Re: Insulin & glucose results...not good?


<G:I ratio is 2.97.  Is there anything else I can do to decrease her risk of laminitis?


Hi Erin,


A few thoughts about  Bella’s IR:

Since you are using ZinPro as your source of zinc, Bella may not be getting the full benefit of zinc supplementation. PolyCopper is also recommended over copper sulfate for solubility reasons.  These might be factors for high insulin, since Dr Kellon’s ECIR method of mineral balancing does help control IR. (Uckele sent out an email this morning that there is 10% off orders today (Dec 18-2014) only.)  Since Bella is still having problems, for the sake of $25, I’d be getting the poly minerals.

Dr Kellon:  “The poly minerals are inorganics (sulfates) wrapped with a polysaccharide coating. They are liberated close to the intestinal lining by digestion of their coating. This helps protect minerals like copper which are poorly soluble in the small intestine. I prefer Poly Zn for people mixing their own minerals because it's easier to measure accurately, but otherwise use zinc sulfate.

     … chelates are not distributed evenly throughout the body. They end up in higher concentrations in tissues that have high levels of whichever amino acid they are chelated to. Also, one big reason for balancing in the first place is to give all minerals a chance for absorption that is in proportion to their required levels. If you use chelated minerals, that effect is lost.”


Since you have said you’ve balanced the hay yourself, strongly suggest having someone who has more experience with this check your calculations.  There is more to balancing hay than only adjusting the mineral ratios.  NRC requirements must be met, and at the same time health status must be considered.  Agree with adjusting the magnesium as suggested.


Also keep in mind that cold (less than 40-45F) can also increase insulin (but do not discount the importance of a correctly mineral balanced diet):


You might also research if the herbs (nettle, cats claw, milk thistle) you are feeding have any effect on glucose, insulin or insulin resistance.


Also, daily walks (20 min. minimum) when she is able, helps IR.  Recommended BCS is around 5.  Bella is at BCS 6-7, so still has some weight to lose that is contributing to her IR.


The change in Bella’s personality from sweet to crabby might be due to not feeling well from winter laminitis.   When footsore, they can develop sore muscles due to less movement and trying to hold themselves differently due to pain.  Massages with liniment, followed by covering with a warmed blanket have been helpful for us.


We always do ACTH, glucose and insulin whenever we do bloodwork to assess if the pergolide dose is adequate.  My observation is that the horses on this list that do the best over time have their ACTH kept under control, and you only know that by testing.  Bella might need more pergolide.  Despite doing all we could with diet and exercise, we found that we needed more pergolide to get the G:I ratio into normal range.



SW Ontario, Canada.   March 2005

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