Many people have questions about can diabetics donate blood. This is a common question, as diabetes can be a disqualifying factor for blood donation in some cases.

In this blog post, we will explain everything you need to know about can diabetics donate blood. We will cover what blood is, why people donate blood, how to donate blood and the risks and benefits of donating blood for diabetics.

What Is Blood?

Everybody knows what blood is. It's that red fluid running through our veins, and it's what makes us alive.

Blood is a bodily fluid that circulates through the body, transporting oxygen and nutrients to the cells and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes. Blood also helps fight infection and heal wounds. There are several different types of blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

Blood is made up of different parts:

  • Plasma: the watery part that contains proteins, blood cells, and other substances
  • Red blood cells: carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body
  • White blood cells: fight infection
  • Platelets: help stop bleeding

Why Do People Donate Blood?

There are many reasons why people donate blood. Some people donate because they have been affected by a serious illness or injury and want to help others. Others donate in memory of a loved one who passed away or as a way to give back to their community. And some people donate simply because they can and want to make a difference in someone else's life.

How Do You Donate Blood?

Donating blood is a simple and easy process that only takes a few minutes. To donate blood, you will first need to complete a health questionnaire and provide your contact information. Then, you will be asked to read and sign a consent form. Next, you will have your height and weight measured, and then you can donate blood. The entire process typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

There are several ways to donate blood. You can donate at a local donation center or mobile unit. You can also donate during a blood drive. To find a local donation center or blood drive, visit the American Red Cross website or the United Blood Services website.

If for any reason you are not able to donate blood, there are other ways you can help. You can promote blood donation and raise awareness about the importance of blood donation. You can also encourage your friends and family members to donate blood.

Diabetic Donating Blood

When Can't You Donate Blood?

It's important to know, diabetic or non-diabetic, that there you can't donate blood if you recently did any of the below items:

  • Got a tattoo or piercing in the past 12 months
  • Had surgery in the past 12 months
  • Received a blood transfusion in the past 12 months
  • Are pregnant or have recently given birth
  • You have iron levels that are on the low side
  • You are sick (the flu, a cold, corona, an infection, ...)
  • You are a minor (under 16 years old)
  • You have cancer
  • You have HIV
  • You have hepatitis
  • You have a lung disease

What are the Risks and Benefits of Donating Blood for Diabetics?

There are some risks and benefits associated with donating blood for diabetics. Generally speaking, donating blood is safe for most people with diabetes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you are taking insulin or oral medication for diabetes, make sure to eat before giving blood. You should also bring a snack and drink with you to donate.
  • Make sure you have your diabetes under control and that you maintain healthy blood sugar levels before donating blood.
  • If you are pregnant or have recently given birth, you should not donate blood.
  • Some people with diabetes may experience nausea or lightheadedness after donating blood. If this happens, drink fluids and measure your blood glucose levels often after donating.

There are also several benefits to donating blood for diabetics:

  • Donating can help raise your overall awareness of your diabetes and how to manage it.
  • Donating can help you stay on track with your treatment plan by providing regular check-ups from medical professionals.
  • Donating can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions.

Blood donation is a simple way to make a difference in someone else's life.

If you are unsure that you can donate blood talk to your doctor. He or she can help you determine if blood donation is right for you.

What to Do After Donating Blood?

After your blood donation, it's important you check your blood sugar levels and drink plenty of fluids. It's also a good idea to rest for a while after the blood donation. You may feel lightheaded or dizzy after donating, but this should go away within a few minutes. If you experience these symptoms for an extended period of time, or if they worsen, contact your doctor.

Some extra tips after donating blood are;

  • avoid vigorous exercise for the rest of the day
  • drink plenty of fluids, especially water
  • eat a light snack
  • take it easy for the rest of the day - relax and get some rest

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Donate Plasma if You Are Diabetic?

If you are a diabetic, you may be wondering if you can donate plasma. Donating plasma can be a great way to help others in need and can also be beneficial for your health.

Diabetics can donate plasma without any problems as long as they are feeling well and have eaten recently.


It can be a challenge to donate blood if you are diabetic. To ensure your safety, it is important that you have eaten recently and that your diabetes is under control. You may experience nausea or lightheadedness after donating, but this should go away within a few minutes. If these symptoms do not subside, contact your doctor right away.

Blood donation can be an easy way to make a difference in someone else's life without any risks involved!

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996 I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I am currently using a Freestyle Libre CGM and a Minimed 640G insulin pump with Humalog.

View All Articles