Donating blood can

1. Uncover potential health problems

While it isn’t the same thing as a trip to the doctor, donating blood can be another way to keep an eye on your cardiovascular health. You’ll receive a mini-physical prior to the blood draw, in which someone will check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin and more. This can sometimes shed light on issues you didn’t even know about.

“If your blood is too low in iron, the clinic will tell you and won’t draw your blood”, says Jan Patenaude, dietician and certified LEAP therapist . They will also inform you of any other blood issues they notice or if anything seems unusual. An occasional check up on your blood quality could be the key to spotting a health issue before it becomes life-threatening.


2. Reduce harmful iron stores

One in every two hundred people in the U.S. is affected by a condition called hemochromatosis and most don’t even know it, according to Patenaude. Hemochromatosis is a disease that causes an iron overload and is labeled as the most common genetic disease among Caucasians by the Mayo Clinic.


3. Give you a sense of significance

While there are several physical benefits to donating blood, the most powerful health benefit is arguably in the psychological realm. Donating blood means that someone (or multiple people) somewhere will be getting the help they desperately need.