Diabetes is a disease that affects approximately 9.4 percent of the American population. If you manage diabetes properly with a healthy diet, exercise, and regular blood sugar monitoring, you lead a healthier life.
Donating blood is a selfless way to save lives — as many as three people can benefit from a single donation. You can help others with even a single blood donation. However, you may be concerned that diabetes will interfere with your ability to donate since the condition deals directly with blood.
Speak to your doctor and a blood donation specialist prior to setting an appointment for blood donation, and use this guide to help you understand how to donate blood successfully when you have diabetes.
Your Heart Must Be Stable
If you're on a pacemaker or have a heart condition related to diabetes, you must have no heart concerns in the six months prior to having your blood donated. Your heart rate must be normal, and your blood pressure should be under control.
On the day of blood donation, your heart rate and blood pressure will be checked to ensure your safety as a blood donor. Avoid heavy exercise just before your donation time to ensure the most accurate results. If you've had heart palpitations, changes in heart medications, or other recent heart complications, do not donate blood until you have these symptoms under control. Talk to your doctor about addressing these concerning symptoms.
Your Overall Health Must Be Good
In order to donate blood, you must be in overall good health. Your weight needs to be at least 110 pounds, and you should have been on an insulin regimen — if applicable — for at least two weeks prior to donating blood. If your insulin dosages have been recently changed, wait two weeks to donate until your body has adjusted appropriately. This protects both your health and the health of the person who receives your donated blood.
You Should Prepare for Donation Day Appropriately
Donating blood takes a toll on the body in general and can be more tiring for diabetic patients. You can still donate blood as long as you prepare your body for donation day in the weeks prior to donating. Eat regular, healthy meals and stay hydrated with plenty of water in the days approaching your donation date.
It's wise to see your doctor for a quick checkup prior to donating blood for the first time. Your doctor will examine your heart rate and weight as well as your blood sugar levels while discussing your lifestyle with you. Get your doctor's approval before donating blood.
You Shouldn’t 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 Key Biologics, LLC, 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.