When I was in elementary school, one day a doctor came to class. He gave a talk about the importance of good health with tips on what we should do to stay healthy. He also asked how many of us knew our blood types. Not many of us. Would we like to find out?
We partnered up. Used little lancets to prick our fingers and put a drop of blood on a glass slide. Then we looked at it under a microscope. He told us what to look for. We added antibodies for Blood Type A and, on a separate sample, antibodies for Blood Type B. Then we waited to see the reaction, blood cells sticking together. That tells us if we were one of the four possible blood types: A, B, AB or O.
While the first two are self-explanatory, people might wonder what’s the difference between AB and O. Type O is the universal donor because it has the antibodies produced by both Type A and Type B. Type AB is a harder match because it has neither of those same antibodies.
Okay, sure, but why does it matter? We can answer that in one word: clotting. If the blood being introduced into your system isn’t compatible with the blood that’s already there, you will start to develop clots. Blood clots are extremely dangerous. They are life-threatening. If the clot makes its way to either your lungs, your heart or your brain, you could die. That’s why if you have one already, they put you on blood thinners. It’s to make sure that clot doesn’t move, allowing your blood to flow around the obstruction and continue doing the job that blood needs to do.
Besides avoiding emergency situations like above, what are five other reasons why you need to know your blood type?
There’s a link between your blood type and your proclivity to suffer from specific diseases. Just like where you live and what you do can affect the type of diseases you come in contact with, certain blood types are more prone to developing certain ailments than the other blood types.
Cardiac problems have been linked to the type of blood a person has. Bad news especially for people with Type AB. Your risk for heart disease is 23% more likely. Type B is next worse at 11%. Good news for Type A. You are only 5% more likely. This is in comparison to Type O. And, of course, while blood type is a factor, it’s not the definitive factor. Lifestyle choices like smoking and being overweight far outweigh blood type as a cause.
People with Type A blood are also at increased risk for developing stomach cancer than people with Type O by 20%! They are also more likely to develop stomach ulcers.
If you’re Type O and feeling pretty good about yourself because of the risk factors for the other types, we have some news for you. Type O seems to have reduced fertility.
Speaking of fertility, blood type is hugely important to know in women who are pregnant. Because the type is determined by both parents, it is possible that the fetus might be viewed as an allergen by the woman’s body.
RH incompatibility, being positive or negative in your blood type, can lead to some serious repercussions for both the mother to be and the child. But it can be treated.
Because it can be dangerous to introduce the wrong blood type to someone recovering from injury, knowing blood type is crucial. It also plays a part in bone marrow donation, which is a more complicated procedure than just hopping up on a table and giving a liter of blood.
Sure, they’re going to check the blood type regardless before using it, but in emergency or accident and you want to help out, it’s better to know in advance because time can be of the essence.
Yes, you read that right. Your blood type can help you lose weight. There are certain diets that actually fit better with certain blood types than others. For example, people with Blood Type O should be eating a more protein rich diets. In contrast, Blood Type A needs a more vegetable based diet. That said, still maintain the minimum requirements needed for your body to function. Don’t deny crucial nutrition in an effort to fit into a smaller size of clothes. The goal is to be healthy, not just look healthy!
Hit The Gym
In pursuit of being healthy, your blood type will actually help you determine what types of exercises you should be doing. Crazy, right? This is not to say that if you’re one blood type you won’t see ANY benefits from an exercise routine. It’s just that you can maximize your effort. For instance, Blood Type A lends themselves better to yoga and tai chi. Blood Type O people can handle a more strenuous workout. And a bit of good news for the AB Type people, you get the best of both worlds!
Be honest. How many of these did you already know and how many are news to you? If you’re like us, you’ve been doing some mental calculations while reading this and figuring out what will work best for your blood type. That is if you already know it. If you don’t, fret not. We can be of help there. Take advantage of our blood type panels, currently on sale here for the month of July 2017.