Re: Fluoridated water supply & Cushings - is there a link?

Joan and Dazzle

Hi (do you have a name?)!

Welcome to the group. What IS known about Cushings disease is that
it is a pituiary adenoma. Oxidative damage occurs.

Although there is a lot about fluoride toxicity and some very
popular videos out there, the reality is that there has not been
shown to be a link to Cushings.

What is a link to Cushings? 1. Age. 2. Age. 3. Oxidative stress. Oh
yeah, by the way, did I mention Age?

Some of the changes associated with Cushings disease are common with
all aging horses.

We recommend an ACTH test to test for Cushings. This is a single
blood draw and is safe for horses. In a very small percentage of
cases, dex suppression can cause laminitis. We find this small risk

But what we do know about the ACTH is that it rises in the fall. For
those of us in the northern hemisphere, this is September. On the
other side of the world, it would be March. For younger horses,
there is a rise in September, then by October, it's back to normal.
As horses age, you find that the ACTH rises higher and stays higher

One of the difficulties in diagnosing Cushings is that early on in
the disease, the horse may only have issues in the fall. If you test
those horses in April (here in the northern hemisphere), they will
test normal. But in the fall, the acth goes so high that they can't
cope with it. Those horses may only need pergolide a few months out
of the year.

As time goes on, the acth number goes very high and stays very high.
The horse is unable to get the number back down after it's up there.
Those horses will need pergolide all year around.

We are very pro-active in recommending an adequate diagnosis for the
horses. Some vets confuse insulin resistance with Cushings disease,
although they are clearly two separate items. Cushings disease is
treated with pergolide. Insulin resistance is treated with diet.

The reason that we strongly recommend a diagnosis is not because
we're worried about if the horse has long shaggy fur. We worry
because many horses are first diagnosed with Cushings when they have
a bout of laminitis. We try to avoid that at all costs.

Pergolide has been shown to be the most effective drug that we know
of in the treatment of Cushings disease. We can measure how
effective our dosage is by measuring the acth levels. On pergolide,
the goal is to have a normal acth level. You can adjust the dosage
to get the levels normal.

Here in the US, we are seeing many more cases of Cushings than we
did before. Why? More horses are living to older ages.

Also here in the US, we are seeing many more cases of insulin
resistance than we did before. Why? We have more horses that are
overweight than we used to have. Also, we have richer feeds than we
used to have.

So, there are many things that *could* be linked to Cushings and
insulin resistance. We do know that iron overload can drive insulin
resistance. The oxidative damage from the iron plays havoc with many
different body systems.

Long and short? I doubt that there's the link to fluoride, but I
really don't know for sure.

Joan and Dazzle

--- In EquineCushings@..., "jenalfriston"
<jenalfriston@...> wrote:


I am new to this group, from New Zealand, and have an 18 year old
t/bred with Cushings. Some of my endless googling has led me to
information about fluoride toxicity in humans and horses. We are
municipal water (fluoridated) on our farm and this is my third
to develop these symptoms in the last 10 years, plus a friend's
who used to live here - those three are already deceased :-(. In
frantic search for a common denominator I would be interested to
how many of you out there are on fluoridated water. It may well
impossible to collect any data on this but the incidence of
here in NZ doesn't seem to be very high and I know most horse
properties here are not on town water and rely on either rainwater
bores/wells. I was wondering if it is the same in the USA?

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