Managing Your Pet's Diabetes
Diabetes: An Overview
Currently there are two main types of diabetes mellitus diagnosed in pets. The two types of diabetes in pets are similar to humans, and include types 1 and 2. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is associated with the pancreas not being able to produce or secrete insulin. Type 1 diabetics are dependent upon insulin injections for regulation of adequate blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is the condition associated with the pancreas not producing and secreting adequate amounts of insulin, or the body's inability to properly use the insulin that is available. Type 2 diabetes is not insulin dependent, but can develop into type 1 diabetes over time if not treated.
Insulin: An Overview
Insulin is a hormone required by the body for the proper intake of glucose (sugar) into the cells where it can be utilized as energy. When insulin is not available, the cells will find other sources of stored energy, releasing toxins known as ketones into the bloodstream. There are currently several types of insulin available derived from a variety of animals. Insulin is available in these types based on the speed of reaction including, long, intermediate, short and rapid. Insulin must be injected.
Diabetes: Overview of Symptoms
Diabetes is usually diagnosed from signs and symptoms noticed by attentive owners. These signs and symptoms typically include excessive hunger or loss of appetite, excessive thirst, excessive urination, unexplained weight loss, and change in breath smell. If the condition of diabetes is left untreated, further complications and symptoms can occur including weakness, seizures, sleepiness, restlessness, and unconsciousness blindness or coma.
Diet plays a critical role in the both the regulation of the condition diabetes, in addition to its development. There is a strong correlation between overweight or obese pets and the development of diabetes. Dietary intake is responsible for the digestion and absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. By limiting and regulating sugar intake to adequate amounts over time, the use of insulin may decrease over time. In the case of diabetes type 2, if your pet is overweight or obese, weight loss may eliminate the condition altogether.
Exercise also plays a critical role in not only the regulation of the diabetic condition, but also in the development. Again, obese or overweight animals are far more likely to develop diabetes than healthy weight pets. Exercise is cause for sugar in the bloodstream to be utilized as energy by the cells, decreasing overall blood sugar levels naturally. Exercise is also good for strengthening of the cardiovascular system, promoting a healthy heart.
Diabetes is not typically cause for the death of a pet, if managed correctly. Through the use of natural methods, insulin, diet, and exercise, it is possible to create an environment that maintains and regulates adequate amounts of blood sugar. However, left untreated, diabetes is associated with several life threatening conditions, than can lead to coma and death. You must take responsibility for the health of your pet, just as you take care of your own.
Photo Credit: robert_rvnwd