Diabetes mellitus is the leading cause of kidney failure and transplant consideration. If you have kidney failure caused by Type I diabetes (also known as Juvenile Diabetes), you may be a candidate for a kidney and pancreas transplant. If you don't have kidney failure with your diabetes, or your kidney failure is mild, you may qualify for a pancreas-only transplant. Some patients with Type II diabetes may also be considered for a pancreas transplant.
If you have diabetes, your doctor or the transplant center can conduct testing to determine whether you have Type I diabetes (not enough insulin) or Type 2 diabetes (your body is not able to use the insulin that is being made). You may be referred to an endocrinologist, a physician who specializes in diabetes who can provide further diagnosis, treatment and education about being a diabetic.
Some Type I diabetics experience problems with high and low blood sugars. Despite frequent blood sugar checks and insulin adjustments, this can have a negative impact on the quality of your life. Along with the struggles of blood sugar regulation, you may also have other complications. If you fall into this category of patients, you may be considered for a pancreas transplant.
To learn more about the transplant options available for a Type I diabetic, please click here.