Laminitis is a result of progressing insulin resistance and the more it progresses the more the horse is susceptible to different triggers.


You know when you hear something and you just know it's right and all the pieces just fall into place, well I had one of them moments while listening to Dr Joseph Thomas. There is only one cause of laminitis and the rest are just triggers and the horse is more susceptible to further triggers the worse this cause gets. So say early on in the process the horse will be susceptible to carbohydrate overload, but later on, in the process wormer may cause it and when this condition has progressed to a full blown disease anything can trigger laminitis. Let me try and explain, Insulin resistance is when insulin levels are high, but the glucose level is normal. It's where cells resist the uptake of glucose, so the pancreas produces more insulin to compensate. 10 units of insulin are needed to push 1 unit of glucose into a cell and this is normal. An example of insulin resistance would be anything between say 50 to 2000 units to push 1 unit of glucose. So there a lot of stages to get from 10 units to 2000 plus and eventually diabetes. Insulin signalling is a stimulation for the cell to respond. Insulin signals also control the dilation of blood vessels, capillaries etc. So it controls the blood flow of the body and if it needs extra blood in a certain area. When cells become more resistant to glucose their utilisation decreases and the cell walls get damaged. The more the cell walls are damaged the more insulin is produced by the pancreas. This cell damage is always greater in the extremities i.e. the hoof, unfortunately, this is exactly where it is needed for strength and laminar connection. Horses and humans for that matter can only maintain high insulin levels for a short period and if the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin then blood sugar levels rise and the onset of what is known as diabetes. If you have high insulin levels causing cell wall damage this, in turn, weakens hoof wall connection and alters the inflammatory responses and you are more likely to have a runner way inflammatory response (laminitis) form a trigger such as a carbohydrate overload. So laminitis is a consequence of this cell wall damage and a result of progressing insulin resistance and the more it progresses the more the horse is susceptible to different triggers .

© Copyright 2015 Chris Simpson