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Can People With Diabetes Donate Blood

How Can I Prepare Myself For Donating Blood

There are a couple of ways you can plan to ensure your donation is successful before you want to donate blood you Should:

  • Drink plenty of water right up to the gift. A few days prior to your planned contribution, you can increase your water consumption.
  • One or two weeks before the gift, eat iron-rich foods, or take an iron supplement.
  • The night before your gift, sleep tight. Intend to get eight hours of sleep or more.
  • Eat nutritious meals leading up to and after the gift. When you have diabetes, this is extremely important. It is essential to maintaining control over your condition to sustain a balanced diet that maintains your blood glucose levels down.
  • Limit caffeine on the day of the gift.
  • Bring a list of the drugs you are taking at the time.
  • Bring documents, such as a drivers license or two other identification forms, with you.

Preparing To Give Blood

  • Do not donate if you are sick
  • Get enough sleep
  • Avoid intense exercise/any major lifting
  • Have a snack
  • Be prepared to disclose any medications you are currently on
  • Eat iron-rich, protein-rich foods
  • Avoid fatty foods, smoking and alcohol
  • Try to relax
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise/activity 24 hours after
  • Continue adding iron-rich foods to your diet if it suits you

Consider Your Own Safety

T1D should not put you at any greater risk of feeling feint or nauseous while donating. Some T1D patients report their BGLs run slightly higher for 3-5 days after donating. Your immediate levels shouldnt be influenced either way you wont suddenly spike or bottom out. Doctors do say your or HbA1c may be falsely lowered, a temporary effect thought to be caused by blood loss and accelerated red blood cell turnover.

If you want to donate, but are concerned about the health consequences, talk to your doctor first. After donating, its crucial to closely monitor your blood sugar levels and re-nourish your body. Increase your fluid intake and consider eating more iron-rich foods for a few days. Be smart: use common sense. Take care of yourself the same way you always would.

Can I Donate Blood If I Have Diabetes

The community of people with diabetes is wonderful. We are a generous, caring, creative, and grit-filled group of people who overall wants the best for every person living with diabetes. While we do our best to serve our groups needs, Im certain that we all do many other things to help the community we live in and care about. We may even go so far as to work or volunteer away from our own homes to help others in need, not specific to diabetes.

One way to help outside of the diabetes realm is with blood donation. Over the years as an educator, Ive heard the question Can I donate blood since I have diabetes?, or other statements such as I cant donate blood because I have diabetes. It is a misunderstood idea that because of diabetes you cant participate in this much needed volunteer opportunity. This past weekend in our parish we had a post-service announcement reminding parishioners of the opportunity to donate blood and they interestingly provided information to help people determine eligibility.

What Are The Medications That If Taken A Person Cant Donate Blood

Blood Donation And Diabetes: Myths Busted

Generally, SANBS doesnt accept donors who are using medication that is classified as teratogenic. These drugs would fall into category X. These medications are known to cause malformations in unborn babies, or miscarriages. These include a lot of dermatological agents, like Roaccutane, Neotigason and etretinate.

Some anticonvulsant medication has been found to have teratogenic effects, such as valproic acid, phenytoin and phenobarbitone.

Some antibiotics and male hormonal medications are also classed as teratogenic. The list of teratogenics is, of course, much longer than this. However, what is of note is that there are no hypoglycaemic agents listed as teratogenic.

Preparing For Blood Donation If You Have Diabetes

Before donating blood, you should try your best to:

  • Strive to keep blood sugars in a normal range the day before/of donating
  • Hydrate well by drinking plenty of water
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before
  • Do not perform intense exercise that same day, before or after donating
  • Be sure to have eaten a normal snack or meal 
  • Be sure not to consume too much caffeine
  • Be prepared to disclose any medications you are currently on
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol the day before/of donating
  • Check your blood sugar frequently
  • Take insulin as directed
  • Avoid intense exercise for at least 24 hours
  • Rest immediately if youre feeling dizzy
  • Rest if feeling lightheaded
  • Eat your normal snacks and meals

Diabetes And Blood Donation: Can You Donate Blood If You Have Diabetes

It depends, just like most things in diabetes. There isnt a clear answer between diabetes and blood donation since it relies on many factors. In short, its all about sugar levels and the type of insulins you have been using. It does not matter which type of diabetes you have as the eligibility criteria depend on your diabetes management and your medications.

