Know yourself

I’m a regular platelet donor and try to get along to the blood donor centre once a month. I say “try to” as I’m sometimes forced to take a break for a few months due to my iron levels being ever so slightly too low. This has happened a few times now and has been puzzling me for a while.

I eat my greens, red meat, eggs, drink red wine and ā€” on my mother’s insistence ā€” have been known to take iron supplements. All of this has been to no avail.

After the last occurrence back in August, I did some extra research. It turns out that caffeine can inhibit the body’s absorption of iron so I’ve reduced my intake since September’s monthly challenge to cut it out completely.

It looks like this has done the trick. My iron count before this evening’s donation was the highest it’s been for a long time. I had a chat with the staff about this and they also mentioned that taking vitamin C with a meal can help absorb the iron in food.

Hopefully this knowledge means that I can get back to an uninterrupted schedule of giving.

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