As most know I'm pretty certain Nutmeg is diabetic, she shows classic signs - cataracts since small which have cleared up (following me adopting her and changing her diet), elevated drinking, and fluccuating weight levels. I've seen her go from 248g to 215g. She's now stable at 248g.
So, my question is regarding fat levels and percentages in a natural diet. What percentage of fat do you think she should be getting each day? For example I rarely give her the oil-laden seeds such as sunflower seeds but the natural diet posted by our German forum friends suggests otherwise. However I don't know what the correct levels should be for a diabetic degu.
So I'm not a doctor or an diabetes expert . In humans, there are type 1 and type 2 diabetes In type 2, symptoms like weight loss, more urination / more drinking are rarely. So in my opinion your degu might have the Type 1 diabetes.
Normally, the digestive system breaks down the dietary carbohydrates (from fruits, cereals, potatoes, corn, rice) to glucose. This is then taken through the intestinal wall into the blood and distributed throughout the body. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin. Insulin mediates the transport of glucose into the cells of the cell. In the cells the glucose is consumed for energy. The insulin causes the uptake of glucose into body cells for energy production and storage as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells. If the insulin-producing cells no longer produce enough or no insulin, or because of, for example, inflammation or surgery are no longer present, both the uptake of glucose into the cells is missing as well as inhibition of glucose formation in the liver.
In addition, insulin also has another effect. Indeed, it is the only hormone in the body, which builds up body fat and ensures that the fat remains in the depots. A major feature of the serious and persistent lack of insulin is an extreme weight loss because: -> no body fat is more built up and is stored in depots. -> fat (muscle) protein deposits are broken down for energy
In summary, it is the lack of insulin deficiency to a substrate in the cells, a rise in blood sugar, the water and nutrient loss to acidosis of the blood and weight loss. Diabetes Typ 1 is an autoimmune disease.
possible causes: -> a damaging effect by the protein gluten, found in various grains -> Bafilomycin, which are formed especially at the foul places of root vegetables (potatoes, carrots). Bafilomycin A1 caused in animals already in nanogram quantities of glucose intolerance and damages the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Bafilomycin B1 for pregnant mice also disrupted in a minimal amount of the development of these cells and led to an increase in the offspring of type 1 diabetes
All this information I've read in the Wikipedia. Interestingly (I found there, too) that vitamin D seems may reduce the diabetes risk. It was also noted that countries with low UVB radiation have a high rate of new diseases.
For me, the mention of vitamin D and UVB radiation is so interesting, because most vertebrates achieve much of their vitamin D needs through exposure by sun their skin.
Another study result UVB radiation also plays in the nutrition / development / prevention of dental problems a certain role, but that's another topic. Still, it makes me think ... should Cages of degus be illuminated?
After everything I've read I would probably feed little carbs (so not too much "sugar" is produced by the body) but not too little fat, because the body does not use its own fat stores. In the end, a specialist in diabetes knows so much better than most Degu holder, so a demand for a specialist would be probably more useful.
Thanks for the info apology. I know that degus do not have the means to produce insulin, hence they become diabetic easily. I need to minimise the carbs and starch definitely but I was wondering how fat plays a part in the diet and the strain it may put on the liver.
But what I find interesting is the info that insulin plays a major part in the storing of fats, so how this works with degus and how they store fat would be interesting.
I have experience with a diabetic hamster. Trying to get a good diet for a diabetic is a complete balancing act. You can't minimise carbohydrates overall because the animal will starve - what you do have to do is minimise quick energy release carbs, like sugars and simple carbs, equivalent to white bread etc - these produce a peak that a diabetic body can't cope with. You have to provide slow release carbs, that provide energy that a diabetic body can cope with and utilise, basically carbs like whole grains with fibre mixed in.
I also thought that providing higher fat would provide easy energy for a diabetic, but apparently not, this also raises ketones, so is not good for diabetics.
There is evidence that buckwheat and fenugreek help diabetic hamsters keep their ketones down. Buckwheat is a good food for degus anyway and is easily available from supermarkets. Fenugreek is worth a try but gives off a potent curry smell.
I think the way forward for a diabetic degu diet is broadly similar to a regular degu diet but even more emphasis on fibre and being extra careful to cut out all high GI carbs, like corn and peas, and to keep fat levels about the same.
I'd also advise urine monitoring with keto-diastix which test for glucose and ketones. By using these you can see how they respond to diet changes.
There is more info about this at honeyhams yahoo group.
Just another aspect: Is it really diabetes? I ask because in the Deguforum there is assumed that most cataracts aren't diabetic origin. In addition it is supposed that diabetes by degus is the rarely reported form of blind degus died shortly after the occurence of the cataracts. So the question is, if it is disabetes or a different sort of metabolic disorder?
Vana, Clio and some dwarf tropical woodlice (Trichorhina tomentosa)