What Your Blood Type Tells You About Your Health
There is a certain amount of ambiguity when it comes to understanding exactly what your blood type tells you about your health. But the truth is, you’re likely to have been told many proven facts and mistruths. So before you start developing preconceptions, you need understand what this red stuff going through your veins really is.
What is a blood type?
Your blood is made up of various components. If you take a closer look, you’ll see that this liquid is actually not red at all. The fluid keeping everything together, called plasma, is actually completely translucent. The red colour is only apparent because of the millions of red blood cells that run through it.
Your red blood cells are these little disc-like things that transport oxygen all over your body, to help keep your muscles and organs working at all times.
So what makes your red blood cells potentially different from someone else? Well, it’s all about which proteins, called antigens, lodge themselves on your red blood cells. They determine your red blood cell’s final structure and ‘type’. There are three main proteins you could have on your red blood cells – and you could have a whole variety, or none at all. The three proteins are called: Antigen A, antigen B and the Rhesus Factor.
How do you determine your blood type?
These three antigens create the four main blood types there are, and 8 sub-types. The antigens A and B, will put you into one of the 4 main categories. And the Rhesus Factor can show up on top of all of the main types, or none.
This is what separates the blood types into 8 exact groups, as you can either be Rhesus positive or negative. Blood type O, is when you don’t have antigen A or B – and it is actually the most common group.
Now you may be asking why is any of this is important? Besides the fact that your blood is essential for life, your own blood type can help you understand what diseases you are most susceptible to, and what lifestyle habits you should adopt for optimal living.
If you are:
Type A – You are more at risk of suffering from stress. Studies prove that if you are Type A, you are more likely to have higher cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in your body. If this is the case, you need to dedicate some time to a relaxing pastime or sport such as yoga. Other concerns include: heart disease, blood clots and stomach cancer. (1) (2)
Type B – You are rather lucky! Though you are still more prone to certain diseases than other groups. Studies haven’t yet shown any results putting you at a far more prominent risk. What do we know? You are at a fairly high risk of heart disease in comparison to blood groups O and A and should take this into consideration with your diet choices and exercise.
Type AB – Studies have have proven that if you are Type AB, you are most likely to have difficulties with memory recall, language, and attention, especially with age. So keeping your mind sharp is essential. You can achieve this by taking control of your blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol. Watch what you eat and take the time to play some brain games every now and then.
Type O – If you are a woman with Type O, you should check out your fertility status sooner rather than later. Recent studies have shown that women with this woman are double as likely to have poorer egg quality and egg count. Funnily enough, being O Type actually increases your chances of getting bitten by a mosquito, in comparison to other groups. (3)
The Rhesus Factor – The Rhesus factor really doesn’t play to much of a role if you are male. However, if you are a women who is Rhesus negative, you need to watch out if you want to have a baby. If your baby is Rhesus positive, your body could very well reject the baby. (4)
This is called Rhesus disease. If you know in advance, your doctor can medicate you and sort out the situation before any other problems arise. (5)
So, if you don’t know your blood type yet, we suggest getting tested in order to better understand how your own body works and what health concerns you need to be mindful about.