Giving blood ='s high blood sugars?

I gave blood thursday night. My husband and I are regular donors.
Something I’ve noticed is that my blood sugars run higher for about a week before returning to normal. (For me 80-150)
Anyone else have this happen to them after donating blood?
Anyone with type 1?

My logical conclusion is that the glucose that normally hangs out in 8 pints of blood now has to hang out in 7 pints so its more concentrated.
Anyone know if my conclusion is correct?

I can’t give blood b/c I was on beef/pork insulin for years but I think it’s nice that the new synthetic insulin uses can so just for my cerosity please keep answering her!

I always heard that we were not allowed to donate blood. Is this not correct?

After a long talk with my DR he said that those of us who were on beef/pork insulin couldn’t give blood but the diabetics with the new synthetic insulin can, but at the sametime and I maybe mistaken on this fact it’s that we can only give blood for ourselves from outselves. If I’m wrong please inlighten me! Thanks!!!

The Canadian Diabetic Association saysThe Canadian Blood Service does not allow donations from any diabetic using insulin, or from people with heart disease or blood pressure problems. Diabetics controlling their diabetes by diet, exercise and/or oral medication who don’t have heart or blood pressure problems are usually allowed to donate. Hema-Quebec, the Quebec equivalent of the Candain Blood Service has similar restrictions.

Hmm… I’ve just discovered that Health Canada has recently revised the rules. Apparently high blood pressure medication is no longer a disqualifying condition. People with acceptable blood pressure can now donate even if they are on blood pressure medication.

As for the higher blood sugars for a week, doesn’t it take about a month to replace the lost blood?

I always heard the same thing.

I just looked up on the Red Cross site. This is what it said:

Those who since 1980, received an injection of bovine (beef) insulin made from cattle from the United Kingdom are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant CJD, or ‘mad cow’ disease. Learn more about variant CJD and blood donation.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I took pork or beef insulin. I was so young. I’ll have to ask the parents to find out.

I was also told that there has to be no medication changed regarding your diabetes in 6 months, ie lower or higher dosages of insulin. That is the main reason I can’t donate is because I never seem to be able to go 6 months without having “tweak” my insulin

This has been an issue for me as well. I could not tell you when I switched from beef to beef/pork and so on. I don’t think I am a mad cow carrier, but do not want to infect the blood supply.

Here’s what is on the Red Cross website:
To give blood for transfusion to another person, you must be healthy, be at least 17 years old or 16 years old if allowed by state law, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last 8 weeks (56 days) or a donation of double red cells in the last 16 weeks (111 days). “Healthy” means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, “healthy” also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.

Here’s the blurb about insulin:
Those who since 1980, received an injection of bovine (beef) insulin made from cattle from the United Kingdom are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant CJD, or ‘mad cow’ disease. Learn more about variant CJD and blood donation.

When I donate, they want to know what type of insulin so I tell them synthetic and that I’m on Humulog.
Sometimes they’ll ask what my last blood sugar reading was, but I’ve never been turned away as a donor.

Hmmm, when I asked the Nurse and she said anyone taking Insulin was not allowed
to donate blood. They are allowed to donate platelets(sp) though. I’m in Canada.

Autumn, I was thinking it was the stress of donating blood that may have driven your
blood sugar level up some.

Actually, neither makes sense if you say it’s like that for a week. Sorry.

I donate blood about 1 every three months. This is really a good idea for diabetics ===> reduces their iron levels which can increase insulin resistance and other cardiovascular risk factors. I did notice that my blood sugar rose after donating. My guess is one of two things possible sugar increase due to nerves/mild stress and also the fact that your losing blood/fluids so sugar may be more concentrated as you were thinking. I meant to ask my Endo last appointment but forgot. Regardless, donating is definitely worth the small rise…I’m about ready for another donation.

Here’s why I think the sugar goes up. For one, by taking out a pint of blood, you don’t really change the concentration of the sugar in the blood, just rather the quantity of the blood in the body. If your sugar was 100 mg/dl before you gave blood, it should still be 100 mg/dl after. However, when you lose an amount of blood (from a hemorrhage for example, but in this case the donation) your body activates its stress response. This means higher levels of cortisol and epinephrine, both of which act to release glycogen stores from the liver and promote gluconeogenesis, both of which raise blood sugar levels.Next time you donate, try drinking a sugar free electrolyte drink with a small amount of carbs to replenish blood volume quicker and minimize the stress response.

Or it could just be all the free cookies they give when you donate lol :slight_smile:

hope the explanation was clear…

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Interesting. I guess I never thought of donating as a stressful experiance.
On average, how long would that type of stress response last?
I try not to eat the cookies afterward. I go for the juice and do insulin to cover it.
I figure the more liquid I can get into my body the faster it will start recouperating :slight_smile:

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well you’ve gotta remember, what your body perceives as stress and what you think is stressful is often times different. For example, if you stand up you get lightheaded and then you feel fine. During that time, your body responded to the “stress” of a low blood pressure by constricting your veins and increasing it. Same with exercise; i don’t particularly feel stressed, in fact I feel DESTRESSED lol after a workout, but my sugar can still go up because of this response.

In the case of donating blood, the stress is a decreased blood volume (which is really the same thing as a decreased blood pressure) It shouldn’t last for too long, as long as you get your fluid volumes up to normal ASAP I don’t see why it should last all week.

hope this helps, let me know if it works next time you donate!

Makes sense!

I have always had low blood pressure. I passed out after giving blood last year, and have noticed lots of dizzy spells after standing as you remarked on. I passed out one night after jumping out of bed to react to a leg cramp. So…could my lower blood pressure be effecting my BS #'s? Here I was thinkng that low BP is a good thing in terms of cardio health…1 step forward, 2 steps back! What about exercise? My #'s go up after a work out as well. Surely the good is outweighing the bad?
I was also allowed to give blood while on insulin. They were more concerned with iron levels.


In your case, I don’t think your low blood pressure is adversely affecting your blood sugars as it is the normal state for your body to be in. In the case of someone that just donated blood, the drop in blood volume (and pressure) is unusual and the body takes corrective action (via the glucose raising stress hormones). Unfortunately, for diabetics, there is no insulin(or not enough insulin) to counteract the rise in blood sugar caused by these hormones, so an event like exercise or giving blood raises blood sugars substantially (similarly, in people without diabetes, the blood sugar goes up to stressful stimuli, but not to the extent ours does) Keep up the good work, a low blood pressure is definitely working in your favor to prevent complications.

As for exercise, what I’ve tried to do is do a small bolus after exercise based on how my sugar goes up. You can try the same thing; for example if you tested at 100 after exercise, don’t eat anything and test in an hour and a half or two hours after the end of exercise. If sugar went up to 170, apply your correction bolus to lower it. Then next time you exercise, use the same small correction bolus right after exercise to compensate. Remember to be really careful ( and maybe even apply a smaller bolus than necessary) as different exercises and different levels of activity (a great cardio workout vs. a slower paced resistance training one) will impact your sugars differently. Be sure to test regularly. Hopefully this helps, let me know if it does!

Remember, I’m not a doctor (yet lol) so always use your own common sense if something I say seems off :slight_smile: