Diabetics: What You Need to Know About Giving Blood and Organ Donation

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year. But are you prohibited from either of these voluntary activities if you have diabetes?

Don't assume you can't give back and make a difference, even if you have a serious health condition - just make sure you know the general guidelines and ask your doctor before making any serious decisions that could affect your health.

Giving Blood

Many times, people with a blood sugar condition automatically assume they can't give blood, but this isn't the case.

According to the American Red Cross, diabetics are entirely eligible to give blood, so long as they have well-controlled glucose levels through insulin or oral medications.

If you have other conditions in addition to diabetes, like heart disease, you will need to be medically evaluated before you are cleared to give blood.

One caveat about giving blood as a diabetic is that people who have ever used bovine insulin made from cattle in the United Kingdom since 1980 are not eligible to give blood. This has to do with concerns about "mad cow" disease.

Living Organ Donation

Many diabetics assume they are not eligible to donate non-essential organs while alive, but this is also a myth.

While it is true that you must have a thorough medical exam and have clearance from your doctor, the determination of whether or not you are eligible to donate organs is done on a case-by-case basis.

The Donate Life organization recommends that everyone should consider the possibility of becoming a potential donor. Even people who have been recipients of organ transplants or individuals who have had cancer can be organ donors.

After Death Donations

After someone passes, many of this person's organs can be donated to use in life-saving procedures. Everything from the heart and kidneys to the skin and ligaments can be helpful in various operations.

Diabetics are able to register as donors, which can be done through organdonor.gov. You may also need to indicate on your driver's license and in your will that you have made the decision to be an organ donor.

Contributing to Science

People with type 1 diabetes can also choose to donate their organs to the cause: Scientists need the organs of individuals with diabetes for ongoing research about the cause, progression, and treatment of the disease.

The Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes provides a way to register as an organ donor, including information about which organs you can donate.

Sources: American Red Cross, Donate Life
Photo: Pexels

More Articles

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

More than 71 million Americans suffer from high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol increases the buildup of...

When we enjoy a dinner with high fat content, such as fettucini, buttery garlic bread, and a rich dessert, we might go to bed with our glucose...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

It resembles a turnip, resides in the broccoli family, grows mostly in Peru, is considered an aphrodisiac, and it may improve glucose tolerance....

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Diabetes and hypoglycemia appear as very similar conditions because one of the consequences of diabetes can be hypoglycemia. Both conditions...

When we enjoy a dinner with high fat content, such as fettucini, buttery garlic bread, and a rich dessert, we might go to bed with our glucose...

The symptoms of diabetes are many, but the recognizable ones are few. Many of the symptoms associated with diabetics are also associated with...

Diabetics are constantly looking for new ways to help them deal with their disease. One of the best methods that often goes unnoticed is Chinese...

The most convenient places in a fridge to store our stock of insulin may not be the best places. We tend to think our refrigerators maintain a...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

A study at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that type one diabetes can be prevented in mice.

The Study

Using diabetes-...

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

The human body needs chromium, a trace mineral, for several essential functions including the normalizing of...

Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb...

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

There is a connection between anxiety control, inflammation and type 2 diabetes, according to a new study conducted by Rice University researchers...

The most well-known variations of diabetes are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes....