Importance of Knowing your Blood Group

Importance of Knowing your Blood Group

Posted by Katherine Clarke on Oct 2nd 2017

A blood type is a classification of blood that is based on the presence and absence of antibodies as well as the presence and absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of the red blood cells (RBC). The antigens may be composed of carbohydrates, glycoproteins, glucolipids or proteins, which depends on the blood group system.

Blood types are inherited from both parents. The two most important blood group systems are ABO and RhD antigen in which they determine someone’s blood type such as A, B, AB or O, with + (positive) or - (null) denoting RhD status.

The Rh blood group system is one of the 35 known human blood group systems, which consist of 50 defined blood group antigens, among which the five antigens D, C, c, E, and e are the most important.

The commonly used terms Rh factor – Rh positive and Rh negative – refer to the D antigen only. The D antigen has an important role in blood transfusion, and is used to determine the risk of developing a hemolytic disease of the newborn for Rh disease management.

There are instances wherein a pregnant woman may carry a fetus with a blood type, which is different from their own in which it is not of an issue. However, the problem arises when the baby is RhD+ or RhD-.

Mothers who do not have the same RhD factor can form antibodies against fetal red blood cells. Maternal antibodies such as IgG can cross the placenta can cause hemolysis of fetal red blood cells that causes the development of erythroblastosis fetalis. It is an illness having a low fetal blood count.

Blood Group Systems

The blood is composed of three components: red blood cells (responsible for carrying oxygen), white blood cells, (responsible for fighting infection) and platelets (stops bleeding during injuries). There are 35 blood group systems, of which the ABO group is the most common blood group system.

The glycoprotein that coats the red blood cells divide the blood into 4 groups, namely:

  • A (A oligosaccharide is present)
  • B (B oligosaccharide is present)
  • AB (A and B oligosaccharides are present)
  • O (only H oligosaccharide present)

Additionally, there are subtypes under this grouping, some of which are rare. The Rh factor plays an important role in the grouping of the blood. This lack of the Rh factor is called a negative, and the presence of the Rh factor is called a positive.

Rare Blood Types

The ABO system refers to four groups such as A+/-, B+/-, AB+/- or O+/-. The usual blood type may be indicated by a letter or two plus bearing the presence or absence of RhD.

However, in some individuals, their blood types may be composed of an extensive series of letters in addition to their designation. This type of blood group is called h/h blood group or Bombay blood group.

ABO Blood Group System

Humans have two antigens (antigens A and B) and two antibodies (antibodies A and B). The antigen can be found in the red blood cells while the antibodies can be found in the serum. The blood of all human beings can be classified into 4 groups:

  • Those with antigen A (group A)
  • Those with antigen B (group B)
  • Those with both antigen A and B (group AB)
  • Those with neither antigen (O)

The antibodies present with the antigens are as follows:

  • Antigen A with antibody B
  • Antigen B with antibody A
  • Antigen AB has no antibodies
  • Antigen nil (group O) with antibody A and B.

An agglutination reaction between similar antigen and antibody may result when for example, antigen A agglutinates with the antibody A and antigen B agglutinates the antibody B. Transfusion can be considered safe as long as the serum of the recipient does not contain antibodies for the blood cell antigens of the donor.

Rh Blood Group System

The Rh (Rhesus) system is the second most significant blood group system in human blood transfusion. The most significant antigen is the D antigen since it provokes an immune system response among the five main Rh antigens.

D-negative individuals can produce IgG anti-D antibodies following a sensitizing event in which Rh diseases can possibly develop. Rh negative blood types are less common in Asian countries compared to the white population.

Blood Group Profile

Here are some figures on how blood groups are distributed among specific groups of people:

U.S. Population by Blood Type

Below is the U.S. population by blood type:

  • Rh-positive—39 percent
  • Rh-negative—9 percent
  • A Rh-positive—31 percent
  • A Rh-negative—6 percent
  • B Rh-positive—9 percent
  • B Rh-negative—2 percent
  • AB Rh-positive—3 percent
  • AB Rh-negative—1 percent
  • Blood type by ethnicity

    O+ is the most common blood type, which may vary by ethnic group. The O blood type is more predominant among Hispanic people, while Asian people are more likely to be type B.

