Preparing To Give Blood
- Do not donate if you are sick
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid intense exercise/any major lifting
- Be prepared to disclose any medications you are currently on
- Eat iron-rich, protein-rich foods
- Avoid fatty foods, smoking and alcohol
- Avoid any strenuous exercise/activity 24 hours after
- Continue adding iron-rich foods to your diet if it suits you
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?
Is It Possible To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Although there is no treatment for type 2 diabetes, research indicates that some individuals may be able to reverse it. Without medication, you may be able to achieve and maintain normal blood sugar levels with diet modifications and weight reduction. This does not imply that you have been entirely healed. Diabetes type 2 is a chronic condition.
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Donating Blood Might Worsen Certain Diabetes Complications
Like your diabetes diagnosis, a complication diagnosis doesnt automatically exclude you from donating, but it should be discussed carefully with your healthcare team. The most common complication that could play a role in your decision to donate blood is retinopathy.
If you are being treated for any stage of retinopathy and other serious eye conditions, donating blood can temporarily change the blood pressure in your eyes. Talk to your healthcare team before donating blood if you are managing any type of diabetes-related complication.
What Are The Requirements To Donate Blood
Is this your first time considering a blood donation? Do you know enough about the eligibility requirements and the donation process? Before we begin to talk about how donating blood may or may not affect you, hereâs a quick rundown of some of the things that make you eligible to donate blood. While this list is specific to the United States, youâll likely see similar eligibility requirements worldwide.
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When Do People With Type 2 Diabetes Start Insulin
After 10 to 20 years, many people with type 2 diabetes will begin insulin therapy, although every persons journey with type 2 diabetes is different. This happens when lifestyle changes and medications arent keeping your glucose levels in your target range. It is important that you start treatment as early as possible to avoid persistent hyperglycemia , which can lead to long-term health complications affecting your heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs.
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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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.
Is It Safe For Diabetics To Donate Blood
It is only natural to be concerned about giving blood if you have diabetes.
Diabetics often have higher levels of glucose in their blood than non-diabetics. Blood with too much glucose does not store as well as blood with a standard level of glucose. You may also have higher levels of insulin in your blood if you inject insulin, plus you may have other diabetic medications present in your blood. So, is your blood safe to donate?
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.
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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.
For Patients With Type 1 Diabetes
Some patients with type 1 diabetes report higher blood sugar levels during the few days after donating blood. This could be related to hydration levels since becoming dehydrated can easily raise your blood sugar.
This means its extra important that you drink plenty of water after donating blood as a person with diabetes.
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Can Giving Blood Actually Help Diabetes
You may have read that donating blood can actually be beneficial if you have diabetes, and weâre sure youâre curious about what this means for you. New studies show that donating blood can lead to a short window of improved insulin production and glucose tolerance. Data showed a difference in test subjects for up to three weeks after a donation. Some studies believe that this may in part be due to lower ferritin levels in your blood after a donation. Studies show that this increases insulin sensitivity, but more research is necessary before any claims can be established.
While all these studies look promising, itâs important to note that thereâs still research to be done. And remember that this is not a âcureâ for diabetes, so donât start visiting the blood bank as a form of diabetes management. If youâre donating blood, you should not be doing so more than every 56 daysâif your diabetes is under control and youâre healthy. Remember that whether you have other health conditions or not, itâs always a good idea to consult with your doctor to make sure itâs a safe option for you.
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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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.
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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Is There Such A Thing As Type 3 Diabetes
However, they are currently discussing another kind of diabetes: type 3 diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is a kind of diabetes that is related with Alzheimers disease. Type 3 diabetes develops as neurons in the brain lose their ability to react to insulin, which is required for fundamental cognitive functions such as memory and learning.
Effect Of Whole Blood Donation On Hba1c
Previously, the biological variation of HbA1c in 20 non-blood donating volunteers during a 2 month period was determined . Calculations using data in SI units from that study showed that the biological variation in HbA1c varied in both positive and negative direction from baseline with three volunteers exceeding the RCV ) .
Percentage HbA1c reduction from baseline during 8 weeks post whole blood donation.
Data is shown as box plots each representing one individual. Horizontal dotted lines represent the RCV calculated for SI units. Box plots exceeding the RCV represent a significant change or reduction in HbA1c concentration. A: Control group of 20 non-diabetic volunteers not donating whole blood.9 B: 23 non-diabetic blood donors after 475 mL whole blood donation. C: 17 blood donors with type 2 diabetes after 475 mL whole blood donation. D: 17 blood donors with type 2 diabetes after 475 mL whole blood donation represented in DCCT units. E: 4 blood donors with type 2 diabetes with an increase in HbA1c after 475 mL whole blood donation which were excluded from further analysis.
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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.
Types Of Blood Donations
There are different types of blood donations and these are based on your blood type and what the need is. Donation types include:
- Whole blood donation, which is the blood that flows through your veins. This is the most flexible type of donation and can be transfused in its original form or separated into red cells, plasma and platelets.
- Power Red donation, in which a special machine is used to allow you to donate two units of red blood cells during one donation.
- Platelet donation, in which a machine collects platelets and returns red blood cells back to you.
- Plasma donation, in which you give plasma, the largest part of the blood. Red blood cells and platelets are returned back to you.
There are various requirements for which types of donations you can make.
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If Youve Ever Taken Bovine Insulin
While todays modern insulins are all acceptable, a specific type of older insulin will automatically exclude you.
Donors with diabetes who since 1980, ever used bovine insulin made from cattle from the United Kingdom are not eligible to donate, explains the American Red Cross.
The concern with bovine insulin is about a CJD variant and mad cow disease.
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.
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