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Can You Give Blood If You Have Diabetes

Before Donating Blood You Should Try Your Best To:

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  • Keep blood glucose levels within your normal range the week of donation.
  • Hydrate, and make sure that you drink enough water before your donation. Itâs also a good idea to increase your water intake a few days before your scheduled donation.
  • Make sure you get eight hours of sleep the night before you donate blood.
  • Donât plan a strenuous workout just before youâre donating blood.
  • Eat balanced meals leading up to your donation. This is especially important when you have diabetes. Maintaining a healthy diet that keeps your blood glucose levels stable is key to having control of your condition.
  • Cut back on the coffee immediately before you donate blood. You donât need to skip it but try not to add any extra cups of coffee or tea to your diet the day that you donate.
  • Prepare a list of the medications that youâre on so you have them ready during your donation. Include any vitamins or herbal supplements.
  • Cut out cigarettes before your donation, and try not to indulge after you donate either.
  • Remember that whether you have diabetes or not, you canât donate if you have alcohol in your system. Due to side effects that may occur after the donation, try not to drink that day at all.
  • Eat iron-rich foods such as meat, eggs, spinach, beans, and whole grains before the donation.
  • Carry identification with you, like your driverâs license.

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.

For Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

Interestingly, recent research has found that people with diabetes who donate blood regularly see short and longterm improvements in their health.

Heart attack, stroke and type II diabetes have all been shown to be less common in individuals that regularly donate blood, explains research from the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center .

For short-term health, the same study found that just one donation session temporarily improved insulin production and glucose tolerance.

The improvement was particularly evident three weeks after donation. By three months, most of the tested biomarkers returned to their pre-donation levels.

On the other hand, patients who donate blood shortly before an A1c test may have lower than accurate results, according to other research. Does this mean you shouldnt donate? No but it is something to keep in mind as you assess and manage your overall diabetes care.

Dont let diabetes stop you from donating blood if you are otherwise healthy and the country you live in welcomes donations from those with diabetes!

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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.

Are There Any Donor Rewards Or Donor Programs That I Can Get Involved In

Can You Give/Donate Blood If You Have Diabetes? Best Expert Guide ...

Yes we have two donor programs. All donors are automatically enrolled in the Gallon Milestone Recognition Program where donors receive special rewards and recognition for reaching specific gallon milestones. Donors may also sign up for the Guardians Circle Donor Pledge Program. This is a membership-based appreciation program for donors that pledge to donate within 8 weeks from the day they are eligible to donate. Learn more about San Diego Blood Bank’s blood donor programs.

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Why Use Donotpay To Know If You Can Donate Plasma

Besides guaranteeing you the right results within the shortest time, there are many other great reasons to use the DoNotPay app. DoNotPay is:

  • Fast: You don’t have to spend too long trying to get in contact with a representative at a plasma donation center.
  • Easy: You won’t have to spend time searching online to find an answer to your problem or finding a location to donate.
  • Succesful: Hundreds of clients have successfully used the service to check their plasma donation status with the DoNotPay app.

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.

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Ferritin Status And Hba1c

A total of 17 blood donors didnt show a significant reduction in HbA1c after whole blood donation . A possible explanation could be a low ferritin concentration due to the frequency of donation, resulting in a less effective erythropoiesis and as a consequence a reduced effect on HbA1c. In the Netherlands, male blood donors are allowed to donate whole blood up to 5 times a year, female blood donors up to 3 times a year. Some of these blood donors develop in time a low ferritin concentration, because of the frequency of donation, and subsequently a low hemoglobin concentration and arent allowed to donate blood for at least 3 months. When analyzing ferritin concentrations predonation versus the maximum reduction in HbA1c in non-diabetic blood donors a correlation between both parameters was observed .

Effect of ferritin concentration on maximum HbA1c reduction .

Statement Of Principal Findings

How Do You Get Diabetes?

Patients with type 2 diabetes contributing to whole blood donation programs can be at risk of falsely lowered HbA1c concentrations which could lead to wrong interpretation and therapeutic decision making by their general practitioner or internist. Our study showed that HbA1c dropped significantly after whole blood donation in more than half of the blood donors . When correcting for normal ferritin concentrations, all healthy blood donors showed a significant drop in HbA1c. The maximum reductions were dependent on the HbA1c analyzer and assay method used . The differences in observed HbA1c reduction, especially for the Tina-quant, are most likely related to differences in analytical coefficients of variation of the different SRMPs. There was no difference in relative maximum reduction in HbA1c between non-diabetic blood donors and blood donors with type 2 diabetes. The significant HbA1c reduction observed in our study in all blood donors with a normal ferritin concentration is likely to reflect a general physiological phenomenon and as such would be expected to occur in all whole blood donors.

