Diabetes: More Than Insulin

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Diabetes: More than Just Insulin

A quick look at Type 2 diabetes in contrast with Type 1 because there’s so much more to this invisible disability than people know.

Although diabetes is extremely common in the US, diagnosed in over 29 million Americans, knowledge of medication is somewhat limited.  Most education focuses solely on prevention, keeping the population in the dark about what their treatment options are in terms of medication.  Many people assume that there are two extremes of type 2 diabetes, those who are insulin dependent and those who are not. However, there are many diabetes medications available that your doctor might prescribe – it doesn’t start and end with injecting insulin.  Being aware of the drug treatments available helps adjusting to your diabetic medication routine easier, particularly since your medication needs may change over time.

If you have just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you’re likely to be put on metformin. Metformin helps your body use insulin more effectively by making the tissues of your body more sensitive to insulin.  However, metformin is not a miracle drug on its own and does have some side effects such as Combined with weight loss and exercise, this medication lowers your blood glucose to more ideal levels.  The next line of defense are sulfonylureas and meglitinides.  Under the brand names DiaBeta, Glynase, Gluctotrol, Amaryl, Prandin, and Starlix both of these types of medications help the body secrete more insulin.  Although these medications do have some side effects, such as weight gain and low blood sugar there is less risk with meglitinides because this class of drugs stays in the body for less time. There are also new medications called SGLT2 inhibitors that act defensively by preventing your kidneys from reabsorbing whatever sugar is in your blood, which may help prevent insulin responses and diabetes complications.  

Contrary to type 1 diabetes where insulin therapy is the first line of treatment since they can’t produce their own insulin, it is the last step of treatment depending on how your type 2 diabetes is progressing. Insulin is always injected, comes in many types, and its dosage varies by both time of day and amount. Some people may inject insulin in the morning, some at night, and others only need one long lasting shot each day and all administration is demonstrated by your doctor.  Keep in mind, these are only a few of the types of diabetes medications you may encounter and thoroughly educating yourself on your options as well as your current medications makes coping with your type 2 diabetes easier.

Type One Children And Eating

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Frequently parents of Type one children find themselves obsessing about every piece of food consumed by their children. While this is a natural response to the invisible disability, nurturing healthy habits in diabetic children and teaching them to trust their internal regulators is an essential part to controlling their disease. Rather than micro managing each type of meal, which can be extremely stressful to both parent and child, there are a few ways to raise responsible eaters who learn to manage their type one on their own (or with the help of their Diabetic Alert Dog).

  1. Developing A Taste For The Good Stuff- This means nurturing a like for healthy foods that help balance their glycemic index. The most important part of taking care of Type one and Type two is learning to love fresh, clean ingredients. As parents, you have the power to choose the meal options laid out before your child. Making meals that are full of healthy food part of their daily routine is easier than you might think. A recent study has shown that when given the choice between veggies and fruits or processed foods most children have a natural ability to choose what’s best for them without overindulging in sweets. Yes your type one child will still want frozen yogurt with his friends, but that’s because he’s a child. Rather than stressing what food they cannot have, focus on preparing dishes that nourish their bodies and help them develop a desire for the good before the processed.
  2. Provide A Schedule For Blood Sugar Maintenance– In addition to developing a preference for healthy food, following an eating schedule is extremely beneficial for blood sugar maintenance and weight management. From professional athletes to nutritionists, everyone seems to agree that having a schedule not only trains your body to know when to expect food but also helps people from over eating or mindless eating. For type one children, following an eating schedule can mean fewer highs and lows which translates to less injections, emergency room visits, and more.
  3. Removing The Stress From Eating- As parents of Diabetic children, many of you have experienced the emergency low/high requiring a snack immediately. While this may seem like a minor issue from the outside, the adrenaline provoking situation can be traumatizing for everyone involved. Emergency snacks tend to add a lot of pressure onto your type one child creating a negative association around eating times. Ensure that your non-emergency meals are devoid of stressful conversations and environments. Also, a Diabetic Alert Dog can frequently alert 20-40 minutes before a dramatic change in blood sugar happens giving you time to respond to an alert rather than react to an emergency low.

SDWR and Sundance

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SDWR is proud to a part of such an amazing film. In this years, Sundance Film Festival, features the documentary Midnight Three & Six which shows a mother’s efforts to manage her daughter’s daily struggle with a life-threatening condition: Type I diabetes. You will find that one of our diabetic alert dogs play an important role in helping this family cope with diabetes. We firmly believe that until there is a cure…there is a dog.

