Some people with Type 1 diabetes have trained their pups to alert them when their blood sugar is dangerously low. How do they do it?
It turns out that the key is the sense of smell. Researchers at the University of Cambridge published results this week of a new study finding that during a hypoglycemic attack, dogs can detect a spike of the naturally occurring chemical "isoprene" on their owner's breath. "Humans aren't sensitive to the presence of isoprene, but dogs with their incredible sense of smell, find it easy to identify," Mark Evans, honorary consultant physician at Addenbrooke's Hospital, University of Cambridge," said in a statement.
The researchers hope to develop new detectors in the future that can take advantage of this finding by measuring isoprene levels in diabetics.