You Shouldnt Overdo It
While you can donate blood every 56 days, get permission from your doctor to donate blood on a regular basis before scheduling another appointment. If you have a cold or other minor illness on the day of donation, reschedule your appointment for a day you feel well.
Diabetic patients in general are more prone to illnesses due to poorer circulation and compromised immune systems, and donating blood when you are not well puts stress on your body and slows recovery rates. Talk to your doctor if you have a yeast infection or other common infection prone to diabetics prior to donating blood.
Donating blood for medical research helps promote medical advancements, and your donation could save lives. While you can donate blood when you have diabetes, take certain precautions before donating. Our specialists at Charles River, make your experience comfortable and informed. Talk to us about your blood donation options and the different ways we utilize donated blood, marrow, and cord blood for medical advancements today.
How To Prepare For Donating Blood
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.
Diabetes: Can People With Diabetes Donate Blood
Dr. Anand S Deshpande says, “Many believe that people with diabetes cannot donate blood. There is a myth that by donating blood, blood sugar levels fluctuate. But this doesn’t happen.”
“People with diabetes can undoubtedly donate blood. The blood sugar levels need to be within the normal levels. Those who are taking insulin are deferred from donations. If the patient is on an oral hypoglycemic, they can undoubtedly donate blood,” he adds.
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Donating Blood Might Improve Diabetes
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.
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.
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Can I Donate Blood If I Have Diabetes
The community of people with diabetes is wonderful. We are a generous, caring, creative, and grit-filled group of people who overall wants the best for every person living with diabetes. While we do our best to serve our groups needs, Im certain that we all do many other things to help the community we live in and care about. We may even go so far as to work or volunteer away from our own homes to help others in need, not specific to diabetes.
One way to help outside of the diabetes realm is with blood donation. Over the years as an educator, Ive heard the question Can I donate blood since I have diabetes?, or other statements such as I cant donate blood because I have diabetes. It is a misunderstood idea that because of diabetes you cant participate in this much needed volunteer opportunity. This past weekend in our parish we had a post-service announcement reminding parishioners of the opportunity to donate blood and they interestingly provided information to help people determine eligibility.
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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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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Conditions For Giving Blood
There are a number of conditions that may prevent you from giving blood. Some of them, although not always directly caused by diabetes, can be related, such as:
- Ulcers related to numbness or any other numbness-related heart condition
- If you have had complicated dental work: over time, prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels can damage the teeth, giving people with diabetes a heightened risk of needing complicated dental work such as a tooth extraction
- If you have had a pancreatic tissue transplant, you will not be eligible to give blood
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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.
The Role Of Inflammatory Chemicals
Obesity and inactivity have long been known to be the most important risk factors that drive the development of type 2 diabetes.
How could carrying extra weight and sofa-sitting be connected to higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body and the development of diabetes?
Researchers discovered that in people with type 2 diabetes, cytokine levels are elevated inside fat tissue. Their conclusion: Excess body fat, especially in the abdomen, causes continuous , low levels of abnormal inflammation that alters insulin’s action and contributes to the disease.
As type 2 diabetes starts to develop, the body becomes less sensitive to insulin and the resulting insulin resistance also leads to inflammation. A vicious cycle can result, with more inflammation causing more insulin resistance and vice versa. Blood sugar levels creep higher and higher, eventually resulting in type 2 diabetes.
Emotional stress can also increase levels of the chemicals of inflammation. It’s unknown whether stress by itself can contribute to the development of diabetes, though.
Does inflammation cause diabetes? It’s not as simple as that, however, researchers know for sure that inflammation is somehow involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
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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.
Tips For Diabetics On How To Prepare To Give Blood
In the days before your donation, strive to keep your sugar level within the normal range as determined by your medical care team. As with all blood donors, we recommend that you hydrate well the days before and after your donation and get plenty of sleep the night before. Find more pre-donation tips here.
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Who To Talk To About Donating
Discussion with people with diabetes regarding blood donation should form part of their general diabetes education sessions to ensure the person with diabetes is aware of the additional questions they will be required to answer when donating blood. This conversation should be re-visited regularly, particularly if diabetes complications develop. Ideally, people with diabetes should discuss their desire to donate blood or blood products with their diabetes team, to ensure an understanding of the requirements and considerations.
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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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.
What You Should Do If You Have Diabetes And Want To Donate Blood:
- Check with your physician ahead of time to ensure he/she agrees with your decision to donate based on your current management.
- Have well-managed glucose levels, if you have had a difficult time with management leading up to donation it is recommended to wait until levels are more stable
- Monitor BG heading into the donation blood with larger amounts of glucose does not store/keep well after donation
- Plan to bring a list of your medications outside of insulin/oral meds
- Plan to discuss other health conditions and medication used for treatment
- To prepare for donation:
- Be well hydrated with water
- Be well rested
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What Are The Different Types Of Insulin
The key to transitioning to insulin is knowing your options. Some people taking insulin need to use both a basal and a prandial insulin each day, while others may only need to use basal insulin. Learn about your options here.
Basal insulins are designed to be injected once or twice daily to provide a constant background level of insulin throughout the day. Basal insulins help keep blood sugars at a consistent level when you are not eating and through the night but cannot cover carbohydrates eaten for meals or snacks or glucose spikes after meals.
Some people use other medications, like GLP-1 agonists, to help cover mealtimes. GLP-1/basal combination treatments for people with type 2 diabetes combine basal insulin with GLP-1 agonist medication in one daily injection. This combination can effectively lower glucose levels while reducing weight gain and risk of hypoglycemia . Learn more here.
Prandial insulins are taken before mealtime and act quickly to cover carbohydrates eaten and bring down high sugar levels following meals. Ultra-rapid-acting prandial insulins can act even more rapidly in the body to bring down glucose levels. Rapid and ultra-rapid insulins are also taken to correct high glucose levels when they occur or are still persistent a few hours after a meal.
What To Expect After Donating Blood
As mentioned above pre and post-blood donation you need to consume a lot of liquids. Also, you need to assure intake of a healthy diet. Apart from those, there are some general post-blood donation tips that donors can follow. Here is a quick list of all those basic points:
- Consider taking acetaminophen in case your arm feels sore.
- To prevent bruising on your arm consider keeping the bandage for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Take proper rest in case you feel lightheaded.
- Post 24 hours of blood donation, donors need to avoid any kind of exhausting activity. This even includes exercising.
- Increase the intake of fluid in your diet after donating blood.
These were all the tips that you can consider after you donate your blood. In case you face any health complications post-donation then do consult a doctor immediately. Because this will help you get the right health advice for your body post blood donation.
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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.
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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