What is your blood type? Not everyone can answer that question, but it's important to know. That's because there's actually a real connection between your health and your blood type. For example, did you know that people with type O blood are much tastier to mosquitos than people with other blood types - and that people with type O blood have a harder time getting pregnant? Or that people with AB blood are at a higher risk for stomach and pancreatic cancers? Here's something a little more cheerful - people with type B blood are brimming with helpful bacteria!
You need to know what your blood type says about you, because the more information you have about potential health risks, the more you can do to prevent or prepare for them. Of course, your blood type doesn't determine everything. Your health is the result of a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, exercise, environment, and more. That said, the more you know, the better off you are.
Let's learn about the different blood types and try to answer some burning questions. Is there a connection between blood type and personality? What's an Rh factor, and how can it be dangerous? Keep reading for all this and more.
Your Rh Factor Can Cause Problems During Pregnancy
Just like people have different blood types, they can also differ in their Rh factor. The Rh factor is a protein that can exist on the surface of red blood cells. Rh+ people have this protein, and Rh- people, who are far less common, do not.
While a person's Rh factor doesn't usually make much difference, it can become a problem during pregnancy. If a pregnant person is Rh-, and the fetus is Rh+, the incompatibility can be dangerous. Why? Because an Rh- person's immune system might make antibodies against the Rh factor. While the pregnant person's blood system is separate from the fetus', traces of blood can still cross over through the placenta. This can lead to those antibodies attacking the fetus' Rh factor. This can cause hemolytic anemia, a condition where blood cells are wiped out faster than the fetus can rebuild them, and it can be fatal.
This problem typically doesn't occur during the first pregnancy, because the pregnant person's immune system hasn't built up enough antibodies yet, but it is a risk for subsequent pregnancies. To prevent this, Rh- people can take an injection of Rh immunoglobulin (RhIg), which stops the production of Rh antibodies.
People With Type A And O Blood Have A Harder Time Dealing With Stress
Because your blood type antigens help determine how much cortisol your body releases, your blood type actually impacts how you feel when you're stressed. People with type A blood produce more cortisol than other blood types, which makes it harder for them to handle stressful situations. People with type O blood don't produce excess cortisol, but they do pump out excess adrenaline under stress, which makes it harder for them to clear up any cortisol in their systems.
People with these blood types may need to pay special attention to how they manage their stress because their bodies are less likely to do it for them.
People With Type B Blood Are Swarming With Good Bacteria
If you have type B blood, you're in luck; you're full of bacteria - the good kind. The human body needs bacteria to help it perform a variety of functions, including digesting food and fighting off dangerous strains of bacteria.
People with type B blood have up to 50,000 times the amount of friendly bacteria that people with O and A blood have, which means better digestion and a more powerful immune system.
Mosquitos Like Some Blood Better Than Others
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to get way more mosquito bites than others? It's not just because mosquitos are unfair jerks - it's because of your blood type. According to a Japanese study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, people with type O blood are twice as attractive to mosquitos than people with type A blood. Type B and type AB are less attractive as well.
Mosquitos can tell a person's blood type before sucking any blood, through information passed on via skin secretions. If they don't like your blood type, they might just fly away.