diabetestalk.net

How Did Diabetes Get Its Name?

The History Of Diabetes

The History Of Diabetes

Scientists and physicians have been documenting the condition now known as diabetes for thousands of years. From the origins of its discovery to the dramatic breakthroughs in its treatment, many brilliant minds have played a part in the fascinating history of diabetes. Diabetes: Its Beginnings The first known mention of diabetes symptoms was in 1552 B.C., when Hesy-Ra, an Egyptian physician, documented frequent urination as a symptom of a mysterious disease that also caused emaciation. Also around this time, ancient healers noted that ants seemed to be attracted to the urine of people who had this disease. In 150 AD, the Greek physician Arateus described what we now call diabetes as "the melting down of flesh and limbs into urine." From then on, physicians began to gain a better understanding about diabetes. Centuries later, people known as "water tasters" diagnosed diabetes by tasting the urine of people suspected to have it. If urine tasted sweet, diabetes was diagnosed. To acknowledge this feature, in 1675 the word "mellitus," meaning honey, was added to the name "diabetes," meaning siphon. It wasn't until the 1800s that scientists developed chemical tests to detect the presence of sugar in the urine. Diabetes: Early Treatments As physicians learned more about diabetes, they began to understand how it could be managed. The first diabetes treatment involved prescribed exercise, often horseback riding, which was thought to relieve excessive urination. In the 1700s and 1800s, physicians began to realize that dietary changes could help manage diabetes, and they advised their patients to do things like eat only the fat and meat of animals or consume large amounts of sugar. During the Franco-Prussian War of the early 1870s, the French physician Apollinaire Bouchardat noted Continue reading >>

Treating Diabetes: 1921 To The Present Day

Treating Diabetes: 1921 To The Present Day

The lives of people with diabetes has changed considerably in 50 years. They now have specific tools and easier access to information than ever before. The healthcare professionals who treat them also know more about the complexity of the disease, and which treatments work best. Pending the next medical revolution, Diabetes Québec is demanding the implementation of a national strategy to fight diabetes – a strategy founded on education, prevention, support and treatment. The last 60 years have clearly demonstrated that people with diabetes who are well informed, properly supported and treated appropriately live longer lives in better health. The discovery of insulin and glycemic control Insulin, discovered in 1921 by the legendary Banting, Best and MacLeod collaboration, is nothing short of a miracle. Worldwide, it has saved thousands of patients from certain death. Before the discovery of insulin, diabetics were doomed. Even on a strict diet, they could last no more than three or four years. However, despite the many types of insulin and the first oral hypoglycemic agents that came to market around 1957 in Canada, glycemia control – the control of blood glucose (sugar) levels – still remains an imprecise science. In the 1950s, the method a person used to control his blood glucose levels was to drop a reagent tablet into a small test tube containing a few drops of urine mixed with water. The resulting colour – from dark blue to orange – indicated the amount of sugar in the urine. Even when they monitored their patients closely, doctors realized that blood glucose levels had to be much better controlled in order to delay the major complications significantly affecting their patients’ lives: blindness, kidney disease, gangrene, heart attack and stroke. A disc Continue reading >>

World Diabetes Day: How To Spot The Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

World Diabetes Day: How To Spot The Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