    How Your Blood Type Can Affect Many Aspects in Your Life

    In general, we all need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. This included incorporating exercise into our daily routine, eating more fruits and vegetables and having enough time of rest. Surprisingly, our blood type has an important role in our health and body as well.

    Researchers have found that each blood type has a unique characteristic, which can affect certain diseases, personality, and weight loss. Therefore, knowing the characteristics of these blood type can help in planning the right nutrition which will tremendously improve your health.

    Abdomen

    As unfair as it may sound, individuals with Type A blood are more capable of having a flatter belly compared to others since people with Type A blood digests carbohydrates easily. Unlucky for those with Type O since it affects them differently.

    Exercise

    Those with Type A blood are more likely to feel more stressed. Therefore, they may need time to do yoga exercises. This is good for those with Type B as they can engage in more strenuous activities such as tennis, mountain climbing, and martial arts.

    Stress susceptibility

    If you happen to come across with a person who easily gets furious, he or she might be a Type O. Individuals with Type A blood are able to tolerate stress much better.

    Personality

    Individuals with Type A blood tend to be peaceful, artistic-minded, and trustworthy. Type B blood individuals are inclined to be strong, dedicated to their goals and highly independent.

    Type AB blood individuals are usually shy, reliable and responsible. Meanwhile, type O blood individuals are extrovert, social and confident.

    Pregnancy

    Women with a blood type AB produce less follicle stimulating hormone, which makes it difficult for them to conceive.

    Nutrition

    Individuals with Blood Type A prefer to eat vegetables. Blood Type B individuals should avoid chicken and consume more meat.

    Blood Type AB individuals will benefit from salad and lean meat. Blood Type O individuals need to eat foods high in protein.

    Blood Testing

    The only way to determine the type of blood that an individual has is by extracting a sample of blood. There are various testing kits that can be purchased over the counter, and a home blood type test kit can be a convenient way of knowing which type of blood you have.

    There are recent breakthroughs in medical science wherein it is now possible to determine whether a person has a high risk of having a heart attack. We are aware that there are factors that determine the possibility of a person of having cardiovascular diseases. However, this recent discovery may actually predict an attack before it happens.

    When checking a blood test, once circulating endothelial cells (CECs) appear, this signals the first stages of a heart attack. CECs are cells that are sloughed off from weakened walls of the blood vessels.

    The study was participated by 94 individuals, of which 50 of them have suffered a heart attack and the rest are healthy. Fluorescent images were used to show the difference of how CECs look from a patient who has suffered a heart attack compared to a healthy individual.

    It has also been found out that the CEC blood levels among those who had a heart attack were much higher than those healthy individuals. CEC blood levels more than 400% than the average denotes a high risk for heart attack. The CECs also reveal changes in their structure compared to normal, healthy individuals.

    The Importance of Knowing Your Blood Type

    Some people may not realize that it is important that they should know which blood type they have. Below are some important facts that could actually save your life.

    • 1.Having an unhealthy lifestyle may affect a lot of people by becoming inflicted with various medical conditions. At times, it gets worse to the point that a blood transfusion may be necessary. Not being able to know exactly your blood type in times like this may delay the possibility of helping you get cured of your disease.
    • 2.More than knowing the blood type of a woman, if she plans to get pregnant, it is also important to know whether her blood type is Rh+ or Rh-. If the mother or the baby don’t have the same Rh blood, the incompatibility may result in a hemolytic disease. Early detection can save the life of the baby by having the mother receive an injection.
    • 3.Knowing your blood type is important when an emergency happens and blood transfusion is needed. Receiving the wrong blood type can be fatal. Hospitals run a blood test on all donors to ensure that they are given to the right recipient. During emergencies, Type O negative is used since it is the universal donor.
    • 4.You can readily donate blood to anyone who may need the same blood type as you have.
    • 5.Knowing your blood type will allow you to have a better idea of the kind of diet that is appropriate for you. No matter how much you try to follow a diet that is done by an individual with Blood Type A, having a different blood type will not lead you to the same weight.

    Final Word

    Being able to know your blood type can truly be significant to continue to live a healthy lifestyle, as it can improve your health and your way of life.