Heartwarming Diabetes Alert Dog Stories

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You might be wondering, how does a service dog help with diabetes? A diabetes detection dog functions to detect highs and lows in blood sugar, and notify their owners, family members and others of fluctuation in blood sugar. Here are a few heartwarming stories from individuals who owe the stability in their lives to their Diabetic alert dog:

Tzaylie & OJ

Tzaylie has been hard at work, yet again.(Yes, she’s had her share of naps, but she has EARNED them!)

Today my sugars kept her on her toes!

This morning she slept thru a low – unusual for her, but not unexpected given her age – I woke up at 5 till 6 with a 39.

Large OJ, breakfast, sky high then for HOURS – poor girl was going NUTS!

Alerting, crying, wanting me to be in range again & not understanding why it wasn’t happening when clearly Mom was doing what she needed to in order to fix it – but that is life with T1D (type 1 diabetes).

Then mid-afternoon I had come down enough to have lunch (high sugars kill my appetite).

Then 10 minutes before I was due to leave work… she sits next to me & calmly puts her paw on my knee. A big-girl alert! YES!!

And my sugar was still in range, but with insulin still active in my system from my late lunch, I would not have stayed in range for long if I didn’t turn my pump off for a bit & have a couple glucose tabs. Which I did, so I was able to safely drive home, on time!

That would have made me happy enough, to have done this exact thing two days in a row – but tonight she’s been non-stop to a sugar level that just wants to fall… lots of OJ later, and she’s finally sleeping peacefully – guess that’s my sign that I too can safely go to bed! I just love my pup – she gets better and better week by week!

She has kept me safe, at home, at the office & on the road! She is, even though she is only 7 months old, living up to every expectation and is proving her worth in gold!

Here’s another great story about a diabetes detection dog, Nevaeh.

The Disinger Family & Nevaeh


We were very very very pleased to have had Jen and Noah come to our home. She delivered Nevaeh and Sierra had no idea she was coming early. Hed training skills/techniques are amazing. Soon as she took Nevaeh out of the car Sierra held her and she alerted immediately. She was high and has ran high for a few days.

Today we went to a local grocery store and Nevaeh started acting “different” when sierra would walk she kept wanting to sit she just didnt act right she still kept her manners, so Jen snd Sierra stepped outside to see if she needed to potty that was a negative. My oldest son said I think its her sugar so they came back in and checked she was 50 very shaky Sierra didnt feel that low but Nevaeh knew.

She is an amazing dog, we are very pleased with her she has been doing night alerts since day one. We love Jen too we just cannot say enough about her. Our family just clicked with her, we had some great talks.

Public access training went great too!!! Nevaeh did awesome in public. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts Dan. We had several people ask for info about SDWR while we were out. You may get a ohone call or two or three lol. Thanks again Dan and all at SDWR

We are in love,

Disinger Family

Adding Change to Your Life

The benefits of a diabetes detection dog are intangible for Diabetics and their families. You will forever be grateful for the love, security, and safety that your Diabetic alert dog will provide. If you’re still wondering, how does a service dog help with diabetes? then contact SDWR today.

Always There

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Living with an invisible disability is hard on not only the person who lives with it, but for those that care for them as well. Today we would like to start our day off with a story from a mother whose hardest part of letting go as her daughter wasn’t the fear that she might not come home every weekend to visit, but that she might not be there for her in the event of a medical emergency.

I remember back in March of last year talking… and crying to Dan on the phone.

You see the day before talking to Dan, Abby was at a friends house spending the night. I called her that morning as always and her friend answered screaming that Abby was having a seizure.

Well 911 was called and she was taken care of but I couldn’t stop thinking about the what if’s? She was going away to school that fall and that scared me, her father and even Abby.

She was even thinking that she didn’t want to go away anymore. Well I couldn’t let Abby not live her life!

I wasn’t going to let this disease take anything else from her. That’s when I called Dan, so glad did!

Abby is back at school with her new guardian angel, Draco. I called her this morning (yes I still do that) and she tells me that Draco woke her up with a bg of 70 and dropping fast.

Ringing her bell, and alerting.

He possibly could have saved my baby girls life this morning!

Well sorry this ran long but I just had so much on my heart this morning and I needed to share how amazing Draco is doing! Thanks Dan for all you and your wonderful staff do for us.

Where is the one place you can’t be with someone you care for? Would you feel safer knowing they are being watched over? If you or someone you know could benefit from having a Diabetic Alert Dog, please contact us today.

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