• Shruti GOCHHWAL

How Can A Diabetic Donate A Kidney?

A kidney transplant is a surgery done to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy kidney donation from a donor. The kidney may come from a deceased organ donor or from a living donor. Family members or others who are a good match may be able to donate one of their kidneys. This type of transplant is called a living transplant. People who donate a kidney can live healthy lives with one healthy kidney.

Can I be a Kidney Donor if I have Pre-Diabetes or Diabetes?

Diabetics kidney donation

Diabetes, Credits: pixabay


Maybe. Pre-diabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes.

For a diabetic patient, the blood sugar levels should be under control and they should not be suffering from any other comorbidity.

In a study conducted in US found that people who have diabetes or high blood pressure have a two to four times higher chance of experiencing reduced kidney function compared to those who do not.

Overall, they found that for 88 percent of kidney donors, the lifetime risk of End stage renal disease before donation was less than 1 percent.

To qualify as a kidney donor, you’ll first need to make changes to try to lower your blood sugar. This may prevent your pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes.

Why is Pre-Diabetes a Problem For Kidney Donation?

Pre-diabetes is a problem for kidney donors because:

Pre-diabetes may turn into diabetes unless you can lower your blood sugar level.

Diabetes (especially type 2 diabetes) can cause kidney disease and is the most common reason for kidney failure in the United States

UNOS, the organization responsible for organ kidney donation in the U.S., will not allow people with diabetes to donate.

How Can Doctors Tell If I’m Healthy Enough to Donate A Kidney?

Diabetics kidney donation

weighing scale, Credits: pixabay


To see if you’re healthy enough to donate a kidney, you’ll have a donor evaluation. The evaluation is a series of tests doctors do to check your overall health and make sure there aren’t any problems that would keep you from donating.

To see if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, doctors will:

  1. Ask about your family medical history, since diabetes can run in families

  2. Check your weight and age

  3. Test your blood for high levels of blood sugar and higher than normal hemoglobin A1c, which are signs of diabetes and pre-diabetes

What Happens if Tests Show I Have Pre-Diabetes?

Diabetics kidney donation

Diabetes, Credits: pixabay


If your blood sugar level is higher than 110mg/dl, it means you have pre-diabetes.

Doctors will help you find ways to make lifestyle changes to lower your blood sugar, such as:

  1. Change your eating habits

  2. Lose weight

  3. Add exercise to your daily life

  4. You’ll need to keep doing these lifestyle changes for the rest of your life.

After you’ve made these lifestyle changes, doctors will retest your blood sugar and let you know if you’re healthy enough to donate.

If your blood sugar level is within normal range, you might be able to donate a kidney

If your blood sugar level is still high, you may not be able to donate – especially if you are young and have many years ahead when diabetes may develop

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