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donating plasma does effect my immune system

will donating plasma lower my immune system
51 Responses
Avatar universal

To my understanding, no but you could also consult with the plasma center's Medical Director. I do know my mother had one patient who had donated plasma too often (twice a week?) and she was having health issues... I think it was from dehydration though.

Avatar universal
since I have started dontating plasma, I have had a 104 degree fever, gastroenteritis, and tonsillitis.  This is all within 4 months, and prior to that i have not been sick since the 5th grade.  I am 22 years old.  Undoubtidy donating plasma lowers your immune system and there is nobody who could ever tell me differently.
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,

To donate plasma, you must be a healthy individual. Donors are screened for health problems that would put them at risk for serious complications from donors. If you are healthy enough to donate, your immune system is not affected. First-time donors, teenagers, and women are at a higher risk of a reaction. Donating plasma is a very safe procedure with minimal or no side effects.The body replaces the plasma removed during the donation process quickly. Current FDA Regulations state that the maximum frequency of donation is once in two days, and no more than two times in a seven day period. Possible side effects that can occur during donation include dizziness, fainting, nausea, convulsions, and shock. At the site of the needle stick, there may be blood leakage around the vein or bruising. It is important that you eat well and re-hydrate during this process. You can read more about this through this link: http://www.biolifeplasma.com/en/donating-plasma/faq.html

Take care and regards.
Avatar universal
I am considering donating plasma, but I am concerned with the anti coagulating solution, or drug with which the rest of the blood is mixed.  I have lower blood pressure (106/71) and I have concerns about my blood getting too thin, and not coagulating well.  
-Karen
Avatar universal
Would anything serious happen to someone if they donated plasma 3 times a week every week?
Avatar universal
I made the mistake of donating more than twice a week.  I got away with it because I lived in two states.  After giving plasma (whether 2, 3 or 4 times a week) I would always be extremely tired and run down.  

My rational behind this, while in retrospect I believe to be flawed, was that the FDA says once every 2 days.  And I believe they must build a significant safety factor into that.  I am a VERY healthy person, low body fat, good nutrition, never had a disease or major illness and I work out regularly.  Add to this the fact that they check you to see if your hematocrit and protein levels are acceptable, I figured that if there was a problem, they'd spot it and not allow me to give.

Then it go much worse!  After doing this for only 3 weeks, I started getting a sore throat.  No virus according to the doctors who checked me for flu and strep.  The a sinus infection began over 10 days ago.  It has progressively gotten worse and worse.  Now my body feels perpetually run down.  I'm so exhausted that some days I don't want to even move.

But worst of all, my tongue, lips and all over the inside of my mouth is swelling and covered with canker sores, lesions and painful spots.  I've been on a liquid diet for 3 days now because I can no longer chew solid food.  I don't have strep but have had a blisteringly sore throat now for over 10 days.

After talking to two doctors and the medical director at one of the centers, I believe that I encountered a simple sinus infection, but because I had depleted so much of the white blood cells during these procedures, I no longer have what I need to fight a simple infection.

To say the least, I've stopped giving plasma.  This is all very anecdotal to be sure, but giving plasma is the ONLY thing that has changed.  

It is very curious that they tell you that dizziness and nausea are about the only side effects when you go to all the plasma center web sites, and even general medical sites.  But they also won't allow you to give if you are sick, stating that you need your blood to help fight infections and healing.

I would caution everyone, don't give more than twice a week.  Trust me, your body will rebel if you do!  Doesn't matter how good of shape you are in.  And if you are in any way immuno compromised, DO NOT GIVE AT ALL.  Giving seriously depletes you of important goodies your body needs to fight infections.

If my theory is correct, now that I have quit giving (3 days ago), we'll see how quickly I bounce back and pray my stupidity didn't cause any permanent damage.  So much for Type A personalities!

