What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is an invisible disease, destructive to organs and body systems. Complications are many, including kidney failure blindness and amputations and nerve damage and heart failure.
Type 1 is an auto -immune conditon where the body is activated to detroy the beta cells in the pancreaswhich produce insulin.
The cause is unknown and there is no link to modifiable lifestyle changes.
There is no cure.
What is Diabetic Hypoglycaemia?
Low blood sugar:
* This is the most limiting factorin controlling blood sugar
* Which can range from mild to severe.
* Mild could be feeling hungry , a little shaky or tingly, blurred vision, headache, irritability,then increase to confused sleepy and then into Severe needing medical intervention which can result in seizure and / or death
What is Diabetic Hyperglycaemia?
High bloood sugar Can develop over hours or days
* It is possible to have exceeddling high sugar levels withoput realising it.
* Many do not experience the symptoms of these high and only realsie if they do a ketone test.
* Symptoms include excessive thirst, passing large volumes of urine,feeloing tired, blurred vision infections, long term weightloss.
What is tight control?
Achieving the lowest possible A1c ( average blood glucose levels for 2-3mth. period)
* Dramatically reduces the risk of developing complications
* Slowing down the progression of exsisting complications.
How do DAD's know?
Dogs are still ahead of research although we do know their keen sense of smell plays a major factor as well as their strong bond with their intuitionand being able to read the smalestl changes in body language.A person can smell a fruity sweetness on a person suffering from a very high blood sugar levels so we can surmise what dogs smell at a lot lower sugar level.
But preciisely what dogs detect has long been unknown. Now researches at Cambridge University have found that a falling blood glucose coincides with a rise in 'isoprene"- a natura lchemical we release while breathing.
Being a step closer gives DAD's more ctedibility but seeing a DAD work is amazing and antidontal evidence is overwhelmiing.
Why get a DAD?
A DAD is is persistent and willing to work 24 / 7
* Helping achieve a tighter control by alerting on a change in BSL. This enables a proactive response, reducing the likelhood of major swings in your BSL The rebounding Yo- Yo effect.
* Performing alternate action if their person is slow in responding encoraging their person to drink and or eat by bringing their preferred recovery food directly to the person keeping their person safe from harm if they are showing confusion.
* DAD's depending on circumstances can be trained to alert another person up front or the dog can be do the recovery process first then if this fails take further action.
* DAD's are great at dobbing on their owners with family friends or anyone that will listen
* They are self motivsted to take the next step in their diabetic alert prcedure and after careplan.
Even using technology a SOS call button or programmable phone to get the help needed
* DADs also make excellent co-drivers enabling safer travel.
Who benefits the most from a DAD?
Insulin dependaent diabetics using good management skills even if brittle or unstable
and / or someone:
* Is highly motivated to achieve better / tigh control
* Is living alone, and / or leading an active lifestyle
* Who is Hypoglycaemic unawares
* Has the financial resources, the time, the phyiscal ability and desire to consisetntlywork with a dog
* Who doesn't mind being noticed, because of their assistance dog, as this makes a person highly visible
* Also has the understanding that a DAD is a living partner with significant needs that have to be addressed both physical and emotionally.
Who might not benefit from a DAD?
* Newly diagnosed diabetics as they need time to adapt and to come to terms with their diagnoses.
* Young children don't have the focus necessary to work with dog there are exceptions BUT we can train dogs to work to do scent work it is up to the already exhausted parent / s to do so much more additional work which only adds to the stress, not relieve it
* Type 2 Diabetics, is insulin dependent and / or has problems with hypoglycaemia A DAD may be benefical.