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Insulin - Dogs and Cats*

Insulin - Dogs and Cats*

Herbal treatments to help address symptoms and regulation of insulin resistant dogs and cats to help address symptoms of hypoglycemia and diabetes.

The liver is a complex organ that interacts with most organs in the body, including the intestinal tract, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and autonomic nervous system. Nutritional support for the liver must address these interactions to be effective. A primary focus of herbals which help address symptoms of diabetes and hypoglycemia is to nutritionally support liver metabolism, pancreatic support, hepatic circulation, bile production and flow, and hepatic immune function.

The metabolic system is complex, involving organs such as the thyroid, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Some signs indicative of metabolic stress may include changes in insulin levels, hypoglycemia, immune system challenges, excess weight or fatty deposits.

Insulin is an anabolic hormone which is produced in the pancreas and is tasked in metabolism of sugars in the body. When your pet eats something, much of the digested food is broken down into glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy. The pancreas then responds to the increased blood sugar levels by secreting insulin into the blood stream.

The pancreas has two major functions, divided into the exocrine and endocrine portions. Pancreatic exocrine function secretes acid-neutralizing bicarbonate and several digestive enzymes. The endocrine pancreas supplies hormones that circulate throughout the body and help control metabolism. The pancreas is also charged with producing digestive juices and enzymes to help digest fats and proteins and producing the hormone, insulin, amidst many other bodily operations. Diabetes is a deficiency of the pancreatic hormone called insulin.

Most cells in your pet’s body contain insulin receptors which help bind the insulin to the cell. Once insulin is attached to the cell, other receptor sites are activated which allows the glucose to enter the cell. This works in a similar way to a lock a key, insulin being the key to unlock the door and allow glucose to enter the cells. Glucose is then either used for immediate energy or converted into glycogen which can be stored for later use.

Insulin is an essential hormone and without it your pet is unable to convert the food it eats into usable energy. When insulin is not produced sufficiently, or not used correctly in the body, blood sugar levels become too high and hyperglycemia or diabetes occurs. Many pets diagnosed with diabetes require insulin shots to manage their glucose levels.

Giving your diabetic pet insulin can be a tricky task and doesn’t come without risks. Too much insulin can result in a dangerous condition known as hypoglycemia and too little insulin can result in states of hyperglycemia. Diabetic pets therefore need close home monitoring and regular veterinary check ups.

Helpful suggestions:

Along with an appropriate diet your diabetic pet should eat at the same time each day at least twice a day, or smaller amounts at multiple intervals. Many pets have timed feedings according to their insulin shots so ask your veterinarian to advise what feeding schedule will be most appropriate.

Female diabetic pets should be spayed as soon as possible to avoid any complications of the insulin reacting with the female hormones secreted by the ovaries.

Remember to take your diabetic pet for regular check-ups and monitor their blood-sugar closely as changes in the condition may occur and treatment may need to be altered.

Exercise is vital for your diabetic pet, but make sure it is constant and regular. High activity will affect your pet’s insulin levels and excessive exercise can cause a sudden drop in blood-sugar levels so this should be avoided. Remember that if your pet is on insulin, the amount of insulin needed will change according to activity levels so consistency is the key word here.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies have been shown to be a successful adjunctive both in the holistic treatment and management of diabetes by supporting pancreatic health and digestive function, to help maintain blood sugar levels and normal insulin levels, to help maintain eye health, to help prevent nerve and tissue damage often associated with diabetes and hypoglycemia and to help boost immunity.

I’m Allergic to Needles – (learn more) is used for proper pancreatic support, health and function, charged with producing proper insulin levels, for all types of diabetes I and II, to reduce glucose levels in blood and for insulin resistance, to improve the glycemic index in pets with diabetes, to regulate metabolic stress, and maintain proper liver metabolism, circulation, bile production and flow, for hepatic (liver) immune function, useful in regulating excess weight and fatty deposits and may help regenerate liver and pancreas cells and detoxify the liver and pancreas.

DIA-BEAT-IT! (learn more) is used holistically for its critical nutrient content, including inulin, oligofructanes (FOS), vitamins including B complex, trace minerals, digestive enzymes & proteins to promote pancreatic health; to help produce adequate insulin & to improve insulin utilization; to support normal blood sugar levels; to help combat Diabetes I & Diabetes II; to limit and help repair neuropathy; to reduce glucose levels in the blood; to improve the glycemic index and to reduce insulin resistance; for hypoglycemia; to support normal blood sugar levels; to promote cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis & atherosclerosis related to insulin resistance & to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by improving calcium absorption. 

I AM A ROCK STAR - (learn more) helps to support and nourish the endocrine system; helps support adrenal and thyroid gland health and response to stress and metabolic demand, helps support proper HPA (Hypothalmic Pituitary and Adrenal) gland function, helps support glandular ability to rebuild and regenerate, helps promote hormonal balance, helps regulate stress on liver, kidney and digestive functions by reducing thirst and excessive elimination, may help promote cognitive function and memory performance, may help balance blood sugar levels, may lend support to the pancreas in cases of dysfunction; for natural energy in all life stages of pets, but especially adult, senior and convalescing dogs and cats, may help increase muscle use, ability and stamina, helps provide anti-inflammatory and immune support, and may help maintain overall healthy adrenal, central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Baby Love Bits  (learn more) helps to build, promote and support muscle, joint, bone, cartilage and tendon health, mobility and flexibility; as a powerhouse Probiotic Vitamin B complex; helps prevent against flea and tick infestations; supports the Central Nervous System; stimulates immunity and healthy metabolism; aids digestion and promotes whole body microbial balance; improves liver function and liver health; purifies whole bodily systems; keeps the skin, hair, eyes and mouth healthy; used holistically for gum disease; helps promote strong healthy bones and connective tissues; to help support native gut flora related to Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD); for infectious diarrhea, including rotavirus diarrhea, for nervousness and fatigue.

Conventional Treatments:

Your veterinarian will be able to advise what options would be most appropriate for your pet. Remember that the early stages of treatment may require multiple blood and urine tests and dosage alterations before you get the correct treatment plan.

Oral Medication – while pharmaceutical oral medications are often effective when treating humans, they may be less effective in pets. Drugs such as Glipizide work by stimulating the functioning pancreas to produce more insulin. This type of treatment has shown small success in cats; however studies have also revealed that these medications can cause further pancreatic damage as well as liver damage.

Insulin Injections – Insulin injections are the most common form of treatment for diabetes. The methods of injecting insulin and the dosages will differ between cats and dogs, and will also be determined by the severity of your pet’s condition.





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