Keith
Avatar universal
I started giving plasma about six months ago. Over that period I've gotten at least four, probably five colds. Before donating I would get two or three a year. After learning in physiology a couple weeks ago that plasma makes antibodies, I became convinced this is the reason why I'm getting sick. I always got sick shortly after giving twice a week, too. No more donating for me. It's not worth getting paid to get sick!
Avatar universal
Can donating plasma cause swollen legs and ankles?
Avatar universal
I started donating because my husband and I had just moved and neither of us had a job...he couldn't donate due to allergies but I was as healthy as can be.  I started to go twice a week because they pay better the second time in a week you go in.  Each time wiped me out no matter how much I drank or ate.
Then because they train the people there, I got poked too far (they hit my vein but kept going) and my arm hurt for weeks.  I was always nauseous, and I kept getting sick so I went down to once a week.  That didn't even help.  
Luckily we both got jobs quickly.  I haven't been back since.  If you are looking into donating that's great there are a lot of things that can come of it...just don't wear yourself down to much in the process because like skubrick said the money isn't worth someone getting sick.
954622 tn?1287711095
My fiance is currently donating twice a week and its starting to irritate me because he's constantly getting sick and running a 103 fever. He thinks its because the house he lives in barely has money to get food. I think that could be part of the problem but i think its more the fact that he's donating plasma twice a week on top of having emphysema and asthma. I want to tell him to quit going but i dont want to sound like a b*tch. i just wish he'd stop doin that and actually get out and look for a job.

Mackenzie
Avatar universal
I have donated plasma on a 2 times a week basis for over a month now and sparatically for the past year; the only side effect I've ever show is lightheadedness and soreness around the puncture site. I believe the side effects are different for each person. Whenever you take something out of the body or put something in it everyone can react differently.
Avatar universal
After reading all these and doing some research, I think donating plasma is the reason why I feel like I have fever the whole time. I feel my eyes are burning... like when you have a fever. I always feel weak and I easily get tired. Now I started having pain in my middle ear like when you have an ear infection or inflammation. I'm thinking maybe it's because my anti-bodies are low and my body could not fight simple bacteria or cold or whatever that it causes my ear infection. I'm not positive if I have an ear infection/inflammation but most likely it is or it's just starting. It is painful and I never had this before. When I searched for ear problems, most causes of ear pain is infection/inflammation due to colds etc. So, I think I need a break from this or stop it because it's causing weird things in my body.
Avatar universal
It is so true. I am never giving plasma ever.
Avatar universal
I've been donating plasma for 6 months now. There's a reason they only let you donate 2 times a week, so your body can recover. They ask you every time if you're feeling ill at all, and will not let you donate if you do. I make sure I'm feeling my best every time I donate so I don't get sick. I'm an elementary teacher, exposed to germs every day, so I think if my immune system was really that depleated, I would get sick pretty quickly. So far, it's been a positive experiance and I would not discourage other healthy people from giving plasma.
Avatar universal
I have been donating for 4 weeks now and I always have the weird taste in my mouth during donation but it always goes away as soon as I am done donating. The issue I have is I have weird aches for a day or so after I donate. My teeth ache sometimes and my joints. I have looked at several web sites that have no info on the side effects to the bones or joints. I wonder if there is something that is depleated that can cause the aching. I have also been having numbness and nerve pain in my hands like I did when I had carpul tunnel. I had the carpul tunnel repaired but seem to be experiencing trouble again. I wonder if any of this is due to donating?
Avatar universal
I am a college student and for extra gas money to get back and forth I donate Plasma. Started about 4 months ago, the first time i felt tired but the next couple of times I felt just fine. Then about two months ago I got really sick and had gotten strep throat for the first time in my life. I follow the rules by donating every two days and then I took a couple weeks off from donating at all. I recently just donated again and i feel terrible my whole body hurts my throat is killing me and I think I've contracted strep. throat once again. Not saying its a bad thing to do because your helping save life's but everyone should consider there own health as well.

