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Home Pet Glucose Meters 101

Home Pet Glucose Meters 101

Home Pet Glucose Meters 101

I sometimes get emails questioning the accuracy of home pet glucose meters. Some folks get upset if their meter is 20 points off from what their vet’s lab work reveals. I think some people have unrealistic expectations about how accurate a meter can be. I can tell you first-hand that pet glucose meters are actually quite reliable, particularly the meters that are calibrated for pets.
If veterinarians say home glucose testing with handheld glucose meters isn’t as accurate as fancier blood analyzers they may be correct. But, I think they may forget that when glucose testing is run at home we remove the chance of stress hyperglycemia. Stress from being anxious in the vet clinic, commonly known as “white coat syndrome”, can significantly elevate a pet’s blood glucose levels. I personally have seen a couple of non-diabetic cats and small dogs have blood glucose levels up in the low 200’s just from anxiety in a clinic over the years. Even though the diagnostic lab equipment at your vet clinic is likely a bit more accurate than a handheld glucose meter, by taking your pet to the clinic you then introduce error from stress hyperglycemia in most pets. Unless your pet is cool as a cucumber in a vet clinic, the risk of stress hyperglycemia is high. Additionally, having a home glucose meter yields information at that moment in time that can affect our actions even in the middle of the night rather than waiting until you can get your pet to the vet. If your pet is acting goofy, you could check to see if the blood glucose is low. I can’t imagine having a diabetic pet withou Continue reading

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Aloe vera should be investigated as diabetes treatment, study says

Aloe vera should be investigated as diabetes treatment, study says

Diabetes is a global epidemic and a leading cause of disease and death. The fact fewer than half of patients with type 2 diabetes have their disease well controlled highlights the need for new, affordable, effective medications that are not limited by unfavorable side effects. Now, a pooled analysis of nine studies that examined the effect of oral aloe vera in people with diabetes and pre-diabetes suggests the medicinal plant should be further investigated as an antidiabetic compound.
The analysis is the work of researchers at the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA, who report their findings in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
The analysis shows people with diabetes whose fasting blood glucose (FBG) is above 200 mg/dl may benefit the most from treatment with oral aloe vera.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition where blood sugar is too high, resulting in damage to organs if not treated. There are 382 million people worldwide living with diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for the vast majority of cases.
The authors note that in the United States - where some 21 million people have the disease - the cost of treatment and loss of productivity in 2012 due to diabetes was $245 billion. The global cost is expected to "exceed a staggering $490 billion" by 2030.
People with diabetes are more likely to seek complementary and alternative medicines than people without diabetes. A popular remedy is aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), a plant used medicinally by the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, Japanese, and Mexicans for t Continue reading

Is it possible to catch diabetes? It sounds absurd, but that's what a reputable new study suggests. And it may be that other 'lifestyle' diseases such as joint pain and even obesity are contagious, too

Is it possible to catch diabetes? It sounds absurd, but that's what a reputable new study suggests. And it may be that other 'lifestyle' diseases such as joint pain and even obesity are contagious, too

At one time, infectious diseases used to decimate human populations — catching something such as cholera or smallpox was usually a death sentence.
But now, thanks to vaccines and antibiotics, few of us need worry about ‘catching’ anything worse than a cold, flu or an upset stomach.
But have we become too complacent?
Intriguingly, scientists are finding evidence that you may be able to catch such ‘lifestyle’ disorders as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even joint pain.
Last year, scientists found that bacteria from the gut that have been linked to conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and allergies can form spores — tiny hibernating ‘seeds’ given off by live bacteria that help it survive and multiply.
The research, published in the journal Nature, showed these spores can survive in the open air and could potentially infect other people. ‘This is a new way of transmitting disease that hasn’t been considered before,’ said researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
It’s cutting-edge science and, of course, more research is needed, but here we look at the surprising conditions researchers now believe might be infectious...
CAN YOU PICK UP DIABETES FROM MEAT?
Earlier this year, U.S. researchers suggested that type 2 diabetes may be caught from damaged proteins known as prions — these are infectious agents, like those that transmitted BSE (or mad cow disease) from cattle to humans.
This is very different to the standard explanation for diabetes of too much weight and too little exercise leading to an excess of sugar (glucose) in the blood bec Continue reading

Good vibrations: A bit of shaking can burn fat, combat diabetes

Good vibrations: A bit of shaking can burn fat, combat diabetes

It sounds like a crazy way to improve your health—spend some time on a platform that vibrates at about the same frequency as the lowest string on a double bass. But recent research indicates that the procedure, known as whole-body vibration, may be helpful in illnesses from cerebral palsy to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Now, a new study of obese mice reveals that whole-body vibration provides similar metabolic benefits as walking on a treadmill, suggesting it may be useful for treating obesity and type II diabetes.
“I think it’s very promising,” says exercise physiologist Lee Brown of the California State University in Fullerton, who wasn’t connected to the study. Although the effects are small, he says, researchers should follow-up to determine whether they can duplicate them in humans.
Plenty of gyms feature whole-body vibration machines, and many athletes swear the activity improves their performance. The jiggling does seem to spur muscles to work harder, possibly triggering some of the same effects as exercise. But researchers still don’t know how the two compare, especially when it comes to people who are ill. So biomedical engineer Meghan McGee-Lawrence of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and colleagues decided to perform a head-to-head comparison of exercise and whole-body vibration.
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The researchers tested mutant mice resistant to the appetit Continue reading

Leaves and Fruits for Diabetes

Leaves and Fruits for Diabetes

Did you know regular plants — leaves and fruits — can help treat (not cure) diabetes? Studies show these plants lower blood sugar reliably in people and rodents with few side effects. Here are some to try:
Guava
Tea made from the leaves of the guava plant is one of the Foods for Specified Health Uses approved by Japan. The approval process requires studies on animals and humans, chemical analysis, and proof that the product is what it says it is. I wish the U.S. had a list like that.
An article in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism found that compounds in guava leaf tea inhibit absorption of certain types of sugar, so that levels don’t spike after meals. In one study, people drank guava tea after eating white rice. They had far less of a glucose rise than people who drank hot water.
Guava leaf seems to lower fasting sugars as well. In a study of people with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, those who drank guava leaf tea with every meal for 12 weeks had lower fasting blood sugar levels than before they started drinking the tea.
Guava (scientific name Psidium guajava) has been used in East Asia for diabetes possibly for centuries. Several studies from Japan found that guava leaf tea also reduces cholesterol and insulin levels in mice and rats. You can make tea out of the leaves, or buy guava tea online.
Insulin plant
Costaceae is a family of plants called by people in the Indian subcontinent “insulin plant,” because the tea appears to reliably reduces blood sugar. There are roughly 200 species of insulin plant.
The plant was brought from South America to India in the Continue reading

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