14 November is World Diabetes Day. Comprising hundreds of campaigns, activities, screenings, lectures and meetings, the aim of World Diabetes Day is to spread information about diabetes and raise awareness of the condition. The date also marks the birthday of the man who co-discovered insulin in 1922, Frederick Banting, who . While the 10% of those with Type 1 diabetes are usually diagnosed from an early age, the 90% of sufferers with Type 2 can develop the disease at any age. Shadow Home secretary Diane Abbott, Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and tennis great Billie Jean-King all suffer from Type 2, while Prime Minister Theresa May is a Type 1 diabetic. May has been a vocal supporter of World Diabetes Day tweeting: “When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it came as a shock. But to all of you with diabetes, on World Diabetes Day, I want to say this: Type 1 Diabetes should not stop you from fulfilling your ambitions.” Here’s what you need to know about Type 2 and how to spot the symptoms: What is Type 2 diabetes? Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin to control the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Patients with Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for ten per cent of cases, cannot produce any insulin, while the 90 per cent with Type 2 either don't produce enough or their cells do not react to it. Yes and growing. Diabetes UK says the disease is "the fastest growing health threat of our times and an urgent public health issue". One person every two minutes is diagnosed with diabetes and almost 3.5 million people in the UK have the disease - more than double the level 20 years ago. In addition, there are an estimated 1.1 million Britons who have not yet been diagnosed. How do you develop diabetes? Type 2 diabetes usually develop Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Overview Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. The hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 – where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin type 2 – where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin These pages are about type 1 diabetes. Other types of diabetes are covered separately (read about type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes, which affects some women during pregnancy). Symptoms of diabetes Typical symptoms of type 1 diabetes are: feeling very thirsty passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night feeling very tired weight loss and loss of muscle bulk The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop very quickly in young people (over a few days or weeks). In adults, the symptoms often take longer to develop (a few months). Read more about the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. These symptoms occur because the lack of insulin means that glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy. Your body tries to reduce blood glucose levels by getting rid of the excess glucose in your urine. It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible, because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. Find your local GP service Read about how type 1 diabetes is diagnosed. Causes of type 1 diabetes Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which means your immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake. In this case, it attacks the cells in your pancreas. Your damaged pancreas is then unable to produce insulin. So, glucose cannot be moved out of your bloodstream and into your cells. Type 1 diabetes is o Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Print Overview Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body's important source of fuel. With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. More common in adults, type 2 diabetes increasingly affects children as childhood obesity increases. There's no cure for type 2 diabetes, but you may be able to manage the condition by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren't enough to manage your blood sugar well, you also may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy. Symptoms Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, you can have type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. Look for: Increased thirst and frequent urination. Excess sugar building up in your bloodstream causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues. This may leave you thirsty. As a result, you may drink — and urinate — more than usual. Increased hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your cells, your muscles and organs become depleted of energy. This triggers intense hunger. Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, you may lose weight. Without the ability to metabolize glucose, the body uses alternative fuels stored in muscle and fat. Calories are lost as excess glucose is released in the urine. Fatigue. If your cells are deprived of sugar, you may become tired and irritable. Blurred vision. If your blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your eyes. This may affect your ability to focus. Slow-healing sores o Continue reading >>

The Word “diabetic”…does It Offend You?

The Word “diabetic”…does It Offend You?

A few years ago I was having a discussion with a parent of a type 1, Cynthia Rissler, about her son, Shane, and I asked her how long he has been a diabetic? Upset by the question, she quickly told me that her son has diabetes, but he is not a diabetic. Shane also shares a bit of his diagnosis story in this short video. Here, Cynthia explains the difference of calling someone a “diabetic” or a “person with diabetes.” Shane with MLB pro, Matt Kemp, from the Dodgers. Cynthia: When you are a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes you’re still the same person. Just because you have diabetes it does not mean that the disease is allowed to name you. It can never change who you really are. How do you respond when someone refers to Shane as a Diabetic? Cynthia: He is a child who has diabetes by no fault of his own. He did not choose this. It was an attack on his immune system. When was the first time that Shane was referred to as a “Diabetic”? Cynthia: The weeks that followed after Shane was diagnosed (age 5) were very hard. We were still learning so much ourselves but now we also had to teach Shane’s school about his needs. Unfortunately, the front office staff kept referring to Shane as “The Diabetic” as if he did not have a name anymore. He was “The Diabetic Child.” The office would call him into the health office and say, “Could you send in the diabetic for his shot?” How did Shane feel when he was called “the Diabetic?” Cynthia: Can you imagine how a five year old felt being “labeled?” It took away from who he was. The awesome little baseball player who proudly wore the “9” on his shirt like his favorite Dodger. The little boy who had dreams of becoming a Dodger, was now a “diabetic.” How did you improve the situation? Cynthi Continue reading >>

