Giving Blood

As a Type 1 diabetic, are you allowed to give blood?

I’ve always wondered this, here in the UK, the blood service has an online questionaire …

which if you take, tells you if you can give blood, one of the questions asks have you injected any drugs, which I guess means insulin as well as a few street drugs, which I always answer yes, and at which point I get told I cannot give blood.

Does anywhere else have a similar policy?

I would answer no because Insulin is a hormone, everyone has it and we’re just replacing it. I have often wondered about giving bl. as well, I suppose it’ll be ok if the person in question is well controlled. I often wonder about organ donation as well. I will now have a look at the questionaire.

I’ve tried to give twice in the US and both times been turned down – I asked why once and they said there was a concern that my BG might be way out of the range of what is “normal” and my high or low sugar might trigger a bad reaction in the recipient. Love that word “normal”. I know so many non-Ds who are so abnormal it is disgusting. I’m the most normal person I know (and that should scare everyone). In any event, the American Red Cross apparently has a policy of not taking blood from diabetics.

I know some type 1’s who give blood. Many of them said that they experience higher blood sugars for some time after giving blood (maybe even weeks?).

I have not given blood since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, though I used to.

My personal decision to not give blood is based on the fact that we do not know many of the details of what causes type 1 diabetes. I don’t know if antibodies can be transfered with blood, but I would not want to give any blood that could cause problems for the recipient. Perhaps this isn’t logical, but I decided not to give blood.

But if there were a desperate need to blood donors (more than the usual), I would reconsider. My blood is better than no blood.

I was a regular double-red donater until my diagnoses with type 1 a little over a year ago (the double-red is every 12 weeks, when they hook you up to a big machine and take red blood cells only, replacing the missing fluid w/ plasma, so you do not leave as “drained” - i think…). I still get calls from the blood center, and they are ready to have me as soon as I am comfortable with it, and feeling in control. I’m not ready yet, but will keep the options open - although had not thought about the possibility of tainting the supply because of the unknown cause - hmm… Either way, I would not forsee going back to donating until I was way way under control, and had been for some time.

I was told I could not give blood because of being Type1…have not given blood since high school days…30 yrs! yikes

I have given blood twice, both times in high school during our annual blood drive, they never told me I couldnt.

I wonder…I will have to check into this…If I could I would for sure!

I found this, yes we can donate blood.

Diabetics who are well controlled on insulin or oral medications are eligible to donate.

Donors with diabetes who since 1980, ever used 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.

this is from

I never gave blood in my whole life because of being D, but I wish if I could!

And lately having the High cholesterol and taking the Zocor for kidney protection, make it impossible to do.

However I wonder how it will look the other way around, if a diabetes needed blood and they gave them from another how will that look? any experience or knowledge? Since the donor may be high or low or have something!!!

i had a friend whose little girl had leukemia… i used to donate blood to her often. they never had a problem, though i think it may have been an odd type

Really? I just read at that diabetics who are in control and heatly, taking insulin or oral medication can donate blood.

Ive donated 18 times for the american red cross. they never give me a problem, they even ask questions about my insulin pump! Ive been diabetic since I was 11, started donating when I was 17 :slight_smile:

i’ve donated in America. they didn’t even flinch when i told them i was diabetic.

thanks for helping so many people!! :slight_smile:

I have given blood several times and never been turned away. The questonare I fill out specificaly mentions non prescribed medications when asking about injections. As for going high or low after I haven’t experianced either. Just last week I was at 112 before donating and at 113 afterwards.

I am a type 1 in the US and there is not issue with giving blood here as long as you are up front about the question response. I answer the question with a “NO” on injecting drugs and then add the information about being a type 1 on insulin. Since the insulin and syringes are not used by anyone else, the exposure is no different than skinning your knee.

I’d given blood 24 times before being diagnosed. I called the Canadian Blood Services and was told it depends on what meds you’re using if you’re Type 2 (Metformin is ok). Type 1s are not allowed to donate in Canada because they say a drop in blood could make insulin requirements unpredictable.

I gave blood in the US. It was not a problem. I would not do it again…I fainted :slight_smile: