One of the questions that people with diabetes often ask is whether they can donate blood. The answer is YES. Despite the difficulty in controlling blood sugar levels, donating blood is possible for people with diabetes. However, there are several important factors that an individual must consider before engaging in such a voluntary service.

Is it safe?

As long as diabetes is controlled, it is safe to donate blood. Regardless of your condition, you are eligible to participate in blood donations. Being healthy is one of the bases to donate blood. Ensure that you are managing your blood sugar levels well.

How do you keep yourself healthy amidst a diabetes diagnosis? Besides insulin medications and oral drugs, eating a proper diet and exercising are necessary. Having a healthy lifestyle means preventing the development of the diseases. If you are healthy and functioning well, you can join others in blood donation.

Factors to consider when donating blood

Individuals with diabetes must ensure to the following factors to ensure their safety in donating blood.

  • Good health
  • Over 17 years old
  • Controlled blood sugar levels
  • Weighs 110 pounds and above
  • Symptoms-free (especially the ones associated with diabetes)

How to prepare for a blood donation

Consider the following routine as you prepare yourself for your upcoming blood donation.

  • Eat foods rich in iron. Iron-rich foods are sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, peas, sardines, tuna, eggs, ham, chicken, and beef.
  • While waiting for the day of your donation, keep your blood sugar levels controlled. Avoid consuming anything that would only cause it to rise.
  • Limit your consumption of caffeine.
  • On the night before the blood donation, you must sleep for at least eight hours to enable proper blood flow. Doing so will help proper blood flow.
  • Avoid sodas as they will only trigger high blood sugar levels. Drink lots of water instead.

What to expect during the donation?

After filling out a list of forms, you will proceed to an area for the rest of the procedure. The process is relatively simple. First, the attendant will clean an area in your arm where the insertion will occur. After sanitizing, a needle will be inserted into the vein to draw the blood. The entire process will take 8-10 minutes, equivalent to one unit of blood.

What to do after the donation?

Once done, the attendant will pull out the needle and cover the inserted area with a band-aid. Most people get dizzy after donating blood. In your case, you should rest for a few minutes before getting up to avoid nausea. Afterward, eat some healthy snacks and drink lots of water.

After your blood donation, monitor your blood sugar levels frequently. Note that keeping yourself hydrated is key to blood donation. It is also necessary to eat more iron-rich foods to replace the lost compounds after donating blood.


Helping people by donating blood is a philanthropic act. For people with diabetes, their condition should not limit them from helping others. Being able to donate blood is selfless.

Talk with your doctor about your plans to donate blood. Once you get approval, take the necessary steps to prepare yourself. Furthermore, ensure that you manage your condition well to become eligible for this selfless service.