The Discovery Of Insulin

The Discovery Of Insulin

Before the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a feared disease that most certainly led to death. Doctors knew that sugar worsened the condition of diabetic patients and that the most effective treatment was to put the patients on very strict diets where sugar intake was kept to a minimum. At best, this treatment could buy patients a few extra years, but it never saved them. In some cases, the harsh diets even caused patients to die of starvation. During the nineteenth century, observations of patients who died of diabetes often showed that the pancreas was damaged. In 1869, a German medical student, Paul Langerhans, found that within the pancreatic tissue that produces digestive juices there were clusters of cells whose function was unknown. Some of these cells were eventually shown to be the insulin-producing beta cells. Later, in honor of the person who discovered them, the cell clusters were named the islets of Langerhans. In 1889 in Germany, physiologist Oskar Minkowski and physician Joseph von Mering, showed that if the pancreas was removed from a dog, the animal got diabetes. But if the duct through which the pancreatic juices flow to the intestine was ligated - surgically tied off so the juices couldn't reach the intestine - the dog developed minor digestive problems but no diabetes. So it seemed that the pancreas must have at least two functions: To produce digestive juices To produce a substance that regulates the sugar glucose This hypothetical internal secretion was the key. If a substance could actually be isolated, the mystery of diabetes would be solved. Progress, however, was slow. Banting's Idea In October 1920 in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Frederick Banting, an unknown surgeon with a bachelor's degree in medicine, had the idea that the pancreatic digestive ju Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetes Mellitus?

What Is Diabetes Mellitus?

So, diabetes is a very common disease. It affects nearly 10 percent of the population and more than 25 percent, or one in four people over the age of 65 have diabetes. But what exactly is diabetes mellitus? Let me start by going through a couple of scenarios. Now the first scenario I wanna talk about is that of Joe here. So let me bring in Joe. Now Joe is a 15 year old boy. Over the past few months Joe just really hasn't been feeling well. He says, you know it's hard to kind of put his finger on it, but he's in general been a little bit more tired and fatigued than usual. In fact, it's caused him to lose a little bit of weight and he's already kind of a skinny guy to begin with, so that's definitely something that's abnormal for him. And you know his mother's with him and his mother says you know "Joe's been, it's kinda been odd, "Joe's been carrying around this water bottle "with him everywhere for the past few months. "He seems to just be drinking "liters upon liters of water a day." And when asked about it Joe acknowledges this, he says "Yeah, I have been a little bit "more thirsty than usual." and because of this, he says, "You know, I've been going to bathroom, "I've been needing to urinate all the time." Now, let's contrast Joe to Bruce here. Now, Bruce is very different than Joe. Bruce is a 45 year old gentleman. And he's come in to the doctor for his annual physical and when he goes to the doctor he says, "You know doc, I've been feeling pretty good. "I mean, yeah, maybe I've packed on "a few extra pounds around the waist, "but in general I'm feeling pretty healthy." Now, say both Joe over here and Bruce are seeing the same family practice doctor. You know for Joe, he says "Yeah, I am worried "about this thirst and urination and the losing weight. "I think we sh Continue reading >>

History Of Diabetes

History Of Diabetes

Frederick Banting (right) joined by Charles Best in office, 1924 Diabetes is one of the first diseases described[1] with an Egyptian manuscript from c. 1500 BCE mentioning “too great emptying of the urine.”[2] The first described cases are believed to be of type 1 diabetes.[2] Indian physicians around the same time identified the disease and classified it as madhumeha or honey urine noting that the urine would attract ants.[2] The term "diabetes" or "to pass through" was first used in 250 BC by the Greek Apollonius of Memphis.[2] Type 1 and type 2 diabetes were identified as separate conditions for the first time by the Indian physicians Sushruta and Charaka in 400-500 CE with type 1 associated with youth and type 2 with obesity.[2] The term "mellitus" or "from honey" was added by Thomas Willis in the late 1600s to separate the condition from diabetes insipidus which is also associated with frequent urination.[2] Further history[edit] Plaque in Strasbourg commemorating the 1889 discovery by Minkowski and Von Mering The first complete clinical description of diabetes was given by the Ancient Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia (fl. 1st century CE), who also noted the excessive amount of urine which passed through the kidneys.”[3] Diabetes mellitus appears to have been a death sentence in the ancient era. Hippocrates makes no mention of it, which may indicate that he felt the disease was incurable. Aretaeus did attempt to treat it but could not give a good prognosis; he commented that "life (with diabetes) is short, disgusting and painful."[4] The disease must have been rare during the time of the Roman empire with Galen commenting that he had only seen two cases during his career.[2] In medieval Persia, Avicenna (980–1037) provided a detailed account on diabet Continue reading >>

