Why You Should Know Your Blood Type

Your blood type is a relevant piece of information, for both medical emergencies and the treatment and prevention of diseases. Are you interested in knowing more about this topic? Then read on!
Why You Should Know Your Blood Type

Last update: 16 September, 2021

In 1901, an Austrian physician known as Karl Landsteiner classified the main blood groups. He mixed blood from different people and found compatibility between some of them, and incompatibility between others. He created the AB0 blood group system. Nowadays, it’s important for people to know their blood type, especially in emergency situations and accidents. Likewise, it’s also important to know this information for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide variety of diseases.

What are blood types?

Proteins found on the surface of cells, called antigens, determine blood groups. They can produce an immune system response to any blood group that isn’t compatible, through antibodies.

Experts found that there were two antigens (A and B) in the cell wall, in addition to also containing antibodies in the plasma (Anti-A and Anti-B.). Plasma is the liquid component of blood that doesn’t contain blood cells. Four main types were established, including:

  • A
  • B
  • AB
  • O

In addition, another protein on the surface of cells must be taken into account, as it’s also a part of the blood type: the Rh factor. They’re the following:

  • Rh-positive. When a person has the protein in their cells.
  • Rh-negative. When a person doesn’t have the protein in their cells.
Some blood in vials.
Four blood types were established: A, B, AB, and O. In addition, experts determined that it can be Rh positive or negative.

This article may interest you: Blood Types: Donate and Receive Blood

What’s the importance of knowing your blood type?

People usually discover their blood group after an accident or the need for a blood transfusion, etc. However, beyond this, it’s a good idea to learn more about this in order to prevent, control, and treat countless diseases that are influenced by the body’s proteins.

Disease prevention, treatment, and control

  • Blood donations.
  • Receiving blood transfusions in emergency situations.
  • Organ transplants.
  • Prevention or control of heart disease. Those with the AB blood type have a higher risk of suffering them. Conversely, people with blood type O have the lowest risk.
  • Avoidance of hypercholesterolemia. People with blood type A have higher cholesterol levels.
  • Detection of a genetic predisposition to deep vein thrombosis. Blood types A, B, and AB are linked to a higher risk.
  • Monitoring of the odds of developing certain types of cancer. For example, blood type A and its relationship with gastric cancer.
  • Adequate nourishment. Experts believe that people with type O blood should increase their protein intake.
  • Knowing the predisposition for fat accumulation (also related to cardiovascular risk). People with blood type A digest carbohydrates better and accumulate less abdominal fat, unlike those in group O.
  • Knowing the causes of stress. People with blood type A produce more cortisol (the stress hormone), while those with blood type O have higher adrenaline levels.
  • Knowing what type of exercise is advisable. For example, experts say that those with blood type A should do relaxing exercises, due to their stress levels.
  • Control and treatment of reproduction problems. Women with blood group O have higher infertility rates.
  • Furthermore, there’s an Rh incompatibility when an Rh-negative woman becomes pregnant with a baby with Rh-positive blood. Especially from the second pregnancy, this can cause the woman to damage the fetus by creating antibodies that destroy the fetus’ cells and which can be fatal for the baby.
A woman getting her blood drawn.
Knowing your group isn’t only important for emergencies. It also helps experts know how to intervene in certain diseases. It could even be key to nutrition.

An important fact about your blood type

As we’ve explained in this article, blood types provide key information that could help keep you healthy. In fact, this important information is key for periods such as pregnancy.

For this reason, doctors usually determine a person’s blood type before prescribing them any treatment. In addition, it’s a relevant piece of information in emergency situations that require blood transfusions.

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