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Can You Donate Blood If You Have High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Can Reverse Naturally

How can you increase blood pressure if you have hypotension?

What if I told you that a health condition affects about 72 million or one out of every three American adults under old guidelines? And what if I told you that under new guidelines, that number will rise to about 103 Americans? Im talking about a highly common, yet preventable, condition called high blood pressure, also known as hypertension which is why you need to pay attention if you have high blood pressure symptoms.

High blood pressure isnt just a problem in and of itself, but it also leads to other dangerous health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, chronic heart failure and kidney disease.

Did you know that most people with high blood pressure or hypertension have no symptoms, even when their blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels? In fact, about many U.S. adults with high blood pressure still doesnt know they have it. Scary, I know.

The good news is that even mainstream medicine will agree with me when I say that diet and exercise are the most important tools for preventing and treating high blood pressure naturally and successfully.

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A Happier Longer Life

One blood donation can save up to three lives, according to DeSimone. People usually donate because it feels good to help others, and altruism and volunteering have been linked to positive health outcomes, including a lower risk for depression and greater longevity.

Giving blood is a way to engage in the immediate community and help people around you, Vossoughi adds. People who do these types of things and engage in their community in this way tend to have better health and longer lives.

It is also a way to feel that you have positively helped during the COVID-19 crisis. Donating blood is safe if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine. It is also safe if you have had COVID-19, though you must be symptom-free for two weeks and have not had a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, DeSimone says. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms like a fever or cough, do not give blood. Donating blood is safe as donors are socially distanced and required to wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth, regardless of vaccination status.

Creating moments of kindness during a time of need does wonders for your mental health and feeling of well-being, DeSimone says.

What Excludes You From Donating Blood

Blood and bleeding diseases or issues will often disqualify you from donating blood. If you suffer from hemophilia, Von Willebrand disease, hereditary hemochromatosis, or sickle cell disease, you are not eligible to donate blood. If you have sickle cell trait, it is still acceptable for you to donate blood.

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I Have Been Abroad Can I Still Donate

If you have been abroad recently, or are planning to go, you may need to wait a while before you can donate again. There are some diseases which are more prevalent in certain countries, and if you visit one of these places you will need to let us know. If you are not sure, please contact us for advice or visit Travel & Vaccinations.

to view the current Geographical Disease Risk Index.

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What Happens When You Donate Blood

Can You Donate Blood If You Have High Blood Pressure

You will fill out some forms and answer questions about your health.

A health professional will measure your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. He or she also will use a finger-stick test to make sure that you have enough iron in your blood.

The health professional will clean the arm you will use to give blood. Then he or she will put a needle into a vein on the inside of your elbow. The needle is attached to a bag to collect the blood. You will probably feel a quick pinch when the needle goes in.

You may be given a soft ball or another object to squeeze every few seconds to help the blood flow.

When the bag is full, the health professional will take out the needle. He or she will wrap a bandage around your arm to stop any bleeding.

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I Am Taking Medications Can I Still Donate

If you are taking any tablets, medicines or injections the reason you need to take them may prevent us from taking a donation from you. Some drugs may affect the person who receives the blood or, if they are pregnant, their unborn child. If you are taking medications and are not sure if you are still able to donate, please contact us for advice.

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The Wellness Checkup Can Also Reveal Undetected Health Issues

Jaime, was 16 and excited to give blood for the first time at her high school blood drive. During her wellness check, her blood pressure was extremely high and she was not able to donate.

She immediately told her mom and went to the family physician. After many tests, she discovered she had a narrowed renal artery, which impacted the growth of her kidney. She needed surgery right way. Jaime credits the health check with saving her life.

She says, In the process of helping people, at the same time you are getting a health checkup. Who doesnt love that?

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Treat Pain With Natural Remedies

There are many other options for natural pain relief if neither yoga or Tylenol are doing the trick. Many of these alternative pain relief methods also avoid having to take medication. For example, heat and ice are some of the most common ways to reduce pain. Applying an ice pack is extremely helpful in reducing swelling and inflammation after an injury, while heat reduces the stiffness from strained muscles, according to Healthline.

Another possible way to provide relief is acupuncture. It has been used in Asia for centuries and has since made its way to Western countries to help with headaches, menstrual cramps, and other painful ailments . It should be noted that the evidence regarding acupuncture is mixed some researchers believe it to reduce pain, while others have not found evidence for its pain relief properties. However, the risks from acupuncture are very low if you go to a certified acupuncturist, so it may be worth a try to reduce your pain, according to Mayo Clinic.

