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
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
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 your 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: (608) 263-2416.
You can also call the transplant office and ask to
speak with your coordinator. Transplant Office
you to clinic visits to be reviewed.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical
advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are
different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an
emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved.
Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4215.