Want To Donate Your Unused Diabetes Supplies

If youve got unused diabetes supplies that you no longer need, dont throw them away! Here are several easy ways that you can donate your supplies to others.

If youve recently switched to a new diabetes medication or device, you may have leftover diabetes supplies that you wont need. It might feel like such a waste to throw away things like insulin vials, needles, and test strips, especially when there are many people in the world who cannot afford the diabetes devices and medication that they need to live healthy lives. The good news is that there are several ways to donate your supplies so that people who do need these items can receive them.

Its important to know that your supplies should be unused and unopened most donations will not be accepted if the supplies are no longer sealed, or if they have already expired.

Option 1: Contact your healthcare office

There is a chance that your care team collects unused diabetes supplies to provide to other people with diabetes. You can call and ask them about whether they are interested in your donation.

Option 2: Contact local diabetes advocacy organizations

Diabetes education centers or local branches of advocacy organizations may collect diabetes supplies themselves or be able to refer you to other donation sites.

Option 3: Mail your supplies to a national organization

Insulin for Life accepts the following supplies donations . The organization does not accept pump supplies.

  • Insulin Vials

What Can I Expect After Donating Blood

You should monitor the blood sugar level after the donation and try to maintain a balanced diet. For 24 weeks after your gift, try adding iron-rich foods or a supplement to your diet. You can, in general,

  • When your arm is stiff, take acetaminophen.
  • To stop bruising, keep the bandage on for at least four hours.
  • When you are lightheaded, relax.
  • For 24 hours after the gift, stop strenuous exercise. This requires exercise and other activities as well.
  • Following your gift, increase your fluid consumption for a few days.

If you feel ill following a blood donation or are worried about your fitness, call your doctor immediately.

Monitor Your Blood Glucose Levels Post

Some Type 1 diabetics report slightly elevated blood glucose levels 3-5 days after donating. While your immediate levels wont spike or bottom out due to donating, it is possible that donating blood may cause your A1C or HbA1c to be falsely lowered. This is thought to be caused by blood loss and accelerated red blood cell turnover.

Monitor your blood sugar levels after donating and make sure to keep your body nourished by increasing your fluid intake and consuming more iron.

Unlike insulin diabetics use, blood cannot be made in the factory and only comes from volunteer donors. If your diabetes is well-controlled you can give whole blood every 56 days or donate plateletsevery 7 days.

What About Platelet And Plasma Donation

Just as with blood donation, you dont have to wait to give platelets or plasma after youve had your COVID-19 vaccine as long as you know the vaccine manufacturer.

Platelets are small, tiny cell fragments that form clots to stop you from bleeding. Every 15 seconds, someone in the United States needs platelets. But you cant donate them at a blood drive because a special machine is used to remove just the platelets and return the remaining blood back to your body. The whole process may take 3 hours.


Plasma is a pale yellow liquid that carries your blood cells throughout your body. Its taken from your arm, but it goes to a centrifuge machine that spins fast to separate plasma from the rest of the blood and then return the blood back to your body. The cycle is repeated a few times till enough plasma is collected.

If youve had COVID-19 and want to give convalescent plasma, the rules are a bit different. Convalescent plasma contains antibodies that your body builds after a viral infection to fight off the illness. The FDA has given emergency authorization for convalescent plasma therapy with high antibody levels to treat COVID-19. Its usually given to hospitalized patients or people with weak immune systems.

If youre not sure, call your local blood donation center to ask if youre eligible to donate platelets, plasma, or convalescent plasma.

