If you're living with a transplant, "rejection" is a word that can send shivers up your spine. But organ rejection is often not as bad as it sounds. As scary as the word may be, it doesn't mean necessarily that you're going to lose the organ. It often means your medication needs to be adjusted. Once you've established a new medication regimen that works, you can usually go back to business as usual.
But that doesn't mean you can ignore the problem. Be on the lookout for the signs of rejection. Symptoms vary depending on the kind of organ transplant you've had. General signs include:
Sometimes, living with diabetes can seem like a full-time job -- trying to
keep up with everything you need to do for proper diabetes care.
"Diabetes is a very time-consuming disease to manage well," says
Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, CDE, and former president of health care and
education for the American Diabetes Association. "The medication, the food,
the physical activity -- you add life in general to that whole picture and it
ends up being quite challenging."
See your health care provider right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Organ rejection can be acute or chronic. It's fairly common to have an episode of acute rejection within a year of your transplant. Sometimes, acute rejection leads to chronic rejection. This is when an organ slowly loses its ability to function.
Rejection becomes less likely over time. But you're never quite out of the woods. It may develop even years after the surgery. That's why it's key to keep on top of your condition and get regular checkups.