The Relationship Between High Cholesterol And High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure and high cholesterol both damage the inner lining of blood vessels, known as the endothelium.

Over time, endothelial damage contributes to the buildup of cholesterol plaques and inflammatory cells in the blood vessels throughout the body, known as atherosclerosis.

Endothelial damage also results in improper regulation of blood vessel dilation. The result is stiffened, narrowed arteries that do not respond the way they should.

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Should You Stop Your Blood Pressure Medicine On The Day Of Donation

You will need to ask your own doctor whether or not you should take your antihypertensive medications on the day of your donation.

I usually advise people to book an early appointment, and to miss their early morning blood pressure medication. This helps to ensure their donation contains very little of the drug they are taking, and also helps to reduce the chance of developing hypotension and feeling faint or dizzy after donating.

Its then a good idea to monitor your blood pressure throughout the rest of the day and to take your medication if your blood pressure rises above your target readings.

Your own doctor may disagree, based on your past medical history and how well your blood pressure is generally controlled, so please ask their advice first.

And always mention any medication you are taking to the staff at session before you donate.

If your blood pressure is raised, self-monitoring is important to maintain good control.

Image credit: pixabay

The Recovery And Aftermath

Recovery from a kidney donation operation can take from two to 12 weeks depending on the persons individual progress.

Traditional open surgery

If the operation was an open nephrectomy, you may be in hospital for five to seven days, but you should be out of bed the day after the operation. Surgeons use either stitches or clips to close the incisions they made during the operation and these will be removed around 10 days after the procedure.

Before you leave hospital, a follow-up clinic appointment will be made, usually for four to six weeks later. The scars from the operation may be sensitive or sore for several weeks, and some numbness around the scar is common. There will be a permanent scar. There may also be twinges or a drawing sensation around the scars for some months, but most people feel back to normal by about 12 weeks after the operation.

Keyhole surgery

If the operation was keyhole surgery, recovery time is shorter and there is usually less pain afterwards. After this type of surgery you will normally need four to six weeks of recovery time at home before resuming your normal activities. Painkillers may be needed for a while, depending on an individuals symptoms. You will be asked to come in for a follow-up appointment four to six weeks after the operation.

Psychological impact

Getting back to normal life

You should return to exercise gradually and gently and build up any exercise routine slowly.

Further reading

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Does Blood Pressure Change After Donating Blood

Some research has suggested that donating blood may also reduce blood pressure. In 2015, scientists monitored the blood pressure of 292 donors who gave blood one to four times over the course of a year. Around half had high blood pressure. Overall, those with high blood pressure saw an improvement in their readings.

Reduces Iron Levels For Those With Hemochromatosis

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The body needs iron to produce red blood cells. However, around 1 million people in the U.S. have type 1 hereditary hemochromatosis. People with this and other types of hemochromatosis have too much iron in their blood.

The excess iron can deposit into different organs of the body, such as the liver and heart, and affect the way those organs function.

According to a 2003 article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , people with hemochromatosis can benefit from phlebotomy, which is a similar process to donating blood.

People with this condition are allowed to donate blood. In other words, for those with hemochromatosis, donating blood can be a treatment option as well as a way of helping others.

Not all agencies allow donations from people with this condition, but many use their blood in the general donation pool.

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How Many Times Can I Donate Plasma

Plasma donations through the American Red Cross can only be made once every 28 days, or up to 13 times each year.

But most private plasma-donation companies allow people to donate plasma more frequently up to multiple times a week.

Plasma donation companies that operate on a pay-per-donation system offer financial incentives for donors. For many, frequent plasma donation is a lucrative way to earn extra money.

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The Independent Living Donor Advocate

All transplant programs are required to identify an independent living donor advocate to potential donors. This person promotes the best interest of the potential living donor, advocate for the rights of the potential living donor and assists the potential living donor in obtaining and understanding information regarding:

  • The consent process
  • The evaluation process
  • The surgical procedure

The benefit and need for follow-up in six months, one year and two years after donation.

The ILDA and or the donor coordinator will contact you six months, one year and two years after donation to check on your well-being and to obtain basic information about your health.