Eligibility Requirements For People With Diabetes

In general, people with diabetes can donate blood, but your blood sugar levels, in particular, do matter.

When you first arrive at the donation center, youll be taken through a screening process where honesty counts! There is no reason to lie during your screening process. Telling the truth about your blood sugar levels ensures that your blood has the potential to save lives.

Who Cannot Donate When Suffering From Diabetes

Why Can T Diabetics Donate Blood

Dr. Manoj Chadha explains, “Diabetes is a disease of metabolism. It affects the patient’s body, not the blood. As long as the patient does not have underlined chronic complications of diabetes like heart disease or kidney problems, there is absolutely no reason why he or she cannot donate blood.”

Diabetics should follow the same precautions like having a reasonable amount of hemoglobin, healthy blood sugar numbers, healthy blood pressure and they should not have had any infection in the recent past.

“The drill is checking the blood group and hemoglobin and your blood pressure needs to be controlled. Diabetes does not cause an infection like other diseases. If a patient is fit to donate blood, they should go ahead and donate. Donating blood can help save someone’s life,” Dr. Chadha. 

Also read: Diabetes Diet: Can Diabetics Replace Sugar With Honey?

Conditions For Giving Blood

There are a number of conditions that may prevent you from giving blood. Some of them, although not always directly caused by diabetes, can be related, such as:

  • Ulcers related to numbness or any other numbness-related heart condition
  • If you have had complicated dental work: over time, prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels can damage the teeth, giving people with diabetes a heightened risk of needing complicated dental work such as a tooth extraction
  • If you have had a pancreatic tissue transplant, you will not be eligible to give blood

Diabetes: Can People With Diabetes Donate Blood

Dr. Anand S Deshpande says, “Many believe that people with diabetes cannot donate blood. There is a myth that by donating blood, blood sugar levels fluctuate. But this doesn’t happen.”

“People with diabetes can undoubtedly donate blood. The blood sugar levels need to be within the normal levels. Those who are taking insulin are deferred from donations. If the patient is on an oral hypoglycemic, they can undoubtedly donate blood,” he adds.

Also read: Myth Or Fact: Can Drinking Milk Lead To Type-1 Diabetes?

Why Cant Type 1 Diabetic Donate Blood

Well, as a type 1 diabetic, you might have heard that it is not safe to be donating blood. Several reasons surround this advice. Most of it is because it may be harmful to your health.

To understand why as a type 1 diabetic patient, you should not donate blood, let us first have a clear picture of how type 1 diabetes is.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing beta cells connected to the direct supplying of the insulin hormone. Insulin is a metabolic hormone that controls the blood sugar levels in the body.

As a Type 1 diabetes individual, your immune system damages these beta cells that help produce insulin. Thus, your body has either a lack of a deficiency of the insulin hormone.

Therefore, insulin therapy and artificial insulin injections are utilized and delivered to the body to continue the body processes. This is a major reason why Type 1 diabetic patients are recommended not to donate blood.

Type 1 diabetes patients are more prone to be dependent on insulin. Be it the insulin pump therapy you take or the regular insulin injections, you should not donate blood.

Patients taking insulin should not give blood because it can hurt their health and lead to unmanaged blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes patients seem to observe high blood sugar levels up to a few days after having donated blood. The blood glucose levels in Type 1 diabetic patients tend to be affected due to blood donation.

Let us have a look at other details and information as well.

Diabetes Medication And Giving Blood

People who take diabetes medication can give blood, as long as their medication hasnt changed in the last four weeks.

Medication changes include changes in dosage, as well as the type of medication taken.

If your medication has changed recently, the effect on your blood glucose means that your health would be at risk should you give blood.

Donating Blood With Type 1 Diabetes

Editors Note: Get continuous updates about the coronavirus pandemic  here.


According to the , every two seconds someone needs blood. We all know that donating blood is a worthy thing to do. But the donation of blood assumes a cooperative body and a donation system that will accept the blood running through your veins.

