Hello, I am a 21 year old female. I have tried donating blood twice in the past week and both times I couldn't because my hematocrit was too low. Both times it was 36. I know this isn't an alarmingly low number, but it is very low for me (the previous time I donated blood my count was 40). I was especially surprised that it was so low because I purposely ate tons of iron rich foods before trying to donate (raw broccoli the night before and 2 eggs and a turkey sandwich the day of.)
Also, my lymph node on the right side of my neck is swollen and tender and it's been this way for about a week. I also have a sore in my mouth behind one of my wisdom teeth that is swollen and painful and I've had it for over a week and won't seem to heal. Otherwise I feel relatively healthy. I have noticed that I've been a little drowsier than normal. I know this is all probably nothing, but the fact that I've never had a swollen lymph node for longer than a few days and I've never been be turned away from donating blood.
It takes several days (sometimes a week or so) for your body to generate red blood cells...Anemia Is pretty common in women...Especially those who are still menstruating...Have you noticed a connection between low hematocrit times and it being taken in the days/week just after your period? Eating iron rich foods will definitely help, but just one sandwich and some broccoli isn't going to boost it that much...Green leafy veggies, red meat if you aren't a vegetarian, nuts...Have you supplemented your diet with elemental iron (ferrous gluconate) and vitamin C? (The vitamin C increases the absorption of the iron.)
Also, is the sore in your mouth and the sore node on the same side? If so, no worries...It is your body at work fighting inflammation...The sore may be a canker sore or something else...Have you been swishing with salt water to aid it's healing? It should help with the soreness...Hope this helps...If the sore doesn't start healing in the next day or so, you should probably see a doc to make sure it isn't something more...Canker sores are usually caused by a kind of herpes virus...But they are usually near the front of the mouth or in the gum/cheek furrow...
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