Can Diabetics Donate Blood?

Diabetes is a lifelong metabolic disease characterized by chronically increased blood sugar levels. Although it can be a serious disease that can lead to complications if not treated promptly, many people who have the disease live long, happy lives with proper treatment. Because of this, some people may wonder whether diabetics can donate blood.

Can Diabetics Donate Blood?

If you are diabetic and you need to help somebody by donating your own blood, you may do so. However, your eligibility may depend on some factors, such as:

  • You must be in good overall health.
  • Your blood sugar level must be adequately controlled.
  • Your blood pressure must not be equal to 180/100 or greater.
  • You must not be anemic (low hemoglobin or red blood cell count).
  • You are managing your diabetes with a healthy lifestyle or medications.
  • You had your initial dosage of insulin or change of dosage at least two weeks ago.

Your eligibility to donate blood will be determined in the blood bank after you answer some questionnaires and take some physical and laboratory tests.

Other Eligibility Requirements for Blood Donation

After getting the answer to "can diabetics donate blood", you may want to know the other eligibility requirements for blood donation. Other factors that may determine your ability to donate blood may include the following:

1. Medications

  • Antibiotics. If you are taking antibiotics to treat an active infection, you may be asked to wait and finish your course of antibiotics before donating blood. This is to make sure that you are free from infection before you give blood to someone else. However, if you are taking antibiotics to prevent an infection from occurring, you may be able to pass the test.
  • Birth Control Pills. You will be eligible to donate blood even when you are taking oral contraceptives.
  • Other Drugs. With certain drugs, you will be asked to wait for some time after your last dose before you can donate blood. Here are some examples:

             – Isoretinoin -1 month

             – Dutasteride - 6 months

             – Aspirin - 48 hours

             – Piroxicam - 48 hours

             – Warfarin, heparin, or enoxaparin - 7 days

             – Clopidogrel - 14 days

2. General Health Conditions

  • Allergic Conditions – you can donate, as long as you have no fever.
  • Cold or Flu – wait until you are fully recovered.
  • Weight – you must be at least 110 lbs in weight.

3. Medical Conditions

Apart from "can diabetics donate blood", you may wonder whether people with other medical conditions can donate blood. Here are several examples:


Yes, as long as you are not having an acute attack.

Bleeding Condition



People with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease or other cancers of the blood, cannot donate blood.

Chronic Illnesses

Yes, as long as you feel well, not ill, and you meet other requirements.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease


Heart Disease

Yes, as long as you have been evaluated and treated, and have no current heart-related symptoms. You have to wait at least six months if you have angina, or had a heart attack, angioplasty, or bypass surgery.

Hepatitis, Jaundice

No, if your condition was caused by an infection.

Yes, if your condition was caused by other factors such as medications, trauma, Gilbert's disease, or bile duct obstruction.




Yes, but there is a long waiting period (up to 3 years) before you may donate blood.

Sickle Cell

Yes, if you have the sickle cell trait.

No, if you have sickle cell disease.


No, if you have active infection or are still being treated.

Sexually Transmitted Disease

Yes, but if you have syphilis or gonorrhea, you have to wait 12 months after treatment.

4. Life Events

  • Age. Only those who are 17 years old and older can donate blood. If you are 16 years old, you must have parental or guardian consent, depending on state laws.
  • Men Who Have Had Sex with Men (MSM). There is aone-year deferral policy under FDA guidelines.
  • IV Drug Use. People who have a history of using IV drugs not prescribed by a doctor are not eligible to donate.
  • Body Piercing, Electrolysis, Tattoo. Yes, but wait 12 months.
  • Pregnancy, Nursing. You have to wait six weeks after delivery before donating.

5. Travelling and Immigration

You will have to wait at least 28 daysafter returning to the U.S. if you traveled to the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, or Central America, because of certain endemic infectious diseases in these places, such as zika virus infection and malaria. If you have stayed for extended periods in a place where "mad cow disease" is found, you will not be allowed to donate.

Precautions for Blood Donation

After reading the answer to "can diabetics donate blood" and other requirements, you may find yourself perfectly eligible for blood donation. Here are some tips to keep in mind before donating blood:

  • Get the right amount of sleep.
  • Eat a healthy meal and avoid fatty foods. Drink lots of water and other fluids.
  • If you are planning to donate platelets, do not take aspirin for two days before donating.

After donating blood, you will be asked to sit in an observation area to rest and eat light snacks. You may be able to leave after 15 minutes. Some tips to follow:

  • Drink lots of fluids for the next two days.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or physical activity for the next 5 hours.
  • If you experience dizziness, lie down with feet up above heart level until you feel better.
  • Keep your arm bandage on for 4-5 hours.
  • If bleeding occurs, put pressure on the bandage and raise arm for 3-5 minutes.
  • If bruising occurs, apply a cold pack to the area intermittently for the first 24 hours.
  • For soreness in the arm, take a pain reliever like acetaminophen, but avoid ibuprofen or aspirin.

When to call your doctor or the blood donor center:

  • You forgot to disclose any important information before donating, such as a history of medical problem that may affect the blood recipient.
  • You continue to feel dizzy, nauseated, or lightheaded after resting, drinkingand eating.
  • You have pain, a raised bump, or continuous bleeding at the needle-stick site.
  • You feel tingling down the arm and fingers.
  • You become ill with symptoms such as fever, headache, and sore throat within 4 days, which may be caused by a bacterial infection that may be transmitted to another person through blood transfusion.
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