KEYWORD: BLOOD PRESSURE
Getting the Bloody Deal on Blood – Blood Pressure, Blood Types, and Everything Else You Need to Know!
Did you know that you have about 4.5 – 5.5 litres of blood in your body? That is a lot! And while we don’t focus on it very often (and would rather let it do its own natural thing!) it is surprising how little we understand about this red liquid coursing through us! You may know what your blood type is, that you need to have good blood pressure levels, and you may even know how to stop the bleeding of an injury or nose bleed, but do you know what else this gooey liquid is doing for you? We have your answers! It is time to get the ‘bloody’ deal on blood and truly recognize what it is doing for us!
What IS Blood?
Easy answer: the red life-blood juice that is flowing throughout your veins! Also known as the favoured drink of vampires.
Scientific answer: Blood is a bodily fluid made up of red and white blood cells and plasma that run throughout the entirety of our bodies. Blood’s function is to deliver the necessary nutrients and oxygen to each of the different parts of our biology. Not only does your blood work hard every second to deliver oxygen to your body and brain, it also transports hormones, helps boost your immune system and fight infections/illnesses/disease, and delivers waste to the proper organs to be filtered out and removed. Without the never-ending flow of blood to each of our parts, whether a big part (ex. brain) or a small part (ex. pinky toe), we would not be alive today! It is for this reason that we should do all we can to keep our blood, blood pressure, and hearts healthy!
What is Blood Pressure?
When discussing the health of our hearts, people often talk about how high or low their blood pressure is. The reason for this is because the level of your blood pressure is correlated to how healthy your heart is. For those with high blood pressure, also called hypertension (often seen as 140/90 or above on a blood pressure reader), it causes extreme strain on your arteries and heart due to the ‘high pressure’ of blood passing through. This strain can inevitably lead to the creation of blood clots in your system (which can cause a stroke or lead to dementia), and it can also increase the risk of developing heart disease. This is the reason why it is so important to take care of your heart health by lowering high blood pressure levels. Not sure how? You can lower your blood pressure through exercise, a healthy diet, medication prescribed by a doctor, reduced sodium intake, and other methods!
Want to know more about blood pressure and what the numbers mean on the machine (aka a sphygmomanometer – sounds ‘spooky’)? Everything you need to know can be found here!
What Are the Different Types of Blood?
Real Blood Types
If you can recall back to grade-school science class lessons on the human body, you may also remember having had the chance to see what your blood type was. A small prick of the finger and voila – a blood type is revealed! You were probably given a letter and a positive or negative sign, but may not have known what it all meant. Here’s what you need to know. Blood is sorted into four different types; every person will fall into one of these four categories:
These letters signify the types of antigens (a foreign substance that cues our immune response to keep us healthy) or proteins found in the different types of blood. Each of these blood types are sorted once more into negative blood types and positive blood types. This is determined by whether or not your blood has the Rh protein on your red blood cells. If you have the Rh protein, your blood type will be positive, and if you do not have it, your blood type will be negative. The reason it is important to know your own blood type is because you can prevent risk should you ever become in need of a blood transfusion, and you can also begin to understand whether your blood type is needed for donations!
‘Fake’ Blood Types
Looking to get the effect of blood while keeping your own bodily fluids inside? Why not try these different types of fake blood that will be sure to shock and awe this Halloween season!
- Blood syrup
- Blood Gel – available in different consistencies!
- Blood Paste
- Blood Paint
- Blood Spray
- Blood Dust – simply add it on then spray with water!
Want to make sure that you are using the right colour and consistency that is realistic to the wound? Be sure to check out themakeuparmoury.com’s blog on what types of blood should be used for what wounds!
Why Should I Donate Blood?
The need for blood donations is high, and First Edition believes that it is so important we do our best to contribute to the needs of others. One of the best ways to help others in need is to donate blood – it’s easy and free! There are an increasing number of individuals who require the blood of their type to help them survive (or O-, the universal red blood cell donor, or AB which is the universal plasma donor). These individuals in need of blood include cancer patients, transplant recipients, people needing transfusions, emergency hospital patients of those who have suffered serious injuries, and others. Not sure what it’s like to give blood? Take a look at this video created by the Canadian Blood Services and take the step towards donating today!
Now that you know what blood is all about, take the time to care for your blood AND your heart! Monitor your blood pressure, maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, and even assist those in need. As stated by the Canadian Blood Services, “it’s in you to give,” so why not? Take action and let’s give blood the respect and love it deserves!