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#5533 - 03/05/03 01:25 PM Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've been wondering about some of the other posts up about hypoglycimic symptoms in sugar gliders. Now, since I was diagnosed hypoglycemic a few years ago, I've had to cut out most sugar products, such as soda, candy, and white flour.

I'm wondering if some sugar gliders are getting too much sugar?

And I don't think hypoglycemia is a life-threatening illness, it just results in much distress and exhaustion. It's just that your body produces more insulin than it really needs to process all that sugar, so you get super hyper and then super tired.

I think that hypoglycemia is probably not the problem for most sugar gliders out there, and if it is, it is the diet that is the issue. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there is a difference between the hypoglycemia in people and other animals.

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#5534 - 03/05/03 03:47 PM Re: Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Definition of Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, occurs when your blood glucose (blood sugar) level drops too low to provide enough energy for your body's activities. In adults or children older than 10 years, hypoglycemia is uncommon except as a side effect of diabetes treatment, but it can result from other medications or diseases, hormone or enzyme deficiencies, or tumors. Hypoglycemia symptoms in humans generally begin to be noticed when the glucose concentration drops to the mid-50s mg/dl. This is usually when most people begin to sense things from the counterregulatory hormones that are released (mostly from epinepherine and norepinepherine - "the fight or flight hormones").

MAGE: you pose a very interesting question. All mammals including marsupials basically have the same organs right down to parathyroids. However, there can be innumerable reasons for hypoglycemia. The one most people are familiar with is when the Islands of Langerhans in the pancreas produce excessive amounts of insulin. But you would be surprised at what other conditions can cause overproduction of insulin leading to hypoglycemic symptoms:

1) tumors of the retroperitoneal area
2) tumors of the Islands of Langerhans
3) damage to liver cells (because the liver is the source of most of the glucose entering the blood while a person or animal is fasting, damaged liver cells can result in impaired ability to convert glycogen into glucose.
4) if secretion of the adrenocortical hormones (esp. the glucocorticoids) is deficient, the protein precursors of glucose are not available and the blood glucose level drops as the liver's glygogen supply is depleted.
5) neoplasms such as carcinomas, lymphocytic leukemia, plasma cell tumor & diffuse metastatic melanoma can cause clinical signs of hypoglycemia.
6) Hypoglycemia-ketonemia symptoms have been noted in pregnancy-related toxemia. However, given that human women have placental pregnancies while female glider pregnancies are mainly of a lacteal nature, I tend to doubt females gliders would experience this condition.

Other reasons for hypoglycemia can include:

1) Delaying or skipping a meal
2) Eating too little food at a meal
3) Getting more exercise than usual
4) Taking too much diabetes medicine, especially insulin, sulfonylureas, or meglitinides
5) Drinking alcohol can cause FASTING hypoglycemia when alcoholics who have damaged their liver from years of alcohol abuse don't eat for a prolonged period.
6) organ failure
7) hormone deficiency Adrenal Insuffiency, severe hypothyroidism, and hypopituartism can all Hypoglycemic symptoms which disappear when treated with hormone replacement drugs.
8) drugs such as insulin and sulfonylureas, Pentamidine, Beta-blockers, quinine (in high doses), quinidine, salicylates (aspirin, especially in children),
sulfonamides, disopyramide, propoxyphene, and haloperidol.
9) Non-beta cell tumors. Large cancers can cause hypoglycemia usually because they make a molecule called IGF-II (insulin like growth factor, 2). This molecule
has the ability to act like insulin and lower glucose.
10) Insulin excess states. There are 3 of these and all are rare. Insulinoma, a tumor of the pancreas beta-cells that make insulin, has an incidence of one in a million. Some people make antibodies to insulin that prevents insulin from
being broken down, but the insulin still works normally, so the insulin lasts too long. And some people make an antibody to the insulin receptor, leaving the receptor in the "on" position as if insulin were attached to it.
11) Congenital & enzyme defects - Neonatal hypoglycemia, congenital enzyme deficiencies, ketoic hypoglycemia of childhood, galactosemia, and hereditary fructose intolerance. A normal baby of a diabetic mother may have hypoglycemia at birth ("neonatal hypoglycemia") and come from the child having a beefed up pancreas making alot of insulin due to the mother having higher than normal glucose during the pregnancy.
12) Glucose intolerence and early diabetes is usually accompanied by high insulin levels (compared to non-diabetic people) and an insulin release that occurs for
a prolonged period after eating. This excess insulin can cause hypoglycemia after eating, even though the insulin doesn't work as well. Characteristicly the hypoglycemia from this cause occurs 3 - 5 hours after eating. drawn for glucose every 30 minutes until 2 hours have passed).
13) Alimentary hypoglycemia occurs from a mismatch of insulin & carbohydrate and insulin generally caused by an abnormality of the stomach. A meal usually sits in your stomach & is slowly released, so that the carbohydrate absorption occurs over a prolonged period. For people who have stomach surgery to remove part of the stomach or who dumps most of the meal into the small intestine immediately, there is a very rapid absorption of the carbohydrate. The rapid carb. absorption can be followed by a very brisk insulin release. The big insulin release can drive the glucose level very low. Of all the causes of reactive hypoglycemia, this can be the most dangerous. Alimentary hypoglycemia has been reported to cause coma and seizures. Characteristicly the hypoglycemia from this cause occurs 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours after eating. It usually does not occur without a history of partial or total gastrectomy (stomach surgery) .


