Is insulin required with a zero carb diet?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Kristin Fiore, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Kristin Fiore

    Kristin Fiore New Member

    Feb 5, 2019
    I went to the vet today and asked if it is only carbs that require insulin, and she said yes. It stands to reason that if a cat eats zero carbs, they would not need insulin.

    Also, it's been said that diabetic cats without insulin will starve to death, but don't the fats and protein help with that? If the insulin truly only works on the carbohydrates and glucose, I would think the fats and protein would still help.
  2. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    A few cats that have diabetes and change to a low carb diet are lucky enough to go into remission. But most cats will need insulin. Some need it for a short time, some for a long time and some forever.
    So on the whole your vet is wrong.
    I fed Sheba a raw homemade no carb diet and she needed insulin for the rest of her life. I know of other cats that are also on a no carb diet and need insulin. If the cat needs insulin and doesn't get it, it will indeed end up starving to death, even if it is on a no carb diet.
    If your cat's blood glucose levels are not in the normal range than he will need insulin.
  3. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2013
    That's not how it works......Think of insulin like it's a "key"......on every cell in the body there's a "lock"....No matter how much the cat eats, without the right number of keys, the glucose from ANY type of nutrition (protein, fat, carbs, etc) can't get into the cells.

    Every cell in the body requires glucose to live and all types of food eventually break down into glucose. If there's not enough insulin, the glucose stays in the bloodstream (thus the high blood glucose levels) but the cells are still starving to death.
  4. Gracie85

    Gracie85 Member

    Oct 20, 2018
    If you don't eat any carbs, no starch, no sugars, your body would still make glucose out of the protein and fats you eat, to send out into your bloodstream to be circulated to feed your cells. It's what they run on, it's what they need. If you aren't making insulin properly, your blood glucose levels will still get out of whack.

    Eating carbs and sugars just sends the glucose into the bloodstream much more quickly when you eat. A normal body responds by sending insulin in the appropriate amounts right away. A diabetic body cannot do this, and your blood glucose levels rise very rapidly to much higher levels than if you eat non-carb food. But without a properly functioning body making appropriate amounts of insulin in response to whatever the body eats and metabolizes, blood glucose levels will still be out of control.
    Elizabeth and Bertie likes this.
  5. flyingduster

    flyingduster Member

    Jan 21, 2019
    The organs NEED glucose. The body NEEDS glucose to survive. It is a basic need of the body. Their body will starve if it cannot utilise the glucose.

    If their organs are unable to access the glucose in the blood, the body will burn its own fat and muscle up in an attempt to fuel the organs. This isn’t sustainable. It will starve the body.

    Carbs are not the only food that is processed as glucose, they are just the ones that are processed almost totally (and quite quickly) as glucose and that cats don’t really need due to their evolutional dietary needs.

    If your cat has zero carbs, it certainly can help to prevent super high BG levels, but they still metabolise zero carb food in to glucose, and if the body is genuinely not producing enough insulin then their body is still unable to access the glucose in their bloodstream. They will still have BGL that are too high and still need insulin in order to access their glucose.

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