The number of people volunteering to give blood in the UK dropped by 40% last year when compared to numbers of new donors who were signing up a decade ago. While this isn’t a crisis yet it does mean that many more donors are needed to stop the UK’s blood supplies from dropping below a safe level.
But can migraine sufferers donate without it having an adverse effect on their health?
It depends on what kind of migraine you suffer from. Migraines caused by low blood pressure will definitely not be too happy if you try to donate. Ditto migraines caused by low blood sugar, although the negative effects of this should be very short term, just while your levels get back to normal (the free biscuits they give you should help). However vascular headaches caused by high levels of iron and iron antagonists such as zinc and Vitamin B2 march actually be helped by donating blood as it will help to reduce their levels and, at least temporarily, lower blood pressure.
The other thing to consider is whether medication you march be taking to treat your migraines will prevent you from donating. In the same way that people who have recently had a tattoo or been to certain countries need to wait a length of time after the event before they can donate again, there are some medications that need time to work their way out of a person’s system before their blood can be used. For example, if you are a component donor (platelets and similar) then you will need to wait five days after taking any aspirin before going to donate. To help make things clear the NHS Blood and Transplant website has an index of treatments and conditions online and states for each whether or not you can be taking them, or have taken them recently, and still donate.
Under their entry for migraine however, they do advise calling their donor helpline on 0300 123 23 23 Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. if you want to be sure that you can give blood before you book an appointment. Their referral teams will be able to give you a more decisive yes or no once they have more information about your specific condition and it’s better to check beforehand than turn up on the day and be disappointed. In terms of most complementary and natural treatments are compatible with blood donation.
As migraines are such a complex condition and everyone’s is different, the overall conclusion seems to be (as is so often the case with migraines) check with a doctor first that it’s ok.
DISCLAIMER – When using any medication, always read the label and make sure you keep all medicines out of reach of children. The information supplied within this online resource is brought to you by Imigran Recovery Tablets (contains sumatriptan) for migraine relief, from a variety of author sources including health care professionals, lifestyle experts and the general public. None of the published authors endorse any brands