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Can You Donate Blood If You Have Diabetes

Can People With Diabetes Give Blood

Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines | Sarah Hallberg | TEDxPurdueU

When it comes to giving blood, there are a number of conditions that can make you ineligible.

Unfortunately, people with diabetes wont, in most cases, be eligible to give blood. At least, not in the UK.

This is because NHS Blood and Transplant maintain a policy of refusing blood donations from anybody who may be placed at risk by giving blood. In many cases, this includes people with diabetes.

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!

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 You Donate Blood If You Take Metformin

Modified: Apr 29, 2022 by John Coleman · This post may contain affiliate links ·

You should not donate blood during the entire period you are taking medication and for some time after you stop taking them.


You should always ask the doctor qualifying you to donate how long you have to wait after stopping the medication, as medicines take different amounts of time to affect the blood.

Can A Diabetic Person Donate Blood


It is generally safe for someone with diabetes to donate blood. To be precise, individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are eligible for donating blood. Having mentioned that, individuals wondering can a diabetic patient donate blood? should note that donors need to have their medical condition under control and stay in good health before the donation.

Having diabetes under control implies that individuals must maintain a healthy blood sugar level. This requires diabetics to stay vigilant about their condition on a day to day basis. Living a healthy lifestyle with a properly balanced diet and regular exercise contributes towards keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

Now you know that you can donate blood even if you have diabetes, move on to the next section to learn how to prepare for it.

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Facts Every Diabetic Person Should Know Before Donating Blood

While blood donation is helpful for both donors and recipients, everyone should be mindful of certain aspects related to the entire process. For instance, there is a common question among individuals – can diabetics donate blood? Yes, they can. However, there are certain things that diabetics should take note of before donating blood.

Scroll through if you have the same query to find out all the different aspects related to this.

Does It Make Any Difference Regarding Blood Donation If An Individual Has Type 1 Or Type 2 Diabetes

No. Having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes does not matter. Individuals must note that blood donation is possible as long as the diabetes is well-managed and under control.

No. Having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes does not matter. Individuals must note that blood donation is possible as long as the diabetes is well-managed and under control.

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Starting Can Be Difficult But It Is Worth It

Starting metformin is a challenging experience for most patients. This is due to the side effects at the beginning of the medication. Most people who have already had it will probably agree with me.

But what is the beginning? Unfortunately, with each dose increase, the side effects can come back. So it can take about 6-10 weeks for your body to get used to the drug.

What to expect? Most commonly gastrointestinal symptoms:

  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • In addition: headaches, drowsiness, or weakness.

And now, the most important thing: in most cases, these symptoms go away when your body gets used to the drug. They also do not result from the fact that the drug harms us or is dangerous for us. Instead, they reduce our comfort in life but only temporarily.

It is estimated that they are so unbearable in 5% of patients that it is necessary to discontinue treatment. If you are in this 5% – do not worry. Indeed you and your doctor can find a solution – the important thing is not to do it on your own and report it to your doctor.

How To Prepare For Donating Blood

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There are a few steps you can take in the days before you donate blood, including:

  • Eating a balanced diet that is rich in nutrition and low in the types of food that can disrupt your blood glucose levels
  • Eating iron-rich foods like meat, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, and green vegetables
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Making sure you sleep well the night before your donation
  • Trying to avoid stress, strenuous activities, and tough exercise

You should also make sure you bring a source of ID with you on the day and a list of any medications you are taking. Also, take the equipment you usually use to measure your blood glucose at home just in case you are asked to measure your blood glucose before or after making your donation.

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When Is A Medication With Metformin Taken

Metformin is found in diabetes medications. It reduces blood glucose levels and does not cause a state of hypoglycemia , even when taken in high doses. It also shows a slight beneficial effect on serum lipid levels.

The indication for medication with metformin is uncomplicated type 2 diabetes, especially in obese individuals. The drug can be used in monotherapy or combination therapy.

With reports of metformin drugs being contaminated with the potentially carcinogenic N-nitrosodimethylamine, the nearly 2 million Poles taking the medication are sure to wonder if continuing to use it is beneficial to their health. On online forums and social media profiles, there are voices of patients who declare that they will stop using the drug until they consult their doctor. Could metformin withdrawal be dangerous?

See also: Metformin, a popular diabetes drug key to longevity?

Is It Safe For Me To Donate Blood

If you have diabetes and want to donate blood, its generally safe to do so. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are eligible to give blood donations. But you should properly manage your diabetes and be in otherwise good health before donating blood.

Properly managing your diabetes means that you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This requires you to be vigilant about your diabetes daily. You need to be aware of your blood sugar levels throughout each day and make sure you eat a nutritious diet and exercise sufficiently.

Living a healthy lifestyle will contribute to keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Your doctor may also prescribe certain medications to help manage your diabetes. These medications shouldnt impact your ability to donate blood.

If you want to donate blood but are concerned about your diabetes, talk with your doctor before your donation. They can answer any questions you may have and help you determine whether this is the best option for you.

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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:

How Do You Prepare To Donate Blood If You Have Diabetes


Whether youâre pre-diabetic, taking certain types of blood thinners, or have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, itâs a good idea to take certain precautions before and after blood donations. Getting medical advice is a good idea if you also have any other medical conditions that may affect you during or after the donation process. And whether you have health conditions or not, itâs likely a good idea to follow these handy tips and tricks before and after a blood donation.

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Factors That May Prevent Me From Donating Blood

If you have diabetes, the first factor that can prevent you from giving blood is that your diabetes is not sufficiently under control. If you struggle to keep your blood glucose levels within the target range set by your healthcare provider, your blood may not be suitable for donation and donation may not be right for you.