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Blood Glucose Level Criteria

While Lifeblood does not have a definitive cut-off for a blood glucose level to be eligible to donate, a persons diabetes must be well-managed. If the person with diabetes is taking insulin or indicates their diabetes may not be currently well managed, this may result in further assessment.

People with diabetes should have an absence of recent hypoglycaemic episodes and may have further evaluation of their HbA1c to ensure there has been good recent management.

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Can You Donate Blood If You Are Diabetic

Diabetes, in simple terms, is a health condition when a person suffers from high blood sugar, because the pancreas do not produce sufficient insulin in the body. People who have a total lack of insulin are type 1 diabetes while people who cannot use insulin effectively are type 2 diabetes. It is generally safe for people with diabetes to donate blood under normal health conditions. People with diabetes can donate blood, as long as they maintain healthy blood sugar levels at the time of blood donation, according to Dr Sanjay Reddy, Consultant Diabetologist, Fortis Hospital at Cunningham Road, Bangalore. However, the ones who have used bovine insulin in the past are refrained from donating the blood due to the risk of mad cow disease. Apart from it, if a person has no complications caused by diabetes which has affected their eyes, blood vessels or kidneys, the person is eligible to donate blood. Here are common misconceptions about blood donation.Things a diabetes patient needs to take care of before donating blood:

  • Make sure youve had enough sleep.
  • Eat a healthy meal.

Things a diabetes patient needs to take care of after donating blood:

  • Monitor your blood sugar level.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Include iron-rich foods or a supplement for 24 weeks following your donation.
  • If you feel sick or are concerned about your health after the blood donation, contact your doctor immediately.

Eligibility Requirements For People With Diabetes

Can I Sell/ You Donate Plasma If You Have 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.

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Age: Can I Be Too Young Or Too Old To Give Blood

Anyone who is healthy and older than age 16 can give blood.

16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission to donate blood 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds 18+ year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

There is no upper age limit on blood donation. Senior citizens contribute greatly to the communitys life-saving blood supply.

Giving Blood In The United States

In the United States, people with IBD may be able to donate blood, but it is highly dependent upon the policies of the blood collection center. For instance, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center allows donation by people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as long as there have not been any symptoms of diarrhea for three days before donating. However, donors must also have stopped taking certain medications for several months prior, including injectables and methotrexate.

The American Red Cross doesn’t have any specific information listed about IBD and eligibility but does state that people with a chronic illness may be able to donate provided “you feel well, the condition is under control, and you meet all other eligibility requirements.” There are no specific medication guidelines given in regards to the drugs commonly used for IBD. Whether or not IBD is under control is a subjective judgment, and if you meet other criteria and want to donate, talk to your gastroenterologist if you have more questions.

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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.

Preparing For Blood Donation If You Have Diabetes

Things Diabetics Should Never Forget

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

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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

Common Questions And Donation Restrictions


There is no maximum age to give blood. The minimum age to donate whole blood is 15 years old. The minimum age to donate platelets and plasma is 17 years old.


You can donate blood if you have completed the prescribed dose of antibiotics and no longer have any symptoms of what caused them to be prescribed.

Blood Pressure

Before donation, every potential donor has his or her blood pressure taken to ensure readings are safely within guidelines to donate. Extreme levels are 90/50 and 180/100. Below the first or above the second will defer the potential donor. And you always get a free check to know for sure!


  • If you currently have any form of cancer, you may not donate.
  • If you have non-melanoma skin cancer , you may donate as soon as you are healed from the complete removal of the area involved.
  • For melanoma skin cancer, you must wait 1 year from the date of treatment completion.
  • If you have ever had leukemia or lymphoma you may not donate .
  • All other types of cancer are acceptable IF your doctor has declared you cancer-free and your treatment is complete. Note: Females with breast cancer who are taking hormone-blocking medications are eligible, and donors who are cancer-free but have radioactive implants are also eligible.


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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?


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