Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Evils of Fructose

Toward the end of May we became concerned about the fact that Hamlet was starting to slow down his elimination of feces to about twice a week.  Previously we had needed to take him to have his anal glands cleaned out as they were preventing him from elimination regularity, (oh the perils of old age!).  We started him on a regular dose of Lactulose and he did fine as long as he was receiving this aid, but nothing else would work so he was getting it on a daily basis.

At the beginning of June I suddenly wished I had looked into the ingredients in Lactulose more closely as Hamlet's numbers went through the roof as you can see in his chart.  We clearly put too much of a load on his pancreas.

There are a few theories floating around about why this happened, but personally my education in glucose control and experience with Hamlet tells me that the reaction to Lactulose must have been very similar to the reaction caused by corn syrup when we give it to cats to pull them out of a hypoglycemic episode.  Fructose works where other carbohydrates don't with cats because fructose is absorbed through the membranes of the mouth into the blood stream, just as happens with sublingual meds given to a number of species including humans.

Luckily we have found a working alternative to the Lactulose for Hamlet and I highly recommend it to anyone with a diabetic cat so that you don't overload the demand on the pancreas.  We use EVOO, (olive oil), and it is working fine.  We are, in fact, managing to back off its use a little at this point, which I like as I hate making Hamlet take meds he doesn't have to have at his age.

At this point, we have Hamlet stabilized again, but back on his insulin, unfortunately.  As it is summer we may get him back off it for a period of time, but only time will give us that information.

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