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Using An Automated Blood Pressure Testing Machine

Using an automated blood pressure testing machine is one of the easiest and most popular ways of measuring your own blood pressure at home. Automated blood pressure testing machines are very easy to use and they are also helpful for people who have a hearing impairment. These machines use an automatic blood pressure cuff. Such types of automated blood pressure machines have a digital monitor that display your blood pressure readings on the screen. These machines can be easily purchased online, at drugstores, grocery stores, or even at health food stores. Some stores can even call automated blood pressure machines as electronic or digital blood pressure monitors.

Automated blood pressure testing monitors usually have a microphone that detects the blood pulsating in the artery. The automated pressure cuff wraps around your upper arm and automatically inflates once your press the start button. There are some automated blood pressure machines that are used on the wrist, but these are not thought to be as reliable as the ones that use the arm cuffs. Wrist monitors should only be used by people who, for some physical reasons, cannot use the automated arm cuffs. Automated blood pressure testing devices that use finger monitors are better avoided and doctors do not recommend using these devices. Even the American Heart Association recommends people to use an automatic, upper arm blood pressure monitor for using at home.

How You Can Use Donotpay To Become A Plasma Donor If You Have High Blood Pressure

What is High Blood Pressure? (HealthSketch)
  • Search “plasma donations” on DoNotPay and find the nearest donation clinic through our clinical trials product.
  • Select the “Contact Now” button to learn more about eligibility criteria, contact the clinic with questions, or sign up for first-time donor bonuses.
  • Verify your information and submit your inquiry! DoNotPay will contact the clinic on your behalf and make sure your questions get answered.
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    Common Reasons You May Be Deferred

    Even if you plan to always visit your donation center twice a week, its still possible that youll run into at least one scenario that could impact how often you can donate. For example, if during your health screening one of your vitals isnt within the required ranges, you may not be able to donate that day. This is whats known as a deferral. Below are the most common reasons that you might be deferred from plasma donation:

    Low Hematocrit

    Hematocrit is a measure of how many red blood cells your body has. Its important to ensure you have a healthy red blood cell count before donating plasma as red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Low hematocrit could be a sign of illness, vitamin deficiency, or another medical condition and can put the donor at potential risk for negative side effects like anemia.

    In order to donate, women must have a hematocrit level between 38%-54% and men must fall between 39%-54%. If youre unable to donate due to your hematocrit level, eating more foods like red meat and spinach can help boost your bloods iron levels, and in turn, your hematocrit.

    Low or High Blood Pressure

    This is also the case if you have high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is consistently out of range, it may be a good idea to talk to your primary care physician, as they can recommend lifestyle changes or medication.

    Abnormal Pulse

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    Can You Donate A Kidney If You Take Blood Pressure Medication

    In the past, a BP reading > 140/90 mm Hg and/or use of antihypertensive medications was considered as contraindications to donation. However, patients with easily controlled hypertension with 1 or 2 agents and no evidence of target organ damage may be accepted as low-risk kidney donors on a case-by-case basis.

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    Feeling Faint Or Dizzy

    The loss of fluid can lead to dehydration and cause some people to feel lightheaded during and after the donation.

    This reaction is common and usually mild. Donation center staff encourage people to rest and have a drink and a snack after the process is over, to counter any lightheadedness.

    During the donation, if a person experiences any of the following, the attendant may stop the procedure:

    • low blood pressure
    • sweating, twitching, or weakness

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    What Are The Cons Of Donating Plasma

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    1. It can wear out the body. Donating plasma occasionally is just as safe as any other donation, but it does wear out the human body after some time. It is not uncommon for someone making regular donations to have their veins collapse or have difficulty in finding a vein that can be used for a donation. This means that some folks may be stuck at their donation center for an unexpected period of time because they wont be released until they are judged to be in a stable physical condition.

    2. Donating plasma can be scary and uncomfortable. Most people are required to drink two full glasses of water right before the plasma donation begins. This is because the donation process only works if the person donating plasma is fully hydrated. The first donation a person makes also involves a lot of questions that are personal in nature, like a sexual history questionnaire.

    3. It could be detrimental to a persons long term health. Although a donation here or there isnt generally going to cause much harm, there is the potential that regular plasma donations could damage long-term health. Researchers have noticed that there can be a 10% reduction in the antibodies that can be produced by the human body when regular plasma donations are occurring.

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