donate blood; but twice because my iron fell under 13.3, I could only give single, meaning it has never been below 12.6 when I donated.

I noticed that in my multi-vitamin for seniors that there is 0% iron. Again, I think that is because seniors have to be careful of getting too much iron. The last time I donated doubles, it was 14.3. I had been eating lean steak, beans, multi-grain wraps, etc. for several meals before giving. I have a small bottle of iron supplement tablets; I use to divide a tablet into 4 parts, taking one part a day for a week or so. One tablet is 300% of the MDR. I have opted to not take any iron supplement, though.

Well, I hope I can give doubles this week; if not, I hope for single for sure.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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9/17/13 3:04 A

I've donated a little over a gallon of blood. I had to quit because of too low iron levels found when I went to donate lol!. I haven't done doubles
Most of the after donation "meals" I've had have been the juice and cookie or donut type.
I have always needed a snack afterwards otherwise I get a bit dizzy. Other than that I have not had any problems. I'm jealous of the meals you have received! Church ladies make the best food.

Your hemoglobin is a little low for a man. Normal for a man is 14-18, 14-16 for seniors.It sounds like you need to increase your iron intake on a regular basis. Has your doctor actually checked your iron stores? When I failed the "float" test, my doc checked mine and it was 8. Normal is 60 to 170. My hemoglobin was normal but my iron stores were depleted. No wonder I felt so tired! I take daily iron and my last count was in the 80's but the doc doesn't want me to donate again for a while.

It might be that donating doubles is too much for your body to recuperate from as easily as the single units. Have you thought about going back to single units and seeing what happens?

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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9/17/13 1:18 A

In the rural towns in the area where I live, blood donation stations are set-up and shared so that one can visit a specific place and donate blood on the rotating 56 day schedule. I'm not sure what it is like in larger towns and cities, but all the small towns around here have community and/or church ladies prepare sandwiches, cookies, soups, sloppy-joes, brownies, etc. Also, there are always packages of chips, cookies, etc. There are coffee, tea, and water, and sometimes juice.

I've gone to giving double-reds, which means I have to wait 112 days between donating, plus I can only give doubles 3 times a year for a total of 6 units. I went to giving doubles because they always seem short of donors who are willing to do that. {Plus, I only get 3 big free meals a year instead of 6, and better for my diet.}

My blood donating has two effects on my dieting, or eating regimen. (1) Around a week before, I make sure I eat for that week some lean meat and other high-iron foods. I also don't worry as much about calorie allotment. (2) After giving, I eat a really good meal as provided by the local ladies. I stock up on plenty of homemade cookies, etc. I know I wouldn't have to do it, but it is a way of treating myself.

Before I lost 45 pounds four years ago, my iron was always around 16. But then after losing the weight and going to a healthier diet, my iron dropped as low as 12.6. It has to be 13.3 or better for me to give doubles. I use to take an iron supplement starting a week before donating, but my doctor cautioned me, at my age, against doing that. He suggested eating high-iron foods instead. He pointed out that too much iron for seniors can be unhealthy.

Do you donate blood? Is your iron level ok? Have you ever given double reds? If you have donated blood, are you fed afterwords? Given anything? Have you given multiple times?

Edited by: ALBERTJON at: 9/17/2013 (01:20)
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