Common Questions About Diabetes Medicines

Common Questions About Diabetes Medicines

How do I know if my diabetes pill is working? The best way to find out how well your diabetes pill is working is to test your blood sugar. Ask a member of your health care team what time of day is best for testing. You'll want to test when your diabetes medicine is expected to be most active in your body. Keep a record of your blood sugar levels (PDF) during that time to see if they're at or near your goal. If your levels are at or near your goal and you're not having any problems with the medicine, then it's probably working well. If you're still not sure, talk to your doctor or other member of your care team. Can I stop taking my diabetes medicine after my blood sugar is under control? It's reasonable to think that after a person gets good blood sugar control, it means the end of managing diabetes. But that's not the case. People with type 1 diabetes aren't able to make their own insulin, so they will always need to take insulin shots every day. For people with type 2 diabetes who are on medicine, the answer isn't as clear. Sometimes when people are first diagnosed, they start on pills or insulin right away. If the person also works hard to control diabetes with diet and exercise, he or she can lower the need for medicine and might be able to stop taking it altogether. As long as the person is able to keep blood sugar levels normal with diet and exercise, there isn't a need for medicine. However, type 2 diabetes changes over time. The change can be fast or slow, but it does change. This means that even if a person was able to stop taking medicine for a while, he or she might need to start taking it again in the future. If a person is taking medicine to keep blood sugar normal, then it's important to keep taking it to lower the chances for heart disease and other healt Continue reading >>

Incorrect Diabetes Terms

Incorrect Diabetes Terms

I am just back from a health conference where I heard too many incorrect terms to wait any longer to make this effort to correct the rest of the world. Several of these terms are “politically incorrect.” One that I have been careful to avoid for years is to label someone who has diabetes as a diabetic. Now, diabetic medications and diabetic foods are fine. But many people who have diabetes actively resist being labeled as a diabetic, as if we were an illness. A correspondent writes, “What I give as an example to doctors and other technical people is: If a person has hemorrhoids, does that make that person one?” Here, I absolutely agree with the American Diabetes Association, which vigorously resists this label, insisting that we are “people with diabetes.” By using the term people with diabetes we follow the general example of “people-first language.” Another term that may or may not be politically incorrect but is certainly objectionable to many people with diabetes is noncompliant. For most of us, to be labeled noncompliant is a worse slander than being called a diabetic. This is particularly true when health care people criticize us for not doing things that they haven’t clearly explained or where we think they are wrong. An endocrinologist friend wisely says, “The ‘noncompliant’ label always grated on me — it’s assuming a model of health care delivery that assumes the doc to be the captain of the ship and the patients to be chained to the oars…” Control is another important issue. People frequently perceive good control as a value judgement. We should replace it with non-emotional terms like “tight control” or “intensive control” or “stringent control” or “aggressive control.” Likewise, poor control is a terribly perjo Continue reading >>

History Of Diabetes

History Of Diabetes

The beginnings Diabetes has been affecting lives for thousands of years. An ailment suspected to be diabetes was recognized by the Egyptians in manuscripts dating to approximately 1550 B.C. According to one study, ancient Indians (circa 400–500 A.D.) were well aware of the condition, and had even identified two types of the condition. They tested for diabetes — which they called “honey urine” — by determining if ants were attracted to a person’s urine. The term “diabetes” In Greek, “diabetes” means “to go through.” Greek physician Apollonius of Memphis is credited with naming the disorder for its top symptom: the excessive passing of urine through the body’s system. Historical documents show that Greek, Indian, Arab, Egyptian, and Chinese doctors were aware of the condition, but none could determine its cause. In earlier times, a diagnosis of diabetes was likely a death sentence. Insulin deficiency In the early years of the 20th century, medical professionals took the first steps toward discovering a cause and treatment mode for diabetes. In 1926, Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer announced that the pancreas of a patient with diabetes was unable to produce what he termed “insulin,” a chemical the body uses to break down sugar. Thus, excess sugar ended up in the urine. Physicians promoted a fasting diet combined with regular exercise to combat the disorder. Diabetes in dogs Despite attempts to manage the disorder through diet and exercise, people with diabetes inevitably died prematurely. In 1921, scientists experimenting with dogs had a breakthrough in reversing the effects of diabetes. Two Canadian researchers, Frederick Grant Banting and Charles Herbert Best, successfully extracted insulin from healthy dogs. They then injected it into dogs th Continue reading >>

