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Old 09-16-2022, 01:39 PM   #1
heidii
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Default Diabetic Hamster Food

I was on the Rodipet website earlier looking at getting my Syrian hamster some more food, but I noticed they have a food for diabetic/diabetic-prone species. I was just wondering if anyone has tried it out or had any thoughts about it. It states that is designed to prevent insulin peaks, but just not too educated on the matter. Here is the food.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:30 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

Yes, i used to feed that to my hybrid dwarf hamsters but don't know if it does anything to prevent diabetes. I'm inclined to think that the 'prevent insulin peaks' could mean that it doesn't have added sugars. It is a good hamster mix though.
I had a diabetic dwarf hybrid but his diabetes was already advanced when i adopted him at 5 months old.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

Yeah, I just figured for the dwarves I take in, it would be worthwhile to keep it about. Thanks Ria
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Old 09-16-2022, 03:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

I think it's the artichoke (?) in it that's supposed to balance things out to prevent insulin peaks.
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Old 09-19-2022, 05:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

Unfortunately no amount of dietary changes is going to be able to pevent the disease in a hamster that has a gentic predisposition to it so the key is trying to manage the condition as best you can.

I have unfortunately had many diabetic hamsters in my time due to the fact that I've been keeping Chinese Hamsters for over ten years now and I've tended to use either Burgess Dwarf, which sadly isn't available any more or Harry Hamster as that does not use any sugars to make the food more palatable.

There is some information here about the management of diabetes in hamsters from Vectis Hamstery, a former Chinese Hamster breeder which might be worth a read: Chinese Hamster Diabetes Management - Vectis Hamstery

Last edited by Fluffagrams; 09-20-2022 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Fixed spellings
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Old 09-19-2022, 11:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

Oh, that's interesting. I figured the avoidance of high sugars/insulin peaks could somewhat prevent diabetes from manifesting in the hamster, genetic predisposition or not. I thought seeing how that is how it works with people, it would be relatively similar to hamsters. Like, despite the predisposition being there, as long as the right environmental factors are put in place, you may be able to avoid it?
I'll have a read on that link you sent
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Old 09-19-2022, 11:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

I think it's still a very healthy food and that can only help with general health. It's organic, apparently developed with vets, and says it's "especially tailored to the needs of dwarf hamsters with a high risk of developing diabetes".

What that means isn't quite clear! But it's possible that the right diet might slow the onset possible (even if, genetically the hamster will get diabetes) or perhaps just allow them to live better with diabetes (ie keep up general health so they can handle the effects better or something).

I have no idea how scientific it is, but they have clearly put some thought into making a hybrid specific food which is probably more suitable than other foods. And also sugar free.

This article says that Inulin from Jerusalem Artichokes alleviates hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) in high fat diet induced diabetes. Which may not be the same as genetically predisosed diabetes. But I guess anything that helps reduce blood sugar levels may help reduce the severity of diabetes - if that makes sense.

In humans there are two types of diabetes. One can be managed by diet (late onset diabetes, often from fatty or sugary diets or being overweight I think and starts later in life) one needs insulin (a genetic condition I think and usually starts in younger people).

Assume the type in dwarf hamsters is the genetic insulin related one.

Warning - the article used mice to develop findings (ie experimentally).

Reducing blood sugar levels could help in some way but probably wouldn't cure diabetes or prevent a genetic disposition to it (I believe Vectis said insulin did help some hamsters with diabetes).

The diet has to be better than most dwarf hamster diets I guess, and it has good protein levels but I wouldn't expect miracles from it.

Inulin from Jerusalem artichoke tubers alleviates hyperglycaemia in high-fat-diet-induced diabetes mice through the intestinal microflora improvement | British Journal of Nutrition | Cambridge Core

Am now curious to know if dwarf hamsters can get type 2 (diet/late onset) as well as type 1 (insulin related) diabetes.
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Old 09-19-2022, 12:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

To answer one of your other questions, I know quite a few people used to use it for dwarf hamsters (perhaps a lot of them not on here any more). I tried that and the standard dwarf hamster food and found one of them too herby smelling (but can't remember which one!) I use the Bunny Dwarf dream expert one for our robo - although it's not hybrid specific like the rodipet one.
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Old 09-19-2022, 05:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

I only use the expert one for all my dwarves at the minute. To be fair, I foundt he rodipet quite herby itself. At least the teddy mix.
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Old 09-20-2022, 02:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: Diabetic Hamster Food

I looked into it recently and it seems likely that hamster diabetes doesn't fit perfectly into either human type 1 or type 2. Type 1 diabetes is caused by autoimmune damage to the pancreas leading to insufficient insulin production. It usually comes on quickly in children or young people but can develop in older adults and there is also a slow-developing form. Type 2 diabetes is initially caused by insulin resistance (where there is enough insulin but it doesn't work properly, usually the result of obesity/poor diet etc but not always, especially if there is a strong genetic predisposition) but chronically high blood sugar levels can damage the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin which is why some people with tpe 2 diabetes need insulin as well. Also people with type 1 diabetes can develop insulin resistance too.

Chinese hamsters with diabetes seem to have insufficient insulin which would make it seem a bit more similar to type 1 but can't be identical or they would all die very soon after onset which doesn't always happen. I don't think diabetes in Russian dwarfs has been studied.

Regardless of the type of diabetes, a diet that places less demand on the pancreas has got to be part of the answer, so no sugars or refined carbohydrates. In humans a low carb diet is quite helpful but I'm not sure how feasible that is with hamsters which naturally eat mostly grains. The Rodipet diet I'm sure is better than the average hamster food containing fruits, processed pellets and so on.
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