Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Donating blood (2)

I haven't had a good history with blood donation over the past few years. The 'bloodmobile' usually comes to the kibbutz once every six months (one is able to donate once every three months), so on this basis, a year ago, my services were declined as my haemoglobin level was slightly too low. The minimum is 13.0 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter, whereas my level was 12.9.

I successfully donated on 05/10/16, with a level of about 13.6, if I remember correctly (see here). As I wrote then, I've been eating a spoonful of sesame seeds in the morning;  I drink a herbal infusion at the same time, thus hopefully ensuring that the iron in the sesame seeds is absorbed.

Yesterday the bloodmobile came again (it was delayed because of the Passover holiday) and again, my services were politely refused when it transpired that my haemoglobin level had decreased to 12.1 (or maybe 12.7 - it was difficult to see from where I was sitting). I wasn't too surprised at this although obviously I'm not too happy. I don't feel anaemic.

My doctor too is not happy; he doesn't know about the current result, but bases his opinion on the comprehensive blood test which I did at the beginning of the year. There have always been a few anomalous results in my 'blood work', something to do with the size of the red blood cells. One possible cause of the problem is that I have been taking every day for years a pill of Omepradex, which prevents GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), but is also implicated in iron malabsorption (this may be my problem). To rule out other problems, in a month's time I will be having an endoscopy (or more correctly, a gastroscopy). 

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