5 Reasons You Should Know Your Blood Type
Do you know your blood type? If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you don’t. After all, it is not something that most people care to know.
A 2019 CBS News poll showed that only 66% of Americans claimed to know their blood type. Knowing your blood type can help you get the best possible treatment for an illness, find the most suitable treatments or medications, and reduce side effects by giving you a better idea of what to expect before having any treatment. Read on to learn five reasons why you need to know your blood type.
1. For Emergency Medical Purposes
The most critical occasion to know your blood type is during an emergency. If you need a blood transfusion following surgery, an accident, or child delivery, compatible blood will help you survive.
Blood antigens alien to your body can cause an immunological reaction, which means the wrong blood mixture could cause clumping inside your veins. This can be fatal.
Your blood gets analyzed and matched with suitable donor blood before a transfusion. Knowing your blood type can be beneficial. This knowledge of health information can save you and your doctor valuable time.
2. To Help Others Through Blood Donation
Knowing your blood type to donate to those in need is one of the best ways to help others. Local organizations sometimes issue a public need alert for particular blood types, often if a natural disaster, tragic event, or rise in traffic accidents has occurred. Most often, types O-positive and O-negative are in the highest demand.
Transfusions use donor blood that matches both the Rh factor and blood type. However, there are a few exceptions:
- Being able to give blood to those with blood type AB, blood type AB-positive people are the universal donors and can accept blood from all other types
- Because it may provide red blood cells to almost any recipient, blood type O is often referred to as the universal donor
- Those with type AB blood are universal plasma donors
- Those with type O blood are the ideal universal red cell donor
3. To Plan a Healthy Pregnancy
Learning your blood type can help you anticipate pregnancy-related issues, including Rh incompatibility between the mother and the unborn child. Blood type may sometimes have an impact on fertility.
According to some studies, women with type O blood may be more susceptible to a disease known as decreased ovarian reserve, which could make it more challenging for them to become pregnant. Further understanding your unique fertility characteristics is vital. You can discuss issues like these with your fertility specialist.
Another crucial reason pregnant women and those planning pregnancies should be aware of their blood types is Rh factor compatibility. Rh incompatibility can occur if a pregnant woman has Rh-negative blood while her unborn child has Rh-positive blood.
The mother’s blood may release antibodies that target the baby’s blood if it comes in contact with the child’s blood during pregnancy. When this happens, it may cause the newborn to develop jaundice. However, a mother’s blood coming in contact with her baby’s blood is a rare occurrence.
To prevent these disorders, expectant mothers’ blood types are often screened early in pregnancy. An immunoglobulin shot may be given to the mother if her Rh factor or blood type differs from that of her child. This helps to avoid the formation of antibodies and keeps both mother and child safe.
4. To Know How Common, or Rare, Your Blood Type Is
Depending on the Rh factor and antigens in your blood, your blood may be deemed common or rare. The most typical blood type in America is O-positive, whereas AB-negative is the rarest.
O-positive blood is often the most common blood type in the nation’s ethnic groups, followed by A-positive blood. Most Americans have O-positive blood why there is always a great need for this kind of donation.
5. To Lower Your Risk for Certain Health Conditions
Particular diseases are associated with an increased risk in certain blood types. Researchers are always looking for links between someone’s blood type and the likelihood of contracting a disease.
Experts at the Harvard School of Public Health examined data from two lengthy trials that evaluated participants’ blood type and heart health. The researchers discovered:
- The risk of artery disease was 10% greater in type B participants and 23% higher in type AB participants
- Participants with type A blood had a 5% higher risk of developing coronary artery disease than people with type O
- Participants with Type O had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease
- Stroke risk may increase for those with type AB blood
- Stomach cancer risk factors include having type A blood
- Those with type O blood may see fewer cases of type 2 diabetes
Knowing your unique blood type and using reliable medical resources to remain up to date with news regarding your blood type is important because studies and data are changing all the time. When you are aware of blood type-related health issues, you can take control of your health and reduce other risk factors.
Ways to Find Out Your Blood Type
Checking your birth certificate is the quickest way to learn your blood type. But you do have some alternatives if you don’t have access to such data.
Ask Your Doctor
Check with your doctor. They might have a record with your blood type in it.
Blood is tested for many things when you donate it, including your blood type. It could be possible to call and inquire if you’ve donated in the past. If not, request a blood donor card the next time you give blood so you can determine your blood type.
Check During Your Next Blood Draw
Ask to know what type of blood you have the next time you have your blood drawn. Call the lab where you’ve had your blood drawn in the past and ask if they have your medical information.
Purchase an At-Home Blood Test
A little sample of blood or saliva may be required by some kits. These tests, however, aren’t FDA-approved, so their results might not be exact.
You Should Know Your Blood Type
Blood is amazing. Your blood is a vital component of your body, and knowing your blood type is crucial for many reasons. Possessing this knowledge can be powerful and help you with staying healthy while planning for your future.
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