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Question
Posted by: Frazzled | 2004/10/26

Low blood p, always tired, keep losing weight, regular blood donor

Dear Doc. I'm continuously tired. I donate blood every 56-57 days, my last bp was 95 over 60. Planning to donate plattelets on 15/11. I lose weight without exercise (not complaining, 1,74m and 75kgs fully dressed). Definately tired of being tired!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Frazzled
I presume that the blood service tests your blood iron levels when you donate whole blood? Have they ever detected that you are anaemic? This could be the cause of your tiredness, so it is worth finding out if you have an iron deficiency. Discuss your tiredness with the blood service as the idea is not to exhaust the donors. You don't seem to be underweight, your BMI = 24,8, which is just still within the normal range (18-25), so small changes in body weight should not be a problem. The only dietary solution to very low bp (which can also make you feel tired and faint) is to increase your salt intake slightly to 3 gram per day - but don't overdo this as excess salt can also be harmful. It may be a good idea to have a general medical checkup to try and pinpoint what is causing your tiredness (anaemia or even haemosiderosis (excess iron in the body) which should have been picked up by the blood service, or depression. Once we have a diagnosis we can make dietary changes.
Hope you soon feel better.
Best regards
DietDoc

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