Your Diabetes Should Be Under Controlled Before You Donate Blood
To donate blood with diabetes, your blood sugar needs to be in your target range. Your A1C should be less than 7%, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. If your blood sugars and diabetes are not well controlled, you shouldnt donate blood.
Its up to you to let the Red Cross know. If you are unsure about the condition of your diabetes, discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you decide if giving blood is a good idea, or if you should wait until your diabetes is better managed.
The Blood Donation Process
The blood donation process will vary by location, but the following is typical. The process usually takes around 1 hour from start to finish.
Before you donate, you will be asked for your ID and to fill in paperwork, particularly if it is your first time as you will need to register as a blood donor. You will likely be asked a set series of questions about your health and will have your blood pressure, pulse rate, and temperature taken.
When you donate blood you will sit in a comfortable chair and a nurse or other healthcare worker will swab your arm to sanitize it. They will then insert a needle into a vein. Blood will drain out of the needle, through an IV tube, and into a collection bag. It takes around 8 to 10 minutes to donate a pint of blood, and you usually donate 1 pint at a time. If you donate blood platelets or plasma, an apheresis machine is used. It can also take longer up to 2 hours at a time.
After donating, the nurse or other healthcare worker will remove the needle and apply a bandage to your arm. You will usually be asked to rest in place for 15 minutes and you may be offered snacks. You should bring your own diabetes-friendly snacks with you. After you have rested and if you feel fine, with no dizziness, you can leave.
Diabetics can usually give blood every 56 days, but you may have to wait longer if your blood glucose levels are disrupted after donating.
What Kind Of Medical Screening Do You Do
We screen every potential donor to make sure you can donate plasma. During your first visit, well do a health screening, which includes a review of your medical history, and an in-depth health questionnaire.
After that, your plasma donation visits will take less time because well do a shorter health screening just to check your red blood cell count, protein, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and weight.
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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.
What Can I Expect After Donating Blood
After blood donation, keep track of your blood sugar level and continue to take a proper and healthy diet. Significantly add iron supplements and iron-rich food in your nutritious diet for at least 24 weeks after your donation.
Generally, you must
- Take proper rest if you feel dizziness.
- If your arms feel sore, use acetaminophen.
- In case of avoiding bruising, keep your bandage for 4 hours.
- Increase your fluid intake, especially for a few days following your donation.
- Avoid tough and tiring activities for at least 24 hours after donation and avoid exercise as well.
- If you are sick or have other symptoms after blood donation, contact your doctor immediately.
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Is It Safe To Donate Blood If Have Diabetes
It is generally safe for diabetic patients to donate blood, and you can do it without any harm. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you can donate blood. But there are some conditions that you have to fulfill. Firstly, your condition should be under control, and you are in good health before donating your blood.
Under control, diabetes means that you have a healthy or average blood glucose level. For this, you have to be careful and watchful about your blood sugar level daily. You have to be more aware of your blood sugar levels, and besides, you need to be thoughtful about your proper diet and regular exercise.
A healthy lifestyle always contributes to healthy blood sugar levels. To keep your blood sugar level in a healthy range, your doctor may prescribe some helpful medications. Furthermore, these medications shouldnt impact the ability of your blood donation.
If you are still concern about your diabetes before donation, then talk to your doctor. He will answer your questions and can examine your health conditions.
Diabetes Medication And Donating Blood
In this case, if you are under the same medication for the last four weeks, you are eligible for blood donation. But if your type of medication or dosage has changed recently, it means that your BGL is not stable. So, here refraining yourself from donating blood will be the best decision for the sake of your own health.
But, one medicine that can prevent you from donating blood is warfarin. This generally works for maintaining the cholesterol level but in some patients, it improves the BGL too. So, you must notify all your medicines, during the screening process.
You see maintaining a healthy life is the most important factor for donating blood. So, if you consider diabetes as a problem, then preserving good health is the solution.
Lets look into the checklist now:
- Sugar level should be in control
- HbA1c levels must remain between 42-47 mmol/mol
- Blood pressure below 180/100.
Some factors other than the above ones are
- Having a healthy heart.
- Donation should be done once a year.
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How To Get Ready For Blood Donation
Before you donate the blood, you should implement the following steps to ensure successful blood donation:
- Drink a huge volume of water before you donate blood. It is recommended that you should increase the water intake many days before the date of blood donation.
- Consume iron-rich food items.
- Have a sound sleep before the day of blood donation.
- Have balanced meals before donating your blood so that you can compensate for the loss. Balanced meal consumption is very important for the diabetic person.
- Reduce the consumption of caffeine.
- Create a list of medications that you are taking right now.
Why Cant Type 2 Diabetics Donate Plasma
Type 2 diabetic patients are advised against donating blood plasma as it has different needs varying from blood donations.
The plasma component carries elements other than the blood cells. It includes the nutrient components in blood like sugars, proteins, fat, and water.
Thus, it depends on ones well-being to be a plasma donor to someone.
As diabetic patients, you must be diagnosed with unhealthy or insufficient levels of these plasma nutrients. The levels of sugar in the blood that are unstable are the most important factors when it comes to donating plasma as a diabetic patient.
