People often scuffle when they are approached by a group of volunteers asking to donate blood. They take it for something a loss, but it is not the case. An 83-year-old man averted his hereditary disease by just making a generous donation of blood. He started donating blood at the age of 20.
Hereditary haemochromatosis is a disease which causes the blood to extract extra iron from food that is often not needed for the body, Dr. Kohtaro Ooka, an internal medicine resident at Yale School of Medicine and author of the case report, studied.
Excess of everything is bad and excess of good things are no exception. When iron increases in the blood beyond the required level, it is then called iron overload. This has serious effects on the body and where it is stored. The liver, a storage place for iron, gets infected when the level is exceeded. It damages the liver and causes Cirrhosis – a disease that leaves marks on the liver. Joint pain, diabetes and problems associated with pancreas are the result of iron overload.
The man with hereditary haemochromatosis didn’t show any symptom until he knew at the age of 83 that he had one. Most of the patients are diagnosed with the condition in their early 40s or 50s. Getting away with the serious repercussions till the age of that man (83) is the result of blood donation.
When patients are identified with hereditary haemochromates, they are treated by removing the blood that has excess of iron. Donating blood helps patient keep the diseases naturally at a bay. Bloodletting, which was also used to treat Maladies, is still used by doctors to treat hereditary haemochromatosis.
The trend, however in women is different. They develop the symptoms a little later than men, mostly in their 60s. And compare to men, they are less prone to get more iron in their body because of menstruation, which results in losing extra blood every month.
The disease is a rare because there are so many activities in the body that keep a check on everything. Human body absorb about 2 milligram of minerals on daily basis. And anything extra is removed from the body.
The man who made it to the age of 83, visited doctor because of an abdominal pain. Doctors had to pass him through some tests. The tests revealed that he had excessive iron and cancerous cell in his lever. Cancerous mass in the lever is common in people with hereditary haemochromates.
Blood donation not only keeps such hereditary diseases at bay, they also purify the blood and remove anything unwanted and useless. There needs to be an awareness among the people to donate blood. The organization that help floundering patients – in need of blood – should be in collaboration with the government ( if they are non-governmental) to fund them and allocate resources.
Recently, there was a seminar arranged at our university about the blood donation. The slogan , “Donate blood and be a savior,” moved me and I had to attend it. It was worth my time because one of the researcher revealed the hidden benefits of donating blood. I scribbled down some of his words. He said, “If you want to keep the stream running, always clear its way, and purifying your blood takes the same thing; donate it.”