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Dr. Hasan
Dr. Hasan, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8621
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS, with experience in all fields of medicine and surgery
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Can donating plasma make one gain weight? Or cause knee pain?

This answer was rated:

I started donating blood plasma in June 2011. Around the month of August 2011 I started noticing pain in my knees when I either stood up or sat down. The pain has gradually gotten worse over the last 3 months to the point that I would say on a scale on 1-10 the paid is about an 8. When I started giving plasma I weighed 250lb, now I have gained 10 pounds and weigh 260. I am 51 years old. My question is, does my plasma loss have anything to do with the pain in my knees and can plasma donation cause weight gain?
Thank you

Thanks for your question.

You have two concerns and I will try to address them separately.

It's not common to have weight gain with donating plasma but this is possible. Plasma contains proteins of the blood. If you donate plasma frequently then the protein loss from the body can produce a state called hypoproteinemia. In hypoproteinemic state there occurs accumulation of fluid in the tissue spaces which can lead to weight gain. So its possible and can be related but you should visit your doctor to get your examination done to confirm if this is the cause in your case too.

It has no direct effect on knees so this can be a separate problem. A slight weight gain can give such discomfort to knee but there is no relationship between knee pain and plasma donation.

I hope this helps you. Please ask for any query.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I did have a couple more questions.

The last time I tried to donate plasma I was told that I had a low level of protein in my blood 6.7 and they recommend 6-9, what that means I do not know.

They suggested that I wait 30 days before trying to donate again.

I am taking a liquid amino supplement for the past 3 days. Will this build my protein levels faster? And with what I have presented to you, can I safely donate again and when could I?

Thank you.

Thanks for your input.

For adults, normal levels of total protein are between 6.4 and 8.3 grams per deciliter. Although reference values may vary from lab to lab. Low protein is caused by:




liver disease

immune deficiency

some drugs can cause this too.

You were advised that you have low level of protein might be because your level is near lower level and donating at this stage might make you more prone to lose more proteins so probably that is the reason to stop you to give you time to get raised levels.

Yes, amino supplements will help you but along with that take more eggs and red meat.

When you can donate, I think you should wait for a month and then get your levels rechecked and then if levels have gone up then you can safely donate. I would like to clarify that you do not have low protein levels, you just have levels that are at lower normal limit.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have a couple more questions.

So, if I understand your answer correctly, my protein levels would not cause the condition hypoproteinemia, the tissue fluid retention. Would fluid retention in knees cause pain?

Also, I am fairly sure that I have started menopause as I have not had a menstrual flow in about 2 months and am having hot flashes. I saw somewhere that with menopause can come joint pain, is that correct? Being very overweight at menopause could be causing at least some of the pain in my knees?

Thank you

Thanks for your reply.

No, your protein levels will not cause hypoprotenimia however the donation can cause this.

Fluid retention in these cases donot occur in knees.

Yes, of course menopause can be a factor in your knee pain. It's not common for menopausal women to have knee or other joint pains; so, yes, that can be a factor. Yes, overweight and menopause can be factors in your knee pain.

I hope this helps you.


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