i'd like to donate blood but don't know how/if it'll affect me in any bad way. does losing blood cause undue stress on the body, encouraging a flare up? is it perfectly harmless? is donating plasma any better/worse? the blood bank looked up ms, rebif and cymbalta and told me i had their clearance... just wondering what experiences the ms community's had.
People take the "stress" concept too far in MS. The only stressors that have been scientifically linked to MS are severe, prolonged psychological/environmental/situational stresses. The statistical analysis of things like physical injuries and surgery mostly say "no" there is not a valid association. People say differently. But, an argument with a spouse, a bad day at the office, givng blood - would not cause a relapse. Maybe a pseudo-relapse - a short-lived increase in fatigue or so.
Now, giving blood causes a situation that your body needs to return the full blood volume to the body. Just because of that I would plan a light day with good hydration, for the next day after giving blood. That's just prudent.
I would not recommend a person in an active relapse giving blood. The main result of donation is some lightheadness (suddenly lower blood count by three point or so) and short-lived fatigue. That we don't need.
Interestly, MS was just recently (within the last several years) taken off the No-Donate list. For some time - way back when - it wasn't known if MS was due to a contagious agent. It took them a long time to get around to revising the reuqirements even after it was known for certain that there was no contagious aspect to it.
Hi Rebecca, welcome to the forum here at MedHelp. I'm sure you will find lots of helpful people and information here.
I personally gave blood last summer for the first time. It surprised me that even with all the meds I am taking they still wanted my blood. I was exhausted for a day afterward, but it may have been that I was in the summer heat and had little to do with the blood donation.
I asked my neuro about that a few weeks later and he said there was no reason for the blood donation to make me feel bad. And they he added his thanks to me for donating. We need more people to donate, if possible. It seems there is always a shortage and a great need.
Welcome again and I hope we will see you around some more. Perhaps if you feel like it you will also tell us a bit more about your story.
I am a regular blood donor (not diagnosed with MS, but I did tell the eligibility nurse that I was suspected of it, and she said no problem).
There is only a short list of medications that prevent you from donating. These are clearly spelled out in the information that you are given to read and the questions that you answer before donating. MS meds are NOT on that list.
I always plan to donate on a day that I'm not working, and preferably when I have the following day off too, although I certainly can and sometimes do work the next day (I work in a physical job).
I notice very little added fatigue in the couple of days following donation. What does happen, strangely, is that sometimes when I get up from lying down or climb stairs, something like that, I will hear blood pounding in my ears a bit for a few days afterward. But it's nothing.
Sometimes I do a regular donation, sometimes I do a double-red-cell donation (fat people can do that if your iron is extra high). The double-red machine returns your plasma to you, so you leave supposedly better hydrated, but I actually have noticed no difference in how I feel afterwards. (Basically, I feel fine either way!)
The big barrier is sometimes your iron level, which they test with a finger-stick. In the days preceding the donation, eat iron-rich foods at the same time that you eat vitamin-C rich foods (which help iron absorption) but NOT at the same time as calcium-rich foods, which hinder iron absorption. I skip my calcium supplement for a day or two before the donation. I also take an iron supplement for the few days preceding. I discovered that that bumps my iron way up, so that I'm eligible for the double-red instead of "merely" the regular one.
Yey, thank you!! I've donated in the past and didn't want to stop. Then last week I got called and asked if I'd be willing to donate plasma.. I can tell you that last year when I donated blood, on my way back to work I made the mistake of going down onto the wrong subway platform and having to run to catch the right train (anyone living in a metropolitan area will understand how quickly you have to move up one flight of stairs and down another if you even wanna have a shot at it). It wasn't that long ago. I'm sure I had this disease then. And my body didn't buckle. So fingers crossed, but with your votes of confidence, I'm doubly assured, thank you. (and I will be sure to take things a little more slowly this time)
Little about me (ms-wise, at least)..
I'm 28 years old, diagnosed February, 2010. Second opinion said I, "have an eighty percent chance of developing ms within the next few years." So there's that. I love how subjective ms diagnosis is. Seriousy...... (!!!)
Found my way to the neuro because I'd had a static-like feeling in my lower abdomin every time I turned my head. 48 hours after presenting the initial symptom, my upper torso and arms went numb. Well, numb's not the right word.. I'm having trouble explaining these sensations, as I'm sure you can all understand.. my arms felt like I'd hit both funny bones and my nerves were pissed off.. (somehow that seems clearer to me..) Also had bladder problems, motor skills were out of whack, I was missing pens when I'd try to pick them up, etc.
Anyway, an mri of the brain and c-spine showed a partial transverse lesion at c-1/c-2. My doctor had me admitted and put on solu-medrol for a week while I underwent any test they could think of. SSEP- NOT my favorite thing in the world. If I'm never shocked at the ankles again it will be too soon.
After too many tests came back negative, we tried a 3T mri of the brain to see if there was anything that didn't show clearly on the other mri and another "classic" lesion was identified. Also, I've had bouts of neuropathy in the past- tingling senstation in my legs when my clothing would rub up against my skin and numbness in my left arm that lasted for weeks. This is why I was diagnosed.
I'm on Rebif. It's going just fine. No real side effects that bother me. I'm in a gray area, I guess, with this disease, but want to play it safe. If I can do anything to slow the progression, I will. I'm wary of taking anything else, as I've never been a fan of drugs and/or supplements. I firmly believe that with good food comes good health. That said, I'm the daughter of a nurse. I also believe firmly in science and medicine. It's just that I like to balance the eastern with the western.
I recently went to a plasma place in Lewiston Maine to donate, and was told that I could not because of having MS of the brain. Are they able to deny me of that chance to donate? Just curious if anyone has any other answers to this.
you need to repost as a new question, this is a very old thread and many people just have a few moments to scan our headlines and don't bother to scroll down to the bottom of the individual posts, which is where you landed.
there is controversy over MS and blood transfusions but MS cannot be transmitted via the blood so far as I know, so am not sure where they are coming from
As Sarah mentioned MS is not blood borne. Anyone working in a blood collection center should know that. However, a significant % of people with MS are taking some form of disease modifying drug. It is these drugs in our systems that tends to make our blood less than desirable.
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