Good Morning Y'all, I have been giving blood almost every eight weeks for close to 9 years (since 9/11) and have never had any bothersome problems doing so. Yesterday when I was leaving whole foods they were having a blood drive. I wondered if the new food regimen would affect my stability when I was a pint of A+ short, but decided I should be at peak health (as I am 33 days 100% vegan... Intense Detox may be wrapping up). Just in case, I ate a green apple, a liter of mineral water, about 6 vegan crackers & right after donating a banana. I also had a big breakfast a couple of hours before with oatmeal, rice milk & maple syrup. When I stood up I felt fine- but by the time I got back to my car it went down hill fast. I thought I was going to faint, but threw up instead. I went back into the blood bus to be supervised until I felt better. However, 6 hours later I threw up again & felt as though I was going to pass out several times. My hubby made me a big bowl of Quinoa last night for dinner with fresh broccoli. But this morning I still feel very weak and unsteady. Is this common with vegan's donating blood? It is very important to me to keep giving so I HATE that this happened. Also, I don't know if this is relevant but when she pricked my finger- she said my iron count was 46. I wasn't sure where that falls on the "health meter". ANY insight would be greatly appreciated!
Although I am a long time blood donor myself, I'm not familiar with an "iron count" figure. My blood just drops in that vial like a ROCK! However, pre-menopausal women need more iron than men, due to the monthly iron loss from your cycle.
Even if you are a recent vegan--you say "new food regimen"--I wouldn't think that iron would exit your system that fast.
Questions to ask yourself: Did you have an unusually large "flow" during your last few periods? Are you regularly eating foods high in iron, such as broccoli? Are you pregnant or on hormonal birth control? Did you hydrate yourself for 3 days before donation? (I've heard this helps).
I've never experienced such awful symtoms after donating blood. Then again, I always go for the Lorna Doones. :)
Oh...and you don't need to publicly respond to my questions...they are for you to ask yourself.
P.S. Some scientists suspect that high iron levels are one reason why women typically outlive men. High iron levels are toxic. All men should regularly donate blood for this reason, as we have no natural way of eliminating excess iron from our blood.
Thanks Rick for your insight. I am taking into consideration your questions. A couple I can answer "publicly"... I do eat a TON of broccoli (and asparagus) they are my staple vegetables. I have to put thought into others-- so when I'm lazy or in a hurry that is what I eat for veggies. I was diagnosed with a blood clot in a vein that runs behind my eye in 2004 so I am NOT on any form of hormones or birth control....And am told NOT to ever get pregnant! So, nope on that front as well. I do drink ridiculous amounts (probably 12-14 servings or more per day) of both water and mineral water-- actually that is the only beverage I have had in the last 33 days (with the exception of 2 glasses of organic sustainable red wine on night 31- to celebrate 30 days 100% vegan). As far as the iron count- I am used to seeing it done the same way you mentioned. Where they drop your blood into the liquid to see what it does. but this time it was done more like a diabetic testing strip-- where they put it onto a strip and inserted it into a device that provided a reading with the count. She said mine was "46". I asked if that was good? And she said you have to be at least 36 to donate. Therefore, I was just curious if anyone knew what is ideal or optimum for a 33 year old female? I have been anemic in the past on several occasions so that is why I was concerned about the iron level. Thank you for your time in answering my response!
hmmm.. it sounds like your iron was fine to me. i've been too low to donate in the past and they take a fail pretty seriously- i usually go home with a flood of paperwork and stuff. im sure if they had been concerned at all about the iron they would have talked to you about it. anyway, i just wanted to tell you that i donated blood a couple months ago, after having a pretty standard amount to eat and drink that day. i hadnt had any dinner yet, i had stopped on my way home from work. they took my temp (standard) and i was 99 something, but they said the cut off was 100 so they let me donate. the EXACT same thing happened to me afterward (and i had the lorna doons!!! lol) i was fine at the site, and the car ride home. then i was in the kitchen talking to my husband and then there was this swirling tunnel vision and my heart was pounding. i clutched onto the table and just managed to say "i dont feel right" it was the closest to fainting ive ever come. i felt like i had to throw up but i was scared to try to make it up the stairs and i couldnt even walk to the sink. hubby was nice enough to run upstairs and get me "the bucket" i didnt actually throw up. i just remember sitting at the kitchen table a few minutes later with eric holding my hand and i kept saying "what the hell was that?? i felt horrible all night, and bad enough that i called out of work the next day. these were my conclusions: 1) my iron wasn't actually high enough 2)i was already coming down with something (low grade temp) and this set it off or 3) its actually just come to light that i am allergic to contrast material (which is essentially iodine) At my last donation appointment there was a lot of speculation about whether or not the prep had set me off. at that bad appointment my vein was hard to find and i had had a couple of sticks and my arm was on FIRE from what felt like the iodine prep being forced inside of me. just a thought...
I refer to the needles they use as "cadaver needles;" I think they're the same size used by funeral homes for embalming--the bigger the needle, the less time needed to pump fluid in (or drain blood out).
Some phlebotomists are better than others. Also, some needles have microscopic flaws which pass inspection--only getting noticed when it's inserted into your arm. OUCH!
Drinking extra water for a day or two ahead of time helps makes your veins easier to find.
Yes, it's certainly possible to be allergic to the iodine or a trace chemical in that solution. Maybe they can use alcohol instead?
Krysten--I am SOOOO glad you responded!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have begun to think I am crazy. My husband was worried about me all weekend. I donated blood on Tuesday and I am STILL having problems. Every time I stand up (especially quickly!!) or walk up stairs- I get super dizzy, see stars, feel like I might faint, then feel slightly nauseous. It has been almost a week since I donated and I can't figure out what to do to help. Saturday we were going to ride our bikes through the French Quarter, like we do every weekend and while I was carrying mine down the stairs the irritating pattern showed up. My hubby convinced me to go with him to the store and get a poweraid, a huge apple and some wheat crackers. I ate what I could and we did go ride bikes, but again this morning he walked in with my Easter basket and saw the "Apple" logo and got so excited I jumped out of bed...... and then collapsed into his arms with the dizzies and tweeting birds, room spinning etc. I am going to my Doctor tomorrow and see if he will check my labs, although I am a little scared to give more blood for that! If anyone has advice I am all EARS!!! Thank you! And Krysten I hope you are feeling much better!!
oh you poor thing!!! ho did the doctor's appointment go?? i hop eyou at least got a few answers! i felt definitely off for a coupke of days, but not a week! yikes!!! let me know how you are doing!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey Krysten, (Better late than never, I hope). Weve been out of our house for several weeks and I just haven't been grounded enough to log in lately. I did go to the Doctor and the good news is that my labs were OUTSTANDING! My Doctor was super impressed and very interested in my choice to become a vegan. The bad news is that he really doesn't know why I am having this problem. He did have me get a liter of fluids while I was there and thought that would help me feel like myself again. It did help, but not 100%. Its been over a month now and I do still occasionally feel light headed when i stand up quickly. But, not enough to be of concern anymore. Thank you so much!
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