Should Diabetics Donate Blood

Diabetes is a very serious condition that is affecting growing numbers of people in the United States.

While there is no cure for it, it can be managed in such a way that most diabetics with some vigilance can live as full and healthy life as any other person, and do many of the same things that other people can do – including diet and exercise.

The key word in that paragraph is “vigilance.”

Vigilance in monitoring and controlling diabetes is the real key to living a normal life in Tampa, Timbuktu or Toledo. And that vigilance – almost an obsessive-compulsive level – is important for doing even selfless things for other people – such as giving blood.

As diabetes is a blood-sugar issue, it can be seen that diabetic blood may not be the best-suited for blood donations to help keep people alive and whole. But there is nothing precluding those with diabetes from donating blood per se, as diabetes isn’t about the blood itself and making it unhealthy, but it’s about the blood sugar level in the blood.

Those who wish to donate blood go through a full health screening, whether he or she is a diabetic or not. The fact that you have diabetes will be noted, and the diabetic must affirm that the blood sugar is controlled and that the person is truly vigilant in monitoring the sugar levels, are taking medication as prescribed and/or is executing a consistent diet and exercise program.

Provided all that is verified and the work continues, most blood clinics will allow a diabetes patient to donate blood without much restriction.  However, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor prior to donating any blood, just to make sure all the bases are covered. Normally, you should be able to donate blood every two months or so, but you should never do it if you are not feeling well.

Some key things to consider:

  • Avoid any strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after a donation.
  • Increase your fluids for several days after donating. If you usually drink eight cups of water a day, consider pushing that to 10 cups a day for about a week after donating, for example.
  • Do not go to donate while hungry or thirsty, but don’t’ fill your tummy right before donating; donate about 1-2 hours after eating.
  • Make sure your blood sugar level is normal when you donate. The donation process takes an hour or so, and you don’t’ need your blood sugar level dropping during the 10 minutes of donation.

There are very few things as noble as giving blood, and those with diabetes should have every opportunity to be as noble as anyone else. Vigilance is key to charity.

Does Diabetes Have A Gender Bias?

Diabetes is one of those equal-opportunity diseases. It affects a wide cross-section of the population, with little regard to age, race, gender, or national origin.

While there are some tendencies toward higher risk in some groups, there is little doubt that diabetes can and does impact virtually anyone at any stage of life, and it is a lifelong affliction that can only be treated and not cured. (more…)

What Affect Does Alcohol Play On Diabetes?

In today’s day and age, going out for a drink with a couple of work friends for Happy Hour is not unheard of. However, if you are suffering from diabetes, whether it’s type 1 or type 2, alcohol can have a myriad of effects on your blood sugar levels including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Vegan Diet & Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body metabolizes sugar (or glucose, take your pick), the fuel that provides our bodies with energy. This is a direct result of how insulin in your body performs or, in some cases, the lack of insulin that your body produces. Many have speculated that consuming too much sugar over a period of time contributed to the onset of type-2 diabetes, and while this is neither confirmed nor denied, obesity has been listed as a contributing factor. Many complications can arise from having type-2 diabetes, such as heart and blood vessel disease, damage to various areas of the body (including nerves, eyes, feet and kidneys), as well as hearing impairment, skin conditions and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Along with a long list of other complications, gum disease can result from diabetes that is not properly controlled. The two main forms of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. With gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen and may easily bleed. If not treated, this milder form of gum disease can become full-blown periodontitis, which is where the gums pull away from the teeth and infection takes a firm hold, leading to bone, tissue and tooth loss.


Diabetes and Disaster Preparedness

It’s heart-wrenching to watch all that people go through as natural disasters play out on our television screens. Tucked away, along with sympathy for those in the midst of a hurricane, earthquake, flood or other catastrophic events, is the very understandable thought, “I’m so glad that’s not happening to me!”. The truth is, however, that we are all susceptible to major life-changing events, and they can happen with very little notice. Those with a chronic medical condition, like diabetes, are especially vulnerable and should take seriously the advice to be prepared.    (more…)

Tips to Help You Maintain Your Blood Sugar During the Holidays

We all have our favorite holiday activities. It might be watching fireworks on the 4th of July, heading to the beach for Labor Day, as summer winds down, or finding the perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween. For many of us, it’s the non-stop activities that seem to begin with the Macy’s Day Parade, early Thanksgiving morning, and continue through the last bowl game on New Year’s Day. But, no matter what holiday or activity tops your list, you can bet that it involves not only extreme amounts of food and drink but the kind designed to send blood sugar levels through the roof. (more…)

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Diabetes has become so common in the U.S. that there may be a danger of losing sight of just how serious a disease it is. In the diabetic community, there has long been a saying that diabetes won’t kill you, but its complications will. The list of complications is long and includes, heart disease, nerve damage, kidney failure, foot and leg amputation, blindness, Alzheimer’s and a host of others. And, while the saying about diabetes not killing you may be catchy, the truth, according to the American Diabetes Association, is that, “Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015, with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.” (more…)

Urinary Incontinence and Diabetes

There are over 30 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, even if nearly a quarter of them have not been diagnosed. 13 million individuals in the U.S. have been diagnosed with urinary incontinence, and it is believed that the percentage of undiagnosed incontinence is likely to be significant. Diabetes is a disease, while incontinence is a symptom related to lifestyle choices, physical issues or an underlying medical condition. Urinary incontinence is often linked to diabetes because diabetes is one of the more common medical conditions that contribute to incontinence. (more…)

The Fundamental Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Most people know that diabetes involves the inability to control glucose, or blood sugar, by not producing enough insulin or not managing it correctly. This leads to elevated levels of glucose in the body, which can result in very serious complications, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, hardening of the arteries, foot and leg amputation and blindness. (more…)