So what does that mean for those with T1D? Many are under the assumption that a diagnosis means they cant donate. Wrong. For the most part, giving blood is an option, but it does depend on the following:

  • Where you live
  • What type of insulin you are taking

New Guidelines For Blood Donors

Diabetes UK welcomes a change in blood service guidelines allowing some people with Type 2 diabetes to now donate blood if they wish to.

The governments advisory has concluded that blood donation is safe for people with diabetes who manage their condition by taking tablets and have no complications or other underlying medical conditions.

Who Is Not Eligible To Donate Blood

  • You need regular insulin treatment
  • You required the treatment of insulin within the last 4 weeks
  • You have suffered heart failure
  • You are still under treatment or observation or a follow up for renal impairment
  • You have had wounds or ulcers related to a loss of sensation
  • You have had a blood vessel surgery or amputation
  • You often feel giddy or faintish

It really does not matter what type of diabetes you have as long as you fall under the eligibility criteria to donate blood. 

Conditions That Stop You From Donating Blood

Can People with Diabetes Donate Blood?

There are a few conditions that can permanently defer a diabetic from donating blood. The following are the most common:

  • Ulcers, diabetic neuropathy, or any numbness-related condition
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Diabetics who have had a pancreatic tissue transplant
  • People with diabetes having kidney problems
  • Diabetic retinopathy, a complication that damages the blood vessels in the tissue of the eyes
  • Any heart complications

Ive Known For A Long Time That People With Diabetes Are In Fact Able To Donate Blood But I Thought It Might Be A Good Focus For Those Who Want To Do More Outside Of The Diabetes World To Help Clear Up Any Misinformation You Might Have As A Potential Donor Read On

Direct from the American Red Cross, you can see that it means a lot to those who may need a blood transfusion or another product of blood, Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation. With this last year decreasing the ability to go places as well as the worry about visiting more clinical locations, the blood supply is at a low level and will take the help of many to get back to the levels needed.

This is important, but as we know with diabetes, there are variables to consider. Thankfully, there are good guidelines defining those that are eligible as well as a checklist to consider for donating blood successfully and healthfully when you live with diabetes.

According to the NIH, diabetes itself shouldnt impact a persons ability to donate if several criteria are met. In general, someone who donates should:

Can Donating Blood Lower Your A1c

Keeping the A1C levels in margins is crucial to judge your overall diabetic performance and record your everyday blood sugar management. But does donating blood affect it in any way?

Well, it is noted that after donating blood, your A1C may have falsely lowered values. It is nothing to worry about as it not a perfect observation and is affected only temporarily.

Although your A1C levels may look low, it is out of danger. You would be under no health risks and can carry on with your diabetes management regularly.

Your A1C records are lower because after donating blood, the blood loss is immediately refilled by the body. This brings in the cell turnover giving rise to new Red Blood Cells in the body.

With newer cells in the blood, these have an unaffected record. Thus, these non-glycosylated cells color the overall A1C reports.

Over time, these new cells will eventually get glycosylated, and your A1C will again show up as normal like it used to be.

You can even talk to doctors about your donation and A1C levels for more safety in these lines. They will be able to carry out respective tests to ensure that everything is okay. Moreover, they may even have other advice that is specific to your diabetic health conditions.

You Should Be In Good Overall Health Before You Donate Blood With Diabetes

Besides having your blood sugars in control, you should also have other conditions under control. For example, your blood pressure should be less than 180/100 mmHg to give blood, which is higher than 140/90 mmHg that is the recommended blood pressure for people with diabetes. Conversely, if your blood pressure is less than 90/50 mmHg, you wont be able to donate blood.

Besides diabetes, they will also ask you about other conditions, and medications which you may be taking. Diabetes medications generally wont keep you from giving blood in the US, but there is a Red Cross list of other medications that shouldnt be taken if you are donating blood, including blood thinners. The Red Cross representative will screen you for conditions and medications which may affect your ability to donate blood with diabetes and related health conditions.

