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MEDIA RELEASE

CONTACT:
Cindy Ficorelli
Phone: (810) 606-6270
Fax: (810) 606-6279
caficorelli@genesys.org

11/08/2012

Dogs trained to help diabetes patients in trouble

(GENESEE COUNTY, MI) Service dogs can be trained to help perform many tasks - guiding people who are blind, alerting individuals who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, or protecting a person having a seizure, to name a few. Dogs also can receive training to help those with diabetes.
The Genesys Diabetes and Nutrition Learning Center will feature this topic at its next support group meeting, Thursday, Nov. 15 from 1:30 pm to 3 pm.

Diabetes alert dogs are trained to use their highly sensitive scent capabilities to identify changes in a person's blood chemistry that occurs during rapid changes in blood sugar levels. The dogs can sense when glucose levels are dropping in people with diabetes, and alert the individual to take action quickly.

Some dogs have more than 200 million sensors that can smell individual scents. In patients with diabetes, rapid changes in blood sugar levels cause chemical changes in the body that the trained dog can smell through the person's breath and skin.

Dogs are trained to notify the individual in a specific, identifiable way - for example, it could be to touch the person with their nose, sit and stare at the person, jump up on the person, or place a certain toy in their mouth.

To learn more about these diabetes response dogs, reserve a seat at the Genesys diabetes support group Thursday, Nov. 15. Call 606-7720.

The group is free and open to individuals with diabetes, as well as their family and friends.

The Genesys Diabetes and Nutrition Learning Center is located on the Genesys Regional Medical Center - Health Park campus in Grand Blanc Township.

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