New-onset diabetes is a serious complication after transplantation. Diabetes mellitus is present if the morning fasting blood glucose is above 126 mg /dl (7 mmol / l) or the blood glucose is above 200 mg /dl (11.1 mmol / l) two hours after a glucose stress test (OGTT). The long-term glucose value, the so-called HbA1c value, also provides information about how high the blood glucose level was in the last 3 months. Elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) always give reason to react immediately. If blood sugar remains elevated for a long time, it can damage the small vessels in the eyes and kidneys in particular. This also applies to the sentient nerves in the feet. In addition, diabetes can shorten the life of the new organ.
The causes of elevated blood sugar levels are manifold. Obesity and metabolic disorders, but also immunosuppressive drugs can play a role. In general, the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus often leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the body's own insulin cannot work as it should. As a result, the body cannot fully utilise the carbohydrates that provide energy. The carbohydrates contained in the morning bread, for example, can only be absorbed by the body's cells to a limited extent and remain in the bloodstream as blood sugar. As a result, the blood sugar level rises. The sad fact is that almost every second patient develops diabetes mellitus in the course of the years after transplantation. Those who already have a family member with diabetes mellitus are particularly affected. Transplanted women of advanced age and transplanted women who have already had elevated blood glucose levels during pregnancy are also at increased risk.
If you are found to have elevated blood glucose levels, do not immediately think about a special diabetes diet. You should continue to follow the recommendations for a healthy diet. It is helpful to spread the carbohydrates over the day so that you do not suddenly need huge amounts of insulin.
Eating properly with elevated blood glucose levels does not mean giving up carbohydrates. This may improve blood sugar levels in the short term. In the long term, however, you will harm your body by satisfying your hunger with fatty foods and thus eating too much fat.
Special diabetic foods have no outstanding advantage over regular foods - with the exception of sugar-free lemonade. Normal sugary lemonade would cause the blood sugar to rise too quickly. If your blood glucose levels do not improve even though you have lost weight, eaten carbohydrates evenly throughout the day and exercised more, then medication is needed. Your doctor will advise you on whether tablets and/or insulin are necessary to lower your blood sugar levels. It is important that elevated blood glucose levels are lowered as much as possible to prevent potential complications. If you have any questions in this regard, please be sure to ask them at your next consultation.