Modern Medicine, Old-Fashioned Care

Nov 13, 2020 | Holistic Pet Care

Using Herbal Remedies to Treat Diabetes in Pets

An increasing number of dog and cat owners are seeking out herbal remedies to treat diabetes in pets and discovering incredibly promising results.

Diabetes in domestic cats and dogs has gradually become a real and widespread problem throughout American homes. A lack of exercise associated with domesticity, and an abundance of non-nutritious food options, have contributed to the issue, making a healthy lifestyle that focuses on diet and exercise vital to successful treatment and prevention.

Many modern veterinarians prescribe herbal remedies to treat diabetes in pets. Such treatments help to promote nutrient and pharmaceutical absorption, while the appropriate use of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to support the immune and digestive systems. Likewise, many natural herbs and supplements can effectively help to:

  • Lower blood glucose levels
  • Decrease inflammation that promotes diabetes
  • Reverse insulin resistance while prompting natural insulin production in the body
  • Eliminate the need for unpleasant injections
  • Produce results with no significant side effects

Some of the most common herbal remedies for treating diabetes in pets include:

  • Fenugreek: This common cooking herb and spice hails from India and is commonly eaten in the same manner as sunflower seeds. It has been shown to be effective in diabetes by decreasing the rate of sugar absorption into the blood.
  • Bitter melon: A product of Africa and Asia, bitter melon is a mineral and fiber-rich vegetable that in addition to having antiviral and anti-cancer properties, improves insulin production and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Cornsilk: The style of Zea mays (cornsilk) has been used extensively in Chinese medicine to reduce blood glucose levels, while also preventing kidney damage due to diabetic nephropathy.
  • Gymnema: Enter the “sugar destroyer,” as it’s known in Ayurvedic medicine for its leaves’ flavor-slaying properties which dull the taste of sugar, specifically. Acids in gymnema prevent glucose levels from spiking after a meal by lowering glucose levels, and clinical studies suggest it may be an effective herbal treatment for treating diabetes in pets, reducing blood sugar levels over time. It also increases natural insulin production from the pancreas.

It is relevant to think of diabetes mellitus as an inflammatory disease. There are many factors that are involved in promoting and perpetuating inflammation in the body. Suffice it to say, that chronic inflammation is a common thread in much medical ailments in modern times. As such, the inflammatory state of the body serves as a risk factor for diabetes by disrupting the normal insulin secreting function of the pancreas, as well as interfering with insulin directly.

With the above in mind, treating inflammation is another component of treating diabetes. Many herbal treatments have significant anti-inflammatory activity. A good example of this approach is turmeric, which can improve success in managing diabetes by diminishing the inflammatory state of the body.

Many Chinese herbal formulas also address inflammation, and may also be used to treat diabetes. The strength of Chinese medicine is to recognize the individuality of the patient and an herbal formula is chosen in accord with the patient’s strengths and weaknesses, rather than chosen for a particular medical diagnosis.

Managed properly, diabetes does not have to be debilitating for your dog or cat. Time, effort, and diligent lifestyle changes involving diet and exercise can help our diabetic pets to have healthy and happy lives. Be sure to consult with your pet’s veterinarian before adding any new supplements into your pet’s diet. Doylestown Veterinary Hospital offers a highly individualized approach to wellness with more effective treatment and improved outcomes. Call 267-609-9363 to schedule an appointment.