You also must meet the requirements of the blood bank or other organization you want to donate blood to. These can vary by blood bank or organization. Typically, you must weigh over 110 pounds and be:

  • Free of any symptoms of illness
  • Over 17 years of age

You should check the eligibility requirements to give blood in the location you plan to donate in case they have any additional requirements.

Some medications can make you ineligible to donate blood. These include immunosuppressant and anticoagulant medications, but no diabetes medications should make you ineligible.

There is one exception to this. If you have previously taken insulin made from cows since 1980. This is because the insulin carries a risk of carrying CreutzfeldtJakob disease . Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about this.

Will Donating Blood Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels Afterwards

Its not expected that donating blood will greatly impact your blood sugars after you donate blood, but its a good idea to monitor your glucose levels carefully for a few days after the donation. Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and include foods high in iron in your diet afterwards.

Its possible that donating blood can falsely lower your hemoglobin A1C after donating blood due to blood loss and accelerated blood cell turnover.

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Your A1c And Blood Sugar Levels Dont Have To Be Perfect

The ARC does not have any specific requirements when it comes to your A1c or blood sugar level at the time of donation. However, they do state on their website: Donors with diabetes who take any kind of insulin are eligible to donate as long their diabetes is well controlled.

Unfortunately, some other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, do not allow blood donations from anyone taking insulin.

The ARC has determined that high blood sugar levels in donated blood means the blood quality decreases in the days or weeks after donation. This means that managing your blood sugar levels as carefully as you can on the day you donate is very important. Near-normal blood sugar levelsbetween 70 to 140 mg/dLbefore and during blood donation make your donation more useful.

Only Two Types Of Diabetes Medications Can Exclude You From Donating

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  • Bovine insulin, derived from cows, poses a risk of carrying Mad Cow Disease. Even if its been years or decades since taking bovine insulin, you will not be eligible to donate.
  • Warfarin is a blood thinner often used to treat high cholesterol, but it can also help lower blood sugar levels. It isnt safe or allowed to donate blood while taking a blood thinner.

You should never stop taking a prescribed medication just to change your eligibility to donate blood.

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Is It Safe To Donate Blood If You Have Diabetes

Did you know that someone in the US will need a platelet or blood donation every two seconds? And an estimated five million people will need blood transfusions every year? Thatâs a lot of blood! Donating blood is a fantastic way to positively impact someone elseâs life, and according to the American Red Cross, you can help save as many as three lives with a single donation. So itâs a pretty good idea to consider becoming a blood donor.

If youâd like to donate blood but have diabetes, you may be wondering if itâs safe to do so. Because diabetes affects your blood sugar levels, you may think that itâs likely safer not to, but that may not be true. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, manage your condition, and live a healthy lifestyle, thereâs no reason not to donate blood.

Even though itâs safe to donate blood with diabetes, you should know a few things about blood donation and blood glucose levels before visiting a donation center or blood bank. Remember that while donating blood isnât unsafe, itâs a good idea to pay close attention to your blood glucose levels as you recover from your donation. If you have any changes in glucose values or have symptoms , consult with a doctor. Read on to learn more about donating blood with diabetes and what precautions you can take before and after your donation to ensure youâre doing so safely.

Process Of Blood Donation

  • Health Screening: Every blood donation center carries out a screening process for the donors. In this process, the donors need to inform about their all pre-existing health conditions. A person with diabetes may be asked some additional questions. The person needs to have proper information about the medications he/she is consuming to cure diabetes.
  • Blood Donation: The process of blood donation takes about an hour to complete. You will be made to sit on a comfortable chair at the time you donate blood. Then a needle is pricked and inserted inside your arm. After that, the blood is taken from your body.

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What You Need To Know About Donating Blood When You Have Diabetes

Donating blood is a selfless way to help others. A variety of medical conditions require regular blood transfusions and regular blood donations make this possible. But people with diabetes should carefully consider any medical procedures involving blood, as their health depends on stable blood glucose and insulin levels.

The good news is that people with diabetes who maintain their blood glucose levels are at lower risk for blood sugar complications. That means you can donate blood with diabetes safely. Still, there are a few more factors to consider before deciding to donate. If you are unsure, check with your HCP before heading to your local blood drive.

Blood donation basics

According to the American Red Cross, blood donation is safe, sterile, and easy. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes to donate one pint of blood. There are roughly 10 pints of blood in the human body! Each blood donation is accompanied by:

  • A review of your medical history
  • A short physical

During the physical, donation staff will check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin. It is during this stage that you should let them know you have diabetes so they can monitor for complications.

Donating blood when you have diabetes

In the US, those with diabetes are required to meet the same requirements as people without diabetes who donate, including:

Talk to your HCP

Donating Blood Might Improve Diabetes

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Heart attack, stroke and type II diabetes have all been shown to be less common in individuals that regularly donate blood. But, according to a new study led by researchers at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center , just a single blood donation can temporarily improve a persons insulin production and glucose tolerance.

KAIMRC pathologist Anwar Borai led an international team that tested the levels of several key diabetes-related biomarkers in the blood of 42 healthy male donors.

Biomarkers, including those related to glycaemic status , insulin production and iron levels, were tested before donation and then one day, one week, three weeks and three months after giving blood.The results show that regular, repeated blood donation is not required to see a beneficial effect on the donors glucose tolerance. The glycaemic status of the donor can be mproved even after a single blood donation, Borai says.

The improvement was particularly evident three weeks after donation. By three months, most of the tested biomarkers returned to their pre-donation levels. Borai says improvements could continue if donors made healthy lifestyle changes after donation.

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