Another thing to know is that if you plan to donate platelets, you should not take aspirin or blood thinners for several days prior to your donation. 1

Heart disease and donating blood

If you have heart complications from your diabetes, there are some things that you need to know. Heart disease will generally not stop you from donating blood if you have diabetes, but if it has been less than six months since you have had symptoms related to your heart disease, then you may not be able to donate.

Other factors that affect whether you can donate blood

How long does it take to donate blood?

How can I prepare for donating blood?

Diabetes Unfortunately Has Many Side Effects Such As Heart Problems Neuropathy Slow

Most definitely. If donors are people living with diabetes and they develop a complication due to their diabetes, we defer them until the complications are resolved, and until good control of the donors blood glucose level is re-established.

Persons who suffer from a hypoglycaemic coma are deferred for four months from the time of the episode. This is to ensure that their glucose control is adequate.

SANBS also doesnt accept donors who develop diabetes as a complication of another disease process. For example, a donor who develops diabetes as a complication of acromegaly would not be accepted for the procedure.

Can Diabetic People Donate Blood

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration does not have any regulatory restrictions against diabetics donating blood other than if the individual has received bovine source insulin since 1980. The concern here is not the diabetes but rather the bovine spongiform encephalopathy. As bovine source insulins were not widely available in the US, the diabetic would have had to specifically import it from Europe. Donors may mistake this deferral as being due to their having diabetes. Here is the FDA guidance (Each blood collection center in the US can have criteria more stringent that either the FDA and AABB so there is some variability among blood centers. At the collection center where I work, we allow donors with diabetes, whether controlled with diet, oral hypoglycemics, or insulin, to donate. The only instance where I can think where diabetes would have a negative affect on blood product and therefore an adverse effect on the patient would be in the rare instances where we collect granulocytes. If the donor had poor glucose control, this could impair neutrophil function. Since granulocyte donors are usually stimulated with corticosteroids, which would worsen glucose control, diabetics are deferred from granulocyte donation at my institution so this is not an issue.Continue reading >>

Is It Safe For Diabetics To Donate Blood

It is only natural to be concerned about giving blood if you have diabetes.

As a general rule, it is safe for diabetics to donate blood as long as:

  • Your diabetes is under control
  • You are otherwise in good health and you meet the criteria for donating blood

If you plan to give blood, it is sensible to talk to your healthcare provider first to get their perspective and their advice.

Tips For Diabetics On How To Prepare To Give Blood

In the days before your donation, strive to keep your sugar level within the normal range as determined by your medical care team. As with all blood donors, we recommend that you hydrate well the days before and after your donation and get plenty of sleep the night before. Find more pre-donation tips here. 

Am I Eligible To Donate Blood

Can Diabetics Donate Plasma Biolife

Great question! Take our two-minute eligibility quiz to find out if you can donate blood. If you are determined to be eligible online, you will be able to book your first appointment. Final eligibility will be determined by our staff at our donation centres. Visit our donating blood page to learn more about how blood donation works.

All topics in Am I eligible?


To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important for all travellers to self-isolate, and refrain from blood donation, for 14 days after any travel outside of Canada as stated by public health authorities. For some travel, a longer deferral is already in place. See the Q & A section of our COVID-19 page for more information about COVID-19 and donor eligibility. If you are unsure of your own eligibility, please call 1 888 2 DONATE .


Eligibility overview

To ensure the safety of both patients and donors, we have certain requirements donors must meet to be eligible to donate blood based on their donation type such as whole blood or platelets. Each type of donation is used for different medical treatments, and your blood type determines the best possible donation you can make.

Remember: if you do not meet the requirements today, there are many other ways to donate and get involved with Canadian Blood Services. Plus, you can always check in with us again to see if your eligibility has changed.

New to donating blood?

If you are considering donating blood for the first time you must be: 



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