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

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Treatment of Diabetes Depends on if it Is Type 1 or Type 2

The treatment of Diabetes depends upon which type of Diabetes a person has....

Having elevated blood sugar can damage our body’s nerves over time.

Diabetic neuropathy is the generic term for all...

Modern fitness culture has popularized a wide range of high-intensity activities, from Crossfit and spin-class to marathon running and exercise...

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression...

There have been numerous studies that have demonstrated the link between gut health and autoimmune diseases, immune system, mental health, mood,...

More Articles

Nerve damage affects about 50 percent of people with diabetes, according to the American Physiological Society. Numbness, tingling and pain in the...

Diabetes has no known cure, but there are many ways to control the disease and prevent the symptoms from interfering with daily life. One major...

There are a host of complications that come along with diabetes of either type. Among them are increased risks for amputation, cardiovascular...

There is no question that people with diabetes need a diabetes diet plans and...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your blood glucose. For instance, a half cup of raspberries...

Oil pulling therapy derives from Ayurveda, a holistic healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine maintains that...

It’s only been recently that doctors, including endocrinologists, have realized the starring role gut microbes play in our health. The unique...

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Sleep apnea — a condition that causes shallow or obstructive breathing patterns — is an unpleasant disorder that often goes hand in hand with...

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, and mucus...

Certain dietary supplements may play a beneficial supporting role in the prevention and management of diabetic neuropathy. Frequently...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

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

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...