Signs & Treatments For Hypoglycemia In Diabetic Pets

Signs & Treatments for Hypoglycemia in Diabetic Pets

Signs & Treatments for Hypoglycemia in Diabetic Pets

Sometimes it’s good to go back to basic diabetes topics. Many of our readers are very educated in diabetic pet care, but I need to remind myself that we get new readers all the time. One of the greater concerns of treating diabetes, as we aim to achieve the proper insulin dosage, is hypoglycemia. If we accidentally expose the pet to too much insulin because a pet doesn’t eat as much as usual, or perhaps even vomits, then we could end up with a low blood glucose. Or, if we start at too high of an insulin dosage we could cause the blood glucose to go too low. I like to “sneak up” on the insulin dosage when we start a pet on insulin for this very reason. It’s good for pet owners to know how hypoglycemia might look and what to do in this event.
Before we talk about what is low blood glucose, let’s first discuss what a normal blood glucose level is.
The normal range for blood glucose in dogs and cats depends on several things. If the pet is at home, where white coat syndrome doesn’t play a role, a pet’s blood glucose is usually around 100 mg/dl, give or take a 30 points or so, for NON-diabetic pets. I think reference labs take stress hyperglycemia, anxiety while at the vet clinic, into account when they make their “normal range” for dogs and cats. One of the largest reference laboratories in veterinary medicine in America is Antech Labs. For dogs, the reference range for blood glucose at Antech is 70 to 138. For cats the normal reference range for blood glucose at Antech is 64 to 170. Cats are a bit more prone to stress hyperglycemia than dogs but it can happ Continue reading

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Diabetes and heart disease linked by genes, study reveals

Diabetes and heart disease linked by genes, study reveals

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has become a global epidemic affecting more than 380 million people worldwide; yet there are knowledge gaps in understanding the etiology of type-2 diabetes. T2D is also a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), but the biological pathways that explain the connection have remained somewhat murky. Now, in a large analysis of genetic data, published on August 28, 2017 in Nature Genetics, a team, led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has first looked into what causes T2D and second clarified how T2D and CHD - the two diseases that are the leading cause of global morbidity and mortality, are linked.
Examining genome sequence information for more than 250,000 people, the researchers first uncovered 16 new diabetes genetic risk factors, and one new CHD genetic risk factor; hence providing novel insights about the mechanisms of the two diseases. They then showed that most of the sites on the genome known to be associated with higher diabetes risk are also associated with higher CHD risk. For eight of these sites, the researchers were able to identify a specific gene variant that influences risk for both diseases. The shared genetic risk factors affect biological pathways including immunity, cell proliferation, and heart development.
The findings add to the basic scientific understanding of both these major diseases and point to potential targets for future drugs.
"Identifying these gene variants linked to both type 2 diabetes and CHD risk in principle opens up opportunities to lower the risk Continue reading

7 New Ways to Make Sweet Potatoes Part of Your Diabetes Diet

7 New Ways to Make Sweet Potatoes Part of Your Diabetes Diet

Sweet potatoes are one of the most popular foods for diabetes on EverdayHealth.com, and with good reason.
The root vegetable is higher in fiber than its regular-potato cousin. Fiber cannot be digested by the human body, so it provides bulk without adding calories and helps keep you fuller for longer. “Sweet potatoes have many health benefits,” notes Sylvia White, RD, CDE, a dietitian in private practice in Memphis, Tennessee. “They are anti-inflammatory and have antioxidants that help prevent diseases. This includes heart disease, the number one cause of death in people with diabetes.”
Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin A. “This vitamin may help improve the function of our pancreatic beta cells,” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, the creator of the online training program For the Love of Diabetes, based in Manhattan Beach, California. This is significant because beta cells produce, store, and release insulin, according to the British diabetes association Diabetes.co.uk.
When it comes to preparing sweet potatoes, you may want to opt for boiled when you can, suggests a small study published in September 2011 in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. In the study, volunteers ate sweet potatoes that were roasted, baked, fried, or boiled. Boiled sweet potatoes have the lowest glycemic index value, meaning they won’t quickly spike your blood sugar. Baked and roasted sweet potatoes have the highest glycemic index values.
7 Tips and Tricks for Preparing Sweet Potatoes if You Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you can eat sweet potatoes daily — as lon Continue reading

How service dogs help Canadians living with diabetes

How service dogs help Canadians living with diabetes

Trained noses help diabetes service dogs sniff out their owners’ low blood sugar – and even save their lives. That’s dogged determination.
Ukita is a 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever who loves hitting the golf course with her owner, Cory Carter, an electrician from Langley, B.C. Off the golf course, she follows Carter from site to site, joyfully wagging her tail and occasionally carrying his tool belt. While Carter is hard at work wiring homes, Ukita works too, vigilantly smelling Carter’s breath to detect if his blood sugar suddenly drops.
“I look at [having a diabetes alert dog] as another tool in the fight against diabetes, especially if you’re at your last straw,” says Carter.
Carter, 28, has had type 1 diabetes since he was 10. When his blood sugar drops, he experiences hypoglycemia, a dangerous condition that can cause convulsions or even a coma. Most people notice when their blood sugar drops: Their hands tremble, they feel dizzy and they may even break into a cold sweat. But some people with diabetes, like Carter, are hypoglycemic-unaware. They don’t show the typical signs of hypoglycemia, so they need to be extra-vigilant about monitoring their blood-sugar levels.
Learn more about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Carter has used a series of tools to treat his diabetes since his diagnosis, but in recent years, he felt he needed more help. So last January, Carter and his wife flew from Langley to Oakville, Ontario to meet Ukita, one of the Lions Foundation of Canada’s diabetes alert dogs.
Training a diabetes service dog
Since 20 Continue reading

Cost of insulin just one hurdle for seniors with diabetes

Cost of insulin just one hurdle for seniors with diabetes

Dolores Suvak retired from her job as a high school English teacher in the Woodland Hills School District in 2006 with a generous retirement package that included an additional 10 years of health coverage under her school employees’ plan.
Then came year 11.
Ms. Suvak, 68, is diabetic, one of an estimated 11.2 million seniors — 25.9 percent of Americans 65 or older, according to the American Diabetes Association — who have the condition that can result in serious infections as well as nerve, kidney and eye damage, and life-threatening heart disease.
For her, diabetes has meant daily testing, multiple injections and regular monitoring of her blood sugar.
It also has meant the expense of test strips, lancets, needles and life-sustaining insulin, all of which have dug deep into the fixed retirement income that she and her husband Ronald live on. The switch to Medicare came with a financial trapdoor — Medicare Part D’s prescription drug “doughnut hole” coverage gap — that she says doubled her diabetes-related costs that first year.
“It knocked the socks off of me. It just devastated me,” the Swissvale resident said last week.
Patients and providers alike have noted the rising cost of insulin, which the American Diabetes Association says nearly tripled in price between 2002 and 2013.
But that is only one of the hurdles that seniors with diabetes face. There’s also the emergence of high-deductible insurance plans, shifting more of the cost of care to patients, plus formularies that may change which insulin brands are covered at a lower cost.
“This isn’t j Continue reading

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