Insulin And Diabetes Management

Insulin And Diabetes Management

Diabetes results when the body cannot make or adequately use insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Insulin is critical for the body to metabolize carbohydrates (sugars) and obtain the energy essential to maintain life. The disease's classic symptoms – frequent urination and excessive thirst – along with the telltale presence of sugar in the urine, gave rise to its name, Diabetes (siphon) mellitus (honey-sweet). In the early 1920s, the discovery of insulin transformed the treatment of diabetes and the lives of those afflicted with the disease. In 1923, Smithsonian’s associate curator of medicine, Charles Whitebread, sought the cooperation of the Eli Lilly Company to help produce an exhibit about the new drug. The resulting display included photographs and specimens illustrating the steps in the manufacture of insulin from pig pancreas to ampules of purified insulin ready for injection. From this modest beginning the Smithsonian’s collection of diabetes related artifacts has grown. The focus is on the tools and technology associated with diabetes treatment and the daily management of the disease. Take a look to see how insulin, insulin injection devices, and glucose (sugar) monitoring techniques have changed over time in the United States. Continue reading >>

Discovery Of Insulin

Discovery Of Insulin

The discovery of insulin was one of the most dramatic and important milestones in medicine - a Nobel Prize-winning moment in science. Witnesses to the first people ever to be treated with insulin saw "one of the genuine miracles of modern medicine," says the author of a book charting its discovery.1 Starved and sometimes comatose patients with diabetes would return to life after receiving insulin. But how and when was the discovery made, and who made it? How and when was insulin discovered? The discovery of insulin did not come out of the blue; it was made on the back of a growing understanding of diabetes mellitus during the nineteenth century. Diabetes itself had been understood by its symptoms as far back as the 1600s - when it was described as the "pissing evile" - and the urination and thirst associated with it had been recognized thousands of years before. A feared and usually deadly disease, doctors in the nineteenth century knew that sugar worsened diabetes and that limited help could be given by dietary restriction of sugar. But if that helped, it also caused death from starvation. Scientists observed the damaged pancreases of people who died with diabetes. In 1869, a German medical student found clusters of cells in the pancreas that would go on to be named after him. Paul Langerhans had discovered the beta cells that produce insulin. Other work in animals then showed that carbohydrate metabolism was impossible once the pancreas was removed - the amount of sugar in the blood and urine rose sharply, and death from diabetes soon followed. In 1889, Oscar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering removed a dog's pancreas to study its effects on digestion. They found sugar in the dog's urine after flies were noticed feeding off it. In humans, doctors would once have diagnose Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus

Alternative names for diabetes mellitus Diabetes; type 2 diabetes; type 1 diabetes; sugar diabetes; T2DM, T1DM; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus; IDDM; juvenile-onset diabetes What is diabetes mellitus? Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, resulting in high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. There are many different types of diabetes; the most common are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, which are covered in this article. Gestational diabetes occurs during the second half of pregnancy and is covered in a separate article. Diabetes mellitus is linked with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, poor blood circulation to the legs and damage to the eyes, feet and kidneys. Early diagnosis and strict control of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help to prevent or delay these complications associated with diabetes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (regular exercise, not smoking and eating healthily) is important in reducing the risk of developing diabetes. What causes diabetes mellitus? Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells within the pancreas in response to the intake of food. The role of insulin is to lower blood sugar (glucose) levels by allowing cells in the muscle, liver and fat to take up sugar from the bloodstream that has been absorbed from food, and store it away as energy. In type 1 diabetes (or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), the insulin-producing cells are destroyed and the body is not able to produce insulin naturally. This means that sugar is not stored away but is constantly released from energy stores giving rise to high sugar levels in the blood. This in turn causes dehydration and thirst (because the high glucose ‘spills over’ into the urine and pulls wat Continue reading >>

More in diabetes