Can hypoglycemia be life-threatening? Yes, if it progresses beyond the autonomic symptoms stage, hypoglycemia can become life-threatening. Autonomic symptoms begin to occur in humans when the glucose concentration drops to the mid-50s mg/dl. Autonomic symptoms include: shakiness, pounding/racing heart, nervousness, anxiety, perspiration, tingling, feeling hungry, and sensing that the blood sugar is low.

If the hypoglycemic episode remains untreated, it progresses to the next stage where neuroglycopenic symptoms are observed: confusion, fatigue, drowsiness, warmth, difficulty speaking, incoordination, and odd behavior. It can progress to coma, seizures, and death at glucose levels in the 30s mg/dl or below.

If I had to make an educated guess, I'd venture to say that pretty much the same applies to other mammalian species but do not personally know at what mg/dl levels the above symptoms would be noted in gliders.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
I think that hypoglycemia is probably not the problem for most sugar gliders out there, and if it is, it is the diet that is the issue. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there is a difference between the hypoglycemia in people and other animals.


<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

As you can see from the above, diet itself does not cause hypoglycemia unless it is due to delaying or skipping a meal and/or eating too little food at a meal which can impact on glucose levels. In the majority of situations, there is either an underlying primary medical condition responsible for the secondary hypoglycemia symptoms being observed; or inducement of hypoglycemia because of certain drugs or liver damage from long-term alcohol abuse.

However, one thing of interest is the fact that excessive exercise can cause a hypoglycemic episode as such exercise changes the demands/requirements of the body with respect to glucose rather suddenly. Is there a possibility that excessive exercise by a glider could induce a hypoglycemic episode? Possibly but when this occurs, the body's automatic response is to stop such activity and glucose levels then begin to return to normal levels.

In situations where vets believe they are seeing a hypoglycemic condition in a glider, the vet really should do blood work to check glucose levels. Also, if a vet suspects hypoglycemia to have been involved in the death of a glider, a necropsy should be done to check the organs for signs of tumors that are known to cause hypoglycemia symptoms. This is the only way a definitive diagnosis can be made as to cause of death.


Edited by Glideroo (03/05/03 04:03 PM)

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#5535 - 03/10/03 07:49 PM Re: Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders? [Re: ]
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7353
Loc: Lexington, KY
Glideroo, you're amazing. I can't begin to add to that incredible reply, but I did want to add that if you're concerned about high levels of concentrated sugars, then you can always make sure that complex carbohydrates are used. For instance, applesauce vs. honey for sweeteners.

I think that part of the concern about hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia in gliders is unproven, and is theory. It will be interesting to watch this theory over time. It might be worth looking at, and it might just be something that gets discarded as unproven. But that's how we learn, so it's a good thing regardless.

It seems like most of the gliders I've had experience with who seemed to have sugar problems were in fact having calcium problems. But that's just my limited experience. I hope we can get more answers about this as time goes on --
_________________________


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#5536 - 06/06/03 01:19 PM Re: Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


[:"blue"] Excellent info Glideroo! I just came across this post and as it applies to something I have a good deal of personal knowledge and experience with, I thought I would add a couple of quick corrections. Just to avoid any possible confusion with something denoting a possible geographical location, let me point out that the grouping of cells responsible for insulin production in the pancreas of mammalian species is called the[/] [:"red"]islets of Langerhans[/][:"blue"] and NOT the[/][:"maroon"] Islands of Langerhans[/][:"blue"]. This may be a wonderful previously undisclosed vacation locale of which I'm unaware, but when referring to anatomy, it's important to use the correct names and descriptions to avoid any possible confusion. I'm sure Glideroo knew what this grouping of several hundred thousand cell clusters is actually called and just had a momentary block. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Now, on the following statement made however, I have to make a vitally important correction! With respect to hypoglycemia as a cause of death, Glideroo stated:[/][:"black"]

