Statement Of Principal Findings
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.
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.
Your A1c And General Blood Sugar Management
The American Red Cross does not list a specific A1c or blood sugar level requirement for those with diabetes to be eligible.
That being said, blood with higher levels of glucose simply doesnt maintain its quality during the storage period compared to blood with a normal glucose level.
This doesnt mean you need perfect blood sugar levels to donate, but if youve been struggling with diabetes management and your A1c is well above 9 percent, or your blood sugar is over 200 mg/dL at the time of donating, you may want to wait until youve been able to bring your blood sugars down into a healthier range.
You will not have to prove your A1c or even your current blood sugar level at the time of donating, so its really up to you to be honest, and let the American Red Cross professionals determine if you qualify during the screening process.
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Diabetics Eligibility For Donating Blood
- The donor should not be suffering from any contagious diseases.
- The donor should be above 18 years and below 65 years.
- The donor should weigh at least 50 kilos.
- The donor should have a pulse rate between 50-100 while donating blood.
- The donor should have a minimum of 12.5 g/dl of hemoglobin before donating blood.
- The donor should have an ideal blood pressure-Diastolic: 50-100 and Systolic: 100-180.
- Body temperature should not exceed above 37.5 degrees C.
Strengths And Weaknesses In Relation To Other Studies
Changes in HbA1c after whole blood donation have been studied previously. In 1985 Starkman et al. showed a decrease in HbA1c with a maximal reduction after 4 weeks following blood loss in a small group of non-diabetic volunteers . More recently, a large group of non-diabetic blood donors, who didnt donate blood for at least 6 months, showed no significant reduction in HbA1c after whole blood donation. However, the time points used for HbA1c measurement were few and mostly short after whole blood donation . One study assessed the effect of blood-letting on HbA1c in patients with type 2 diabetes. Blood-letting consisted of three phlebotomies at a 2-week interval with measurement of HbA1c at 4 and 12 months after the blood-letting sequence. After 4 months a mean decrease of HbA1c of approximately 10% or 15% was observed . The strength of our study compared to the ones mentioned above is the inclusion of both non-diabetic blood donors and blood donors with type 2 diabetes. In addition we analyzed HbA1c each week for 8 weeks post donation, a time interval after which blood donors are eligible to donate again.
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Can I Donate Blood If I Have Diabetes
You might not like to hear this, but like most things with diabetes, it depends.
For most collecting organizations in America, like the Red Cross, its all about your blood sugar level and what type of insulins youve used. Blood sugars should be as normal as possible to optimize storage. If youve used bovine insulin you wont be able to donate more on that in a bit.
In Canada, people with type 2 diabetes using pills or diet and exercise can donate. People with type 2 diabetes who use insulin may be able to donate, but it depends on when you started insulin, whether your blood sugars are stable, and any recent substantial changes in insulin dose. People with type 1 diabetes are not allowed to donate. More info…
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service website is well done. It says you can donate if you’re managing your diabetes well with diet or pills and are free from complications. If you take insulin, they ask that you give them a call to discuss further, but go on to say that it generally isnt a problem unless youve used bovine insulin . More info…
And in the UK there are some interesting rules:
If you are under investigations then please check again after these have been completed. You may donate as long as:
If you have had gangrene then please call us to discuss on 0300 123 23 23
Please always mention medication you are taking to the staff at session.
Preparation Before Donating Blood For Diabetics
If you have diabetes and want to donate blood, you need to follow certain precautions:
- Eat a healthy meal and avoid unhealthy food
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water or fluids
- Sleep for at least eight to ten hours before donating blood.
- Frequently check your blood sugar level. Make sure it is within the normal range.
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People With Type 2 Diabetes Or At Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes Who Are Generally Fit And Healthy Can Give Blood Safely But You Cant Give Blood If You Use Insulin To Treat Your Diabetes That Means You Cant Give Blood If You Have Type 1 Diabetes Or If You Use Insulin And Have Type 2 Diabetes Or Another Type Of Diabetes
You also can’t give blood during pregnancy or if you have diabetes complications. This includes kidney problems, nerve damage or amputation. And you cant give blood if youve had heart failure or an organ transplant.
Blood donation may affect insulin levels so the rules are there to keep people safe.
