I will confess that diabetes is not my favorite topics, because I have seen it to be so challenging and time demanding for my clients to manage. Who wants to give insulin shots, be at home on time to give them and skip all the fun events, parties and trips? Who wants to go to the vet clinic for tests after test?
If you are expecting me to give you the magic bullet on how to treat diabetes without insulin, I may disappoint you. There may have been a few cases of diabetes remissions in cats and I have never seen this in dogs. The most frustrating part is that diabetes in animals and perhaps in people appears to be easily preventable.
In 14 years of feeding and recommending natural raw diet, I haven’t seen one single raw fed dog or cat with diabetes. This definitely suggests that the key in diabetes prevention is to stay away from processed food.
While I don’t have a scientific double blinded, triple blindsided study approved by a quadruple titled big honcho from a top medical institution, I may have humble explanation of how diabetes can be prevented. If you feel a hint of fire and pepper in my writing today, it is because I can’t believe that the conventional diet recommendation for diabetic pets is processed, carbohydrate based food that sits on the shelves for months before it is fed.
Here are my thoughts:
The pancreas is a gland that produces insulin and also fat and protein digesting enzymes. In carnivores and people, this gland is much more developed because of the nature of their diet. In healthy dogs, cats and humans, pancreas has no difficulties to digest protein and it also takes part in the fat digestion.
The problem comes with starches and sugar. Complex carbohydrates digest into simple form of sugar, glucose. While glucose is needed in reasonable amounts for a proper function of the cell, nature has never intended for us an our dogs to eat massive doses of carbs. Most people understand that filling up our cars with the wrong fuel will result in the engine malfunction and the same applies to our pets.
Excessive amount of carbohydrates creates too severe workload for the pancreas which forced to produce more insulin to get sugars out of the blood stream and into the cells. Overloaded pancreas becomes inflamed and the inflammation is brought to the attention of the body’s “housekeeper”, the immune system. Antibodies against the inflamed pancreatic cells are created and this process leads to dysfunction and destruction β-cells of the islets of Langerhans where insulin is produced.
Lack of insulin causes an increase of the blood sugar levels while the cells starve due to lack of energy. Insulin also participates in the body fat regulation. Too much sugar and carbs in our diet leads to increased production of insulin and inhibition of fat burning in the body. The lack of insulin leads to excessive fat disintegration and a toxic state called diabetic ketoacidosis.
While I am not intending to go into a complex explanation of how to regulate diabetes, I will repeat that it is much more pain in the butt to treat than looking into prevention. The reality is that I have not seen one single dog and cat on raw diet diagnosed with diabetes speaks for itself. Switch to raw, stop feeding processed food and you will reduce the chances of diabetes dramatically.
As to us human version of diabetes, many people believe that they are the victims of their genetic inheritance. I would like to suggest that while this is partially true, it may be too much sugar, carbs, no enough exercise and lack of understanding that sugar is a drug that we can get addicted to.
And if you do suffer from diabetes, treat yourself fairly, learn and make changes and be kind to yourself if you fail here and there. Practice makes perfect.
Did I hear you saying: “Please just don’t tell me that my dog or cat can’t eat treats” or “I can’t live my live without chocolate or double baked croissants…
Of course not, just make them a special treat.
Dr Peter Dobias is a veterinarian with a background in both holistic and conventional veterinary medicine, animal homeopathy and natural nutrition and more than 20 years of practical and teaching experience. Dr Dobias’ company, Healing Solutions, was established to make natural and holistic forms of healing more readily available. Visit his website at http://www.peterdobias.com/
This is re-published with the consent of Dr. Peter Dobias. View original article here: http://www.peterdobias.com/community/2011/07/processed-food-causes-diabetes-in-pets/
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