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
If the hypoglycemic episode remains untreated, it progresses to the next stage where neuroglycopenic symptoms are observed: confusion, fatigue, drowsiness, warmth, difficulty speaking, incoordination, and odd behavior. It can progress to coma, seizures, and death at glucose levels in the 30s mg/dl or below.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">[/]

[:"blue"] While it is possible to succumb to untreated hypoglycemic symptoms, it is HIGHLY improbable due to the body's ability to "regroup" and allow for glucose levels to begin the slow climb back to normal. If continual or prolonged disregard of symptoms were to continue, then yes, the body would eventually shut down and death would ensue, but it would NOT occur at readings of 30 mg/dL or below, in and of itself alone! I KNOW this to be fact, as both myself and my son are Type 1 diabetics who OFTEN have readings that dip below the normal range-(~70-120 mg/dL) into the 30's and 40's. I have had readings that were so low that an accurate reading was unable to be recorded by my own glucometers, EMT personnel equipment, or hospital equipment-(short of more elaborate testing at lab). This is not to dispute the fact that readings for ANY species that has dropped into the "mid 50's mg/dL" range that Glideroo mentioned above requires attention, but rather to clear up a misconception that many folks have about the lows.[/]

[:"red"] Bottom line:[/][:"blue"] Gliders have the physiology and anatomy to experience occasions of hypo-(low) OR hyper-(high) glycemic reactions, just as homo sapiens, canids, felines, etc. may experience...will this alone cause death?[/][:"red"] "NO"[/][:"blue"] Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia alone, without the extremely important referenced conditions outlined by Glideroo above, will NOT cause eminent demise in and of itself alone! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shakehead.gif" alt="" /> Again, this is not to say that lows ignored for prolonged periods or exacerbated by other medical conditions COULDN'T result in eventual death, as it's possible. Just rest assured that if you or your pet show a reading of say 32 mg/dL, that you or your pet will NOT die from it, but rather, it should serve as an important signal that medical intervention to seek underlying causation is certainly in order! [/]<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

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#5537 - 06/06/03 03:17 PM Re: Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just a small note: in researching this topic, I found more than one source that does indeed call the islets of Langerhans Islands of Langerhans. Apparently, it is a more accepted term for lay people.

Some herbal remedies (as part of diet) for hypoglycemia (in humans) include dandelion tea. Below is the recipe from Hubart Santilla's Natural Healing with Herbs

instructions: one cup of this tea half an hour before meals to act as a tonic on the liver and help regulate blood sugar levels.

1 part dandelion root (dried)
1 part calamus root
1 part gentian
1/4 part ginger
1/4 part cinnamin

sounds strange, but many of these herbal remedies had helped me with different ailments.

I don't know if a glider would drink this, but it is an option. Also read that diet shoud consist of: fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables (raw) and all kinds of sprouts. (Now, my gliders won't eat sprouts, I don't know about yours). one of the most important things was no meat or other animal products. So, I don't where protein would come in, further research of vegetable proteins would probably be a good idea. I don't know if tofu would aggravate it or not.

Just a different view. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />

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#5538 - 06/06/03 06:57 PM Re: Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


[:"blue"]Glidinforlove writes:[/] </font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Just a small note: in researching this topic, I found more than one source that does indeed call the islets of Langerhans Islands of Langerhans. Apparently, it is a more accepted term for lay people.


<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

FYI:[:"blue"] I wasn't trying to step on any toes here, but rather to correct a simple mistake.[/]

University of Illinois-College of Medicine, Atlas of Histology states: </font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Islets of Langerhans
An island (geographic) is a body of land surrounded by water. Islets (small islands) are one tissue type (endocrine) surrounded by another (exocrine). The islets produce polypeptide hormones, notably insulin and glucagon.



<hr /></blockquote><font class="post"> [b][:"blue"]Perhaps some use the term somewhat loosely and hopefully you'll forgive me for my tendency for compulsive correctness with respect to scientific details. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />As for homeopathic remedies and such, I'll refrain from sharing my own personal opinion on such questionable & controversial subject matter. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#5539 - 06/08/03 04:53 PM Re: Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />

I don't know if a glider would drink this, but it is an option. Also read that diet shoud consist of: fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables (raw) and all kinds of sprouts. (Now, my gliders won't eat sprouts, I don't know about yours).

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Both nuts and seeds are difficult for gliders to chew and/or digest. Did you mean a diet of "fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables (raw) and all kinds of sprouts" was appropriate for people with hypoglycemia? Maybe I misunderstood. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#5540 - 06/09/03 03:16 PM Re: Hypoglycemia in sugar gliders? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


This was a remedy that was given in the above mentioned book, for humans. True that gliders have trouble digesting these, this was more for the human hypoglycemic.

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