For the past 2 years, I’ve been trying to donate blood every 2 months. I used to have exceptionally high iron levels (for a girl, it’s harder for women to keep healthy iron levels). But once or twice in the past year, I’ve had iron levels just barely high enough to allow me to donate. One must have an iron level of 12.5 g/dL in order to be eligible to donate.
Previously, I had iron levels solidly in the 16 g/dL range.
Last night I donated blood again and I’m finally back up to 14.4 g/dL! Even the Red Cross worker commented that it was good.
The biggest change I made was waiting 30 minutes or more after eating lunch or dinner at home before I consumed caffeine. I still drink caffeine with breakfast during the week (my breakfast is a lean pocket and a coffee consumed in the car while I drive to work). I still drink caffeine with my meals if I’m at a restaurant, which isn’t very often. But every night after dinner, I stopped taking a cup of coffee with my husband. I now either skip it all together or wait the 30 minutes. It made that big of a difference!
I did eat liver a few times since my last donation. Otherwise, I didn’t change my eating habits. I’m so happy. I want to see if my iron levels will continue to increase. It’s so nice that such a small change made such a big difference.