Can Diabetics Donate Blood
November is American Diabetes Month. Millions of people around the world live with diabetes or know someone living with diabetes. A common misconception is that being a diabetic means you cant donate blood, but thats not necessarily true.
If you are healthy and your diabetes is under control you may be able to become a blood donor. You should check with your doctor before you make an appointment to donate blood.
Being a diabetic does not mean you cant donate blood, but there are some factors related to your diabetes that could cause you to be deferred.
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Who Might Have To Wait To Donate Plasma
There are some health, travel and lifestyle reasons that may stop you from being able to donate plasma on a temporary basis.
If you are not sure if you can donate, please call us on 0300 123 23 23 to discuss your situation.
If you are a blood donor you can give plasma 4 weeks after your last blood donation. You will have to stop donating blood while you give plasma.
Please wait 48 hours from your vaccine before donating .
- has received money or drugs for sex
- has injected non-prescribed drugs including body-building and injectable tanning agents
Does It Matter If You Have Type I Or Type Ii Diabetes
No, it doesn’t matter what type of diabetes you have. Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, your ability to donate blood is usually the same. This is because your ability to donate blood will depend on whether you meet the eligibility requirements and have steady blood sugar levels, not the type of diabetes you have. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before you decide to donate.
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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.
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 .
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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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What Do I Need To Know Before I Donate Blood With Diabetes
Its good to know the Red Cross guidelines when you plan to donate blood with diabetes. The Red Cross will take blood donated from people with diabetes in the United States if the person has their diabetes under control. It doesnt matter if you are on insulin, have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, as long as you are well managed, and are in generally good health.
The donation process is fairly easy, and you should be in and out within the hour.
Screening for blood donation with diabetes
The general age to donate blood is 16. Age does vary by state, so check with your local Red Cross blood banks for the age cut-off to donate blood in your state.
Will your blood sugar or your A1C be tested before you give blood? No, they will not go to such extremes, therefore, it is your responsibility to be honest with the Red Cross when attempting to donate blood with diabetes.
At the blood bank, a Red Cross representative will check your vital signs, including your temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, and weight. They will check your blood to determine your Hemoglobin. This lets the Red Cross know if you are anemic, which means that you have a lower number of red blood cells than is considered normal. If you are anemic, you wont be able to give blood until your red blood cells return to the normal number. You will have to treat your anemia before you consider donating blood.
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Regardless Of Diabetes You Absolutely Cannot Donate If
- You are sick with a cold, flu, infection, etc.
- You have low iron levels
- Youve gotten a tattoo within the past year
- You weigh less than 110 pounds
- You are under 17 years old
- You have ever used recreational intravenous drugs or steroids
- Youve received a new piercing on your body within the past year
- You have cancer
- Youve given birth within the last 6 weeks
- Youre being treated for postpartum medical issues
- Youve received a blood transfusion within 1 year
- Youve undergone surgery recently
- You have HIV/Aids
Dont Have Time To Read
- Diabetics can donate blood if their sugar levels are kept under control.
- People with chronic illnesses such as heart problems or kidney diseases cannot donate blood.
- Diabetics who take insulin are not eligible to donate blood.
- People with diabetes should keep themselves hydrated and get 9 hours of minimum sleep before donating blood.
- Use the Phable care app to know more about the health benefits of makhanas for diabetes, diet plan for diabetes, and you can also consult a specialist physician to manage your diabetes with ease.
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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 A1C 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.
How Can Giving Blood Affect My Diabetes
After giving blood, the volume of blood in your body returns to normal within a few days. But it takes about 10 to 12 weeks for the red blood cells taken to be fully replaced. This will affect your HbA1c level. So if you’ve given blood in the three months leading up to an HbA1c blood test, tell your healthcare professional. This will help them to interpret your HbA1c result more accurately.
After giving blood, make sure you follow the rules on resting and eating and drinking something.
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How To Prepare For Blood Donation
Dr. Chadha further guides that “Do not fast for blood donation. Have a good meal and provide your sample before donating. Some people feel giddy, so it’s advisable to have a proper meal and not go on an empty stomach.”
“We need to break this myth. Every healthy individual should try donating blood. At blood banks and centres, as experts, we care for the recipient and the donor’s safety and diabetic should not hesitate,” concludes Dr. Deshpande.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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