Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum

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-   -   Matching food and insulin - the milkshake analogy :) (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4051)

k9diabetes 08-24-2012 08:24 PM

Re: Help interpretting curve PLZ!! Suspected Rebound.
 
I'm kind of jumping into the middle without reading the last few posts but wanted to mention a bit about carbohydrates.

In a nondiabetic, the insulin supply from the pancreas is an incredibly exquisite, finely tuned delivery system that matches insulin production to the sugar available in the blood. The pancreas doesn't dump a pool of insulin all at once and expect the body to use it over the next 12 hours. It delivers small amounts of insulin as needed throughout the day, and the amount needed changes literally minute by minute with when a meal is eaten.

So with a diabetic dog (or human), we are trying to approximate that incredibly sensitive system with one injection every 12 hours....

It's almost laughable to think that it could work, and utterly amazing that it works as well as it does.

So when you inject insulin, the body starts absorbing it into the blood at whatever speed that particular body does. Some dogs take a long time to break the insulin out of its time-released packaging and they may not get much of an effect from the insulin for an hour or more. Other dogs are like skilled safecrackers, and they bust the insulin out of its time-release packaging really fast and put the insulin to work right away, within minutes.

There is absolutely no connection between how the insulin is absorbed and how sugar gets into the blood from a meal.

The insulin gets absorbed how it gets absorbed, whether there is sugar for it to use or not.

You can't change how your dog's body absorbs and uses insulin.

But you can change how sugar is delivered to go with that insulin.
....

It's like making a milkshake with a machine that deliver two flavors of syrup: chocolate (insulin) and strawberry (food from a meal).

There's no shut off valve on the chocolate dispenser and it runs chocolate (insulin) into the ice cream and milk at whatever rate it wants to. You can only fill up the chocolate dispenser.

You control the strawberry (food) syrup dispenser, with the goal of providing strawberry syrup at exactly the same rate as the chocolate syrup is going in.

If you're too slow, the milkshake will be all chocolate (insulin) and the blood sugar will drop dangerously low.

If you're too fast, the milkshake will be mostly strawberry (sugar from food) and the blood sugar will skyrocket.
....

So you are looking for foods that will be digested and converted to sugar in the blood at about the same rate as the insulin is being absorbed.

As a very general rule, pure sugar (syrup) is absorbed fastest as no digestion is even required. It goes right through into the blood directly.

Next fastest is simple carbs - white rice, white bread, crackers. These are things that when we eat them we actually start breaking them down into sugar while they are still in our mouths. That's how fast they get digested into sugar.

Next would be complex carbs. Then longer to digest typically are proteins and fatty foods.

Back to metaphor. If your dog's glucose milkshake is all chocolate, he needs some foods that are quickly digested - simple carbs.

You "feed" the insulin since you can only control food delivery.

Hope that sort of makes sense. The better you can get a handle on the concept, the more able you will be to find something that works for your dog.

Natalie


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