Hence, it is best for diabetic patients not to donate plasma as they have irregular levels of plasma components. To avoid any potential risks to the body and the receiver, experts advise it to refrain from donating plasma.
The difference in Type 2 diabetic patients is that they have unstable and usually high blood sugar levels. This is the primary reason why diabetics, especially Type 2 diabetics, are unfit for donating plasma.
In addition to this, the other nutrients level in the blood plasma is also comparatively unstable when it comes to Type 2 diabetes patients.
It is also advised against plasma donation for Type 2 diabetics as they might later suffer negative health consequences. The release of helpful nutrients may lead to deficiencies or unmatched amounts of blood glucose in the body.
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What Will My First Plasma Donation Visit Be Like
After a staff member greets you, checks your ID and Social Security card, and verifies your address, youll watch a short video on the plasma donation process. Youll also answer health questions, get a check-up, and be screened to make sure you can donate plasma. Please allow for up to 2 hours for your visit. After your first successful plasma donation, your money will be loaded on an Octapharma Plasma Visa debit card.
For more on what to expect during your first plasma donation, visit our First-Time Donors page.
For more on what to do following your first plasma donation, visit our Heath & Nutrition Tips;page.;
Can You Donate Blood If You Take Metformin
Some medications can prevent you from giving blood, like anticoagulants, but no diabetes medications should prevent you from donating blood. The one exception to this is that you cannot give blood if you have taken insulin made from cows since 1980. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about this.
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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?
What If You Get Turned Down For Some Reason To Donate Blood With Diabetes
If you are unable to give blood when you have diabetes, whether due to unmanaged blood sugars, or complications of diabetes, you can still help by donating money to the Red Cross. Your donation will help the Red Cross with providing supplies for blood donation banks, providing support to families in crisis who are in need, and helping to educate people on lifesaving techniques. There are many things that the Red Cross does to help others. Your donation will help them fulfill their mission. 4
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How Do I Get My Money
Your money will be credited to an Octapharma Plasma prepaid debit card after each successful plasma donation.
For more information, visit our Payments & Rewards page.
To check your balance, replace a lost or stolen card, or find out more about how to activate or use your new Mastercard, call 326-8689 or visit .
Truth: A Healthy Diet Is Encouraged But You Dont Have To Stick To A Strict One
Years ago the American Diabetes Association recommended that those with diabetes eat specific amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. This has changed and now the association does recommend specific amounts anymore.
Its suggested that those with diabetes get their carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. They should avoid foods high in sodium, sugar, and fats. This may seem like a strict way to eat, but the reality is everyone should be eating like this.;
If you need help creating a meal plan, reach out to your doctor. The two of you can come up with a diet or eating habits that fit your health and lifestyle.;
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During Your Blood Donation
When you go to the blood bank, dress appropriately. Make sure that your shirt has sleeves that are loose enough to be pushed above your elbow. If possible, help out the Red Cross volunteer and show them your best veins. Most people with diabetes know where their best veins are located.
Take something to read, or a music player with head phones so that you can relax during the donation process. Its helpful to look away, and to think about something else, like a nice day at the beach, rather than watching the nurse insert the needle. A little distraction goes a long way to trick your brain into barely feeling the needle going in.
After you donate, get a drink and a snack so that you dont get lightheaded. Giving blood can take a lot from you! Its a great thing to do, but some people will feel faint, and may even pass out.
I know this to be true, as in high school when I gave blood, I fainted and was weak the rest of the day in the nurses office. As an adult, weighing a bit more, and knowing how to prepare, I can give blood with no problems.
Truth: Many Types Arent Recognized
As stated before type 1 and type 2 are the most recognized and talked about types, putting the image out that they are the only variants of the disease.;
A;recent study;has proposed that there are 5 types. The first type is what we know as type 1, but the other 4 have expanded and honed in on type 2. In the research the types are known as clusters:
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Truth: Eating Sugar Doesnt Cause Diabetes But Cutting Back Isnt A Bad Idea
The truth is that all the food you eat is converted into glucose in your system. Glucose is blood sugar and is energy for your body.
If you have diabetes this means that not enough insulin is being produced to move the blood sugar from cell to cell for energy. If you dont have diabetes then you are producing enough insulin to provide food to your cells.;
If you dont have diabetes the main problem with eating foods with added sugar is that it can add to your body weight. It does not raise your blood sugar.
The only reason diabetics have raised sugar levels is due to their body not carrying fuel around, so it sits in their blood. Its not due to the added sugar they ate.;
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.
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Can Type 1 Diabetics Donate Blood Debunking Diabetes Myths
Being diagnosed with diabetes has a learning curve, but you should know whats true and whats not when it comes to your health. There are myths everywhere, and myths surrounding diabetes are as common as any other myth source.
To understand whats true and whats false we have created the following guide to help debunk myths such as can type 1 diabetics donate blood? Keep reading below to find the answers to the most common diabetic myths.;
End Words By The Writer
Blood donation is a selfless effort that directly helps people struggling with their health. If you have well-controlled diabetes, then it would not prevent you from blood donation.
If you are healthy, whether diabetic or not, you can donate once every 56 days. But if after donation, you are experiencing unusual symptoms, then first consult your doctor.
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