Diabetes Information after Your Transplant
This handout tells you how your blood sugar control may change after your transplant. Your nurse will answer any questions you have before you go home.
After your transplant there are two things that may make your blood sugars harder to control:
1. Prednisone and other anti-rejection drugs
2. Improved kidney function
Blood Sugar Control on Prednisone
Prednisone is an anti-rejection medicine taken after having a transplant. Even if you have not had diabetes before, your blood sugar can increase because of this drug.
After you take your prednisone, your blood sugar slowly rises over the course of the day. Its greatest effect is about six to ten hours later. This means most patients who take this drug in the morning will see higher blood sugar values mid to late afternoon.
Your blood sugars might be harder to control during the first few months after your transplant. As your prednisone dose is slowly decreased at your clinic visits, your blood sugars should decrease and become easier to manage.
Most people need insulin or pills to treat the higher blood sugars. Frequent blood sugar testing at home (four times a day: before meals and at bedtime) helps us or your local health care team decide if any changes in dose are needed. Always bring your blood sugar record book with you to clinic visits to be reviewed.
Blood Sugar Control and Kidney Function
One of the many functions of the kidney is to help break down and clear medicine from your body. Because of this, you may have noticed that you needed less insulin or pills to control your blood sugars before your transplant, as your kidney function got worse. This is because the drugs stayed in your body longer. You may have had low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) more often.
After your transplant, when you have better kidney function, you may notice that we need to increase your dose of insulin or pills to control your higher blood sugar values.
Treating your diabetes
It is important that you see your general family doctor when you go home after transplant so they can help to manage your diabetes. Be sure they know about any changes in your prednisone dose, as this can affect our blood sugars.
If you have any questions or concerns about your blood sugar control within the first few weeks after you go home, please call the UW Diabetes Management Service:
You can also call the transplant office and ask to speak with your coordinator. Transplant Office (608)263-1384
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 03/21/2012
Copyright © 03/21/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4215
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