How Pets Help You Fight Diabetes

How does your lovable pooch help you battle high blood sugar?
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Did you know your pet can aid your long-term health, and your glucose control? Discover how!

1) Diabetics are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression than non-diabetics, and 20% more likely to suffer from anxiety. Studies show that chronic depression can worsen diabetic symptoms, and anxiety can lead to a release of hormones which may heighten blood sugar. But research has shown that watching your dog, cat, fish, or other pets can help to relax your body. It can lower your level of CORTISOL – a stress hormone, while increasing your SEROTONIN – the hormone responsible for improving your mood.

2) Holding a purring cat has been proven to provide measurable medical benefits. Cat purrs vibrate at a frequency of 20 to 140 hertz, and the sound vibrations of cat purrs, especially when vibrating over 100 hertz, have been found to decrease pain and swelling from diabetic wounds.

3) Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is especially dangerous for type 1 diabetics, but often, symptoms may go unnoticed… by humans. But diabetic service dogs can actually sniff out your blood sugar, and he or she can recognize an oncoming hypoglycemic incident.

4) Research shows that the act of petting an animal can trigger the release of OXYTOCIN, a feel-good hormone, which is why petting your pooch has been linked with decreased levels of stress and depression. A recent study suggested that petting a dog can boost brain activity in the frontal cortex – a region of the brain associated with attention, memory, and emotional reactions.

5) All dogs require regular exercise, which means that most dog owners walk their canines at least once a day. Post-prandial movement, or after-meal exercise, works to lower glucose levels, and it reduces the risk of a blood sugar spike. In fact, even short and light activity, like a half-hour or hour-long walk, can aid your body with digestion and glucose management.

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