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Giving Blood And Plasma
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Hi everyone! I was just wondering if anyone knows about donating blood? Can we (people with celiac disease) still give blood and plasma?

Thanks

-Jennifer

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Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE. It's the American Red Cross, they should be able to tell you.

Lily

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Hi

I live in Australia and we can give blood with celiac disease. It is mainly infectious things they worry about, like aids, hepatitis, etc. I am on the Bone Marrow Registry but have since found out they don't take celiacs if they come up as a match. Not sure why.............don't think you could give a person celiac disease by giving them blood...........surely! Anyone know if that is a likely scenario? :blink:

Shaz

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I have given blood since being diagnosed with celiac, but I have a much more difficult time qualifying due to iron deficiency. My doctor recommends against giving blood or plasma as it takes my system longer to recover. That's speaking from personal experience. It might be different for each individual.

Darlene

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The Bone Marrow thing probably has to do with the fact that celiacs tend to be at higher risk of developing osteopenia/osteoporosis, due to the lack of nutrients being absorbed, so this may put them at risk from donating bone marrow, not at risk of giving the disease to someone else.

But I am wondering about the blood donation. This saturday they are having a blood drive in our town for my son's second grade teacher who has cancer (uterine cancer that spread to her lungs) and now that they have the lung cancer under control through chemotherapy, she is having her uterus removed next week. Since she has been in chemo for 4 months she needs blood for the surgery and platelets. So they are having a blood drive in her honor. I plan to go sign up, I don't know if they will take my blood, but I have to try. I have tried before more than a decade ago, when I was in better health, and they wouldn't take my blood after I filled out the questionaire. We'll see this time.

Do you think it will make me feel sick? I'm apparently not anemic, but I am so darn tired everyday. Only been gluten-free for 5 weeks...any thoughts?

Mariann

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I used to donate blood regularly and often barely squeaked by on the iron tests (although I was not officially anemic). However, I usually felt weak afterwards.

I think anyone who is feeling tired due to celiac disease should NOT donate. They are so desperate for blood these days that their criteria for accepting people may not be as stringent as it should be, I suspect.

The last time I tried to donate (a couple of years ago before my dx) they had to stop early because I was starting to pass out. So, my blood could not be used and it was a waste all the way around.

My main symptom of celiac disease so far has been fatigue.

It seems as if the antibodies to gluten that are detected in the blood STAY in the blood and would be passed on to the blood recipient. Even if this infused blood is only a small portion of the person's total blood volume, perhaps the infusion of antibodies could be enough to trigger the disease in someone susceptible. So little is known about this disease, why chance it?

If someone asks me why I don't donate anymore I will say that my body produces antibodies to certain grain foods and I don't want to risk passing on the allergy to someone else. Who is to say this is NOT well-founded? Better safe than sorry.

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I actually have given blood before and after my diagnosis. I used to have to prep myself w/iron before dontating but since I've been gluten-free, my iron is stronger then ever.

I don't think it's a problem. Otherwise the doctor would have advised that I not give blood. I think the best bet is to ask your local blood association.

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I actually did give blood this last Saturday. I checked the guidelines of who could donate, and since they check your iron when you get there, I figured I'd probably get turned away, but I would try anyhow. Well this was the first time that my iron level was up. I was actually quite excited to know that. I certainly feel like I'm absorbing more nutrients from my food. And I let them know up front that I was gluten intolerant, but since I didn't take medication for it, they didn't see it as a problem.

Someone had mentioned earlier that they didn't want to take the chance of triggering celiac disease in someone who had the gene but hadn't gotten the disease, and I thought about that, but I figured that whatever they needed the blood for was probably more than enough of a trigger. That if they are going to get celiac disease, the few antibodies still floating around in my blood was not going to cause them to get sick.

Just make sure that if you do give blood, to bring your own gluten-free snacks. It helped a lot, since the only thing on the snack table that was gluten-free were raisins, the rest was Hostess cupcakes, Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other such junk food. I was glad that I brought a snack bar from home. I felt a little tired that day, but a nap helped and then by the next day I felt better. And I get to know that I helped out my friend. She gets credit for 48 pints of blood! And someone else will get my pint of blood that they really need.

Don't let Celiac Disease get in your way of helping other people. Most blood banks are in constant need of donations. And they won't let you give if you feel sick or your iron is low. It doesn't hurt to try.

God bless,

Mariann

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Celiac is not something that would stop you from being an eligible blood donor. Potential donors are screened thoroughly with a questionare. Like mentioned earlier a screening iron level test is done. All donated blood is tested for many potential problems before being administered. I was not able to donate blood for several years after I had my triplets, because of elevated liver enzymes. It was thought at the time, that my liver damage was from HELLP syndrome (severe toxemia of pregnancy) but the problem has now been attributed to newly diagnosed celiac.

I now donate regularly again.

Being able to donate blood is really important to me. Blood donations saved my son's life 13 times when he was very ill as a newborn.

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