2012 grad.
1850388 tn?1319299166
I am having similar problems, i am very healthy and i only donate twice a week or less i have had 3 infections sinisitis and bronchitis all in a 2 week period of time. I have never been this sick or had this many problems at once and the only thing that has changed is that i have been donating i just started 2 weeks ago :/
Avatar universal
I came here because i wondered if donating plasma lowers your immune system. I have a good record for not taking antibiotics because it's important to me for my body to heal itself as much as possible. I don't take fever reducer immediately because the fever serves a purpose. I don't ever want to be dependent on medicine in order to be well. I want my body to do what it naturally does. I donate regularly, twice a week and the donation site has become extremely painful. I was stabbed in the bicep and it won't heal. It's bruised to hell and back. Then I used the other arm and that hurts like hell. This is after about a year of donating. It all just started happening, problems after problems. So both elbows hurt so much so that i woke up screaming in my sleep. I have only done that one other time in my life and that was because i got a charlie horse while sleeping. I don't have any health problems but now i'm tired allllll the time. RIDICULOUSLY lethargic. And my throat stings really bad. I basically feel like complete crap. I plan never to donate again. I feel like i need antibiotics now and that pisses me off.
Avatar universal
Blood plasma is about 92 percent water with 6.5 percent proteins. The remaining components are 0.8 percent salts, 0.6 percent lipids and 0.1 percent glucose.

Drink plenty of water and eat healthy and all effects will be short term.  If you have any medical problems like asthma, chest pains, etc, you may not want to donate.  Tell them what health problems you have before you donate.  They don't take your white blood cells, so your immune system will not be harmed (unless you don't drink enough water).  I have been donating for almost a month and I do have a cold right now, but a lot of people on the bus looked sick, so I can't blame donations.  I actually started exercising about 3 weeks ago and have put on a good amount of muscle already.

I can't stress this more.  Eat 1 extra meal per donation and drink plenty of water (or Gatoraide).  I have no lost energy nor do I have any problems.  JUST EAT AND DRINK!!!
Avatar universal
I was also wondering this.  The same thing happens to me.  After donating for a few months, my legs and ankles swelled so bad that I was hospitalized.  After I stopped donating for awhile, the swelling went almost completely away.  Now I am donating again.  And the same thing is happening.  No one seems to know why this is happening.  If I keep donating, I will end up in the hospital for sure.
Avatar universal
Hi--
I've been donating twice a week for several months and the severe ankle swelling is happening to me. It's been  a week since I stopped donating and the swelling is better, but still present. I have also developed an itchy rash that started at my feet and is traveling up my body. Did you have a rash? May I ask how they treated your swelling? I know it is from protein deficiency, so I've been eating lots of protein but I'm wondering what else may help. The rash is so itchy it keeps me awake at night.
Avatar universal
I donated plasma for the first time today at 11am. I was almost done when it started to beep and then I realized I was very dizzy, very hot and sweaty and felt sick. It has been over 12 hours since I donated and I have eaten twice, drank oj and tons of water. I still feel very sick and soar. Why? And how do I feel better?
Avatar universal
For anyone that is contemplating the donation of plasma, this is not the place to be.  Every one of these people are conveying a problem, which is not the case.  I am a 52 year old, female, slightly over weight, sit at a desk all day on a high pressure project manager job, donate twice per week, have been for 2.5 years and yes.  The procedure makes me a bit tired for a bit after, but as long as I drink plenty of water I can easily finish out the day and the household chores.  I have a very busy life and have come to look at it as my down time.  Twice per week I have an hour to completely engulf into a good book with not interruptions.
Avatar universal
Don't listen to Laurie...you CAN be a healthy individual and get sick just by donating plasma. I'm 21 - picture of health, never gotten sick since the fifth grade. Since I've been donating for, oh about 8 months or so, I've been constantly sick.

Cough, fever, itching/burning eyes, trouble breathing, lethargy - you name it, I've got it. Again, I had never had any of these before donating plasma long-term.

Think about it: nothing in life is free. You're selling your health, and putting your body in the hands of poorly trained assistants, for $60 a week. Plasma donation effects everyone differently, and a lucky few may not get sick. But in the end, the cost to your body just isn't worth it.
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