Giving blood

Will I feel drained!

21 to 34 of 34 messages
cougie    pirate
22/10/2002 at 16:21
I think there is a Blood website that answers everything.

I'm 11 stone and 6 foot and have given blood and trained later the same day and there was no noticeable difference in my times, and I didn't feel any different really.
22/10/2002 at 18:31
Ep, it doesnt hurt, and the euphoria afterwards--
I feel obliged to give, I use SO much of the stuff
A tip, I wouldnt bother with local anaesthetic
good luck
24/10/2002 at 12:56
EP - Let me know how it goes on the 31st. I'm going to make an effort in mid-November on a Friday evening and have got my husband to agree to go along for moral support. He says he wants to donate again too, so we'll see if they let him.

Is it wise to do a long run on the Sunday (day and a half after giving blood)? I'm wondering if I should switch my long run that week to the Friday morning (and I would give blood later that evening). I am worried about then not having enough sustenance in me to give blood safely because after my long runs I need to eat all day long. That week my long run is scheduled for about 14 miles. I'm also close to the weight limit. Maybe I should try to fatten up before then -- good excuse to eat lots of cookies and ice cream :-P.
29/10/2002 at 13:51
EP - do you want us all to bombard you with e-mails on Thursday so you don't forget??

Giving blood is easy, minimal discomfort, and you never know when you might be on the receiving end.

I gave blood on Sunday after running 7 miles that morning, and then ran again this morning. I did feel a bit more puffed than usual, so didn't do the speed session I'd planned, but otherwise OK.

At the same time, you can register to have your details on the bone marrow donor register - no extra needles or anything, just a form to fill in.

Go for it on Thursday!
05/11/2002 at 20:52
I try to go to sessions to fit in with my races because I am knackered for a couple of days afterwards and I can certainly feel the effect for at least three weeks. But don't let it put you off donating - please.Nothing to stop you carrying on training afterwards but best to do a few junk miles before getting back to the speedy bits otherwise you might feel disheartened because you cant run as fast as usual. It will pass. I am sure that those of us at the bottom of the weight range are affected much more than the big blokes. I ask the Blood people if this is so but have never got a straight answer out of them. It just seems logical, since we all give the same quantity
06/11/2002 at 09:19
Well done, EP. Only three years till you get your bronze badge now.

I gave my 33rd bagful yesterday and didn't relax properly until the needle was out. Felt fine pretty much immediately, though. I used to like doing my donations at St Vincent Street in Glasgow because they had individually-wrapped chocolate biscuits there. Anyone know if they still do?
06/11/2002 at 10:48
Well done EP!

Myself and my husband gave blood for the first time 2 weeks ago. It didn't really hurt, just a bit of discomfort with the needle going in. We both felt a very slightly light headed for about 1/2 hour afterwards but then we were fine. Mr FGS did a 10 mile run the next day (he's training for Luton Marathon), but I did,nt run for a few days.

On the way out, one of the carers told us we had just saved 4 lives, and they would need the plasma in particular with bonfire night coming up.

Makes you feel good about yourself.
16/11/2002 at 08:45
I finally gave blood for the first time! Was not as bad as I had imagined it would be. Sticking the needle in was a little painful but only for a few seconds. My blood came out very slowly so it took a long time. I thought there would be some discomfort while this was going on, but there wasn't really any.

I did sort of fade in and out for a few seconds after it was all done, but I mentioned right away that I thought I was a little dizzy and they put my feet up. Stayed lying down for a while and took it easy getting up. Pretty much fine after that. I do feel a little lighter, slightly weaker and was really tired last night.
16/11/2002 at 09:34
well done Linca
16/11/2002 at 14:50
Great stuff, Linca.

BTW, blood donors have a reduced risk of heart disease compared to the general population. The reason for this hasn't been definitely proved, but it's thought that a long-term reduction in the body's iron load is actually good for us.

Or maybe blood donors are just a self-selected healthy subgroup of the population. You have to be - nowadays they won't take your blood if you've ever sneezed. One day they're going to screen me out by pedantic application of the "have you been in contact with any infectious diseases in the past fortnight?" question.
16/11/2002 at 20:53
I tried to give blood 2 weeks ago and was told that my count was too low (11.5) Nurse said that this was ok for the general life. I gave blood 3 months ago, no problem, then carried on doing lots of long distance for a 2 day run on the West Highland Way. Training was feeling a bit hard after that, loss of energy etc. but put it down to not enough rest days. In spite of then having 2 rest days a week, training never did get back to feeling ok. The WHW run was hard, but not too bad, but since then (end August) have been feeling really lethargic in training. Dead legs all the time, even on short runs. Hill - legs started to burn at the start of any sort of incline. Did first XC race of season 4 weeks ago and came 5th from last. (Last year was about in the middle)

So, when they said blood count was too low for taking, but ok for every day, I wondered if being a runner was not an 'everyday' kind of need and maybe I need more to train? Am also vegetarian, which I know doesnt help, unless you make sure you eat iron rich foods. As I was ok for the last blood take 3 months ago, I am wondering what has happened? Any advice on what to do?
17/11/2002 at 14:36
Can't answer your question I'm afraid Saran, but thought I'd respond to the initial point.

Last time I gave blood, in the summer, being pig-headed, tall and heavy (48 yrs, 6ft 5, 14 stone), I went out and did a 16 miler the following evening. For the last half of the run I felt dreadful, getting so tired, and it was all I could do to finish.

3 weeks ago I did the Dublin marathon, and in 2 weeks' time I'm doing the Lisbon marathon (I've done 2 marathons in 8 days a couple of times in the past so I know my body can cope with this).

Inevitably (sod's law) I was sent an appointment to give blood last Thursday, 18 days before the second marathon. Really wasn't sure what to do and received wisdom here was inconclusive.

So I rang the blood people up and explained my dilemma. They advised caution. Don't give blood 2/3 weeks before my marathon, and then after the event leave it at least a week before making a donation, assuming that I seem to be recovering normally.

Fortunately I live in Bristol so it's possible to give a donation almost any day of the week, and I'll be able to do so before Christmas.

Hope this is of use to anybody who finds themselves with a similar dilemma.
17/11/2002 at 15:30
whilst a Hb of 11.5 is just within the 'normal' range for a woman (11.5 - 15.5), I would be inclined to discuss your symptoms with your GP just to be on the safe side.
It is quite common for women to be refused permission to give blood, as women are more likely to suffer anaemia - don't give up on trying to donate, next time you may be just fine.
17/11/2002 at 16:34
Saran, RK is spot on - a Hb of 11.5g/dl is at the bottom of the "normal" range for women, but runners are not "normal". We are more inclined to develop iron-deficiency anaemia because we lose iron in sweat and urine and pound our blood cells to pulp as we run.

It would be worth having a chat with your GP and asking for a further blood test to check your iron stores, as a low ferritin (storage iron) level can also make you feel out of sorts. This can be measured directly, or you can get a rough assessment of the likelihood of iron deficiency from the lab report's details about the size and colour of your red blood cells.

There's some interesting correspondence in this week's British Medical Journal (full text available online at about whether or not the Hb reference range for women ought to be lower than that for men at all, since primates in which the females don't menstruate don't have a sex difference in their average haemoglobin levels.

As for what to do - you're probably far more aware than I am of the good non-meat sources of iron. It is possible to get plenty of iron from a sensible combination of pulses, green veg and dried fruit (and red wine and dark chocolate), but for reassurance it might be worth taking a daily dose of a cheap once-a-day multivitamin and iron supplement with 14-15mg of iron (the recommended daily amount) in each tablet.

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