Many people don’t know what blood type they have. You may think it isn’t important because hospitals check your blood type before surgeries anyway, right? In most cases, they do, but there are several other reasons that you should know for yourself.
First, it’s good to understand the basics about blood types. There are four blood groups: A, B, AB, and O. These indicate the presence or absence of antigens and antibodies in your blood. Blood type is also based off of the Rh factor, a protein on red blood cells, which makes your blood type negative or positive. For instance, if you are Rh-positive and group A blood, you are A-positive.
So why do you need to know what your blood type is? Find out below!
Medical Emergencies – Doctors need to know what blood type you have in order to prevent the risk of giving you an incompatible blood type during surgery or for another medical need. Getting an incompatible blood type can cause your blood cells to clump, which can be life-threatening. In almost all cases, hospitals will run a blood test first. In the case of an emergency, a blood transfusion of the universal donor blood type, O-negative, may be done. However, for some circumstances, the exact blood type may be needed for transfusion. It’s always good to be able to tell them what your blood type is, even if they will test it to be sure.
Pregnancy – In pregnant women, it is important to know whether their blood is positive or negative. If a pregnant woman and her baby do not have the same Rh blood type (positive or negative), Rh-incompatibility may occur. Rh-incompatibility can make the pregnant woman’s body respond as if it were allergic to the baby. This is called hemolytic disease or hemolytic anemia, and it can be very serious for the baby. An injection of a particular blood product can prevent this from happening.
Donating – There is a constant need for blood donations. Sometimes certain blood types will be called out to the public to donate if possible due to an emergency or low supply. It’s important to know your blood type so you can donate for that particular need! People with type O-negative are universal blood donors, meaning they can give blood to any blood type. Whether you’re O-negative or another blood type, each is needed. Also, having a blood test done is the first step to becoming a bone marrow donor, which could save someone’s life as well.
Predicting Disease Risks – Not all of the results are conclusive, but studies have shown that some blood types have slightly higher risks of certain diseases. Type AB, A, and B have increased risks for blood clots. Studies have shown that these blood types were 40% more at risk of having deep-vein thrombosis, blood clots in the lower legs that can be dangerous. Type AB, A, and B also have increased risks for heart disease. Type A has an increased risk of stomach cancer, but also, a higher rate of fertility. Type AB and B have higher risk for pancreatic cancer and type O has the lowest stroke risk. The results of some of these studies are preliminary, and of course there are more risk factors like high blood pressure, weight, diet, and so on. Regardless, it’s good to be in the know, and it gives you an incentive to control the other risk factors.
Improving Your Diet and Workout – Some believe eating a diet based on your blood type could make you healthier. There’s actually a diet called the Blood Type Diet. It is based on the claim that foods you eat react with your blood type. For example, type O blood is suggested to have a high-protein diet with lean meats and light on grains. Type A is encouraged to eat meat-free and focus on fruits, vegetables, and beans. Studies have not been conducted to confirm whether or not this diet has had a huge impact on one’s health, but there are many people who believe it does, particularly with weight loss and energy boosting!
If you have had your blood tested or drawn, your blood type will be on file with your physician. Otherwise, have a blood test done at Labtest Diagnostics! Call us at 314-LAB-TEST or visit our website at www.dlabtest.com. Find out what your blood type is; it’s important for your health and well-being!