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When Did Insulin First Come Out?

History Of Insulin

History Of Insulin

The modern age has been full of amazing technological advances -- high-speed travel, the Internet, blue M&M's... However, if you have type 1 diabetes, you are no doubt a big fan of one particular 20th century innovation: insulin therapy. Before there was insulin therapy, people whose bodies stopped producing the hormone didn't hang around for long; there wasn't much doctors could do for them. In the 19th century, after researchers figured out that the body needs this critical hormone to burn glucose as energy, doctors tried different ways to restart production of insulin in people with type 1 diabetes. Some physicians even tried feeding fresh pancreas to patients. The experiment failed (and probably left more than a few patients begging for a palate-cleansing sorbet), as did the other attempts to replace missing insulin. Finally, in 1922 a former divinity student named Dr. Frederick Banting figured out how to extract insulin from a dog's pancreas. Skeptical colleagues said the stuff looked like "thick brown muck." Banting injected the insulin into the keister of a 14-year-old boy named Leonard Thompson, whose body was so ravaged by diabetes that he weighed only 65 pounds. Little Leonard developed abscesses on his bottom and still felt lousy, though his blood sugar improved slightly. Encouraged, Banting refined the formula for insulin and tried again six weeks later. This time Leonard's condition improved rapidly. His blood sugar dropped from 520 mg/dl to a more manageable 120 mg/dl. He gained weight, and his strength returned. (Poor Lenny -- although his diabetes remained in control for years, he died of pneumonia when he was just 27.) Banting and a colleague, Dr. John Macleod, won the Nobel Prize for their work. Commercial production of insulin for treating diabetes be Continue reading >>

History Of Insulin

History Of Insulin

Rosie Cotter explores the history of this important protein and its role in diabetes In 1922, a 14-year-old boy named Leonard Thompson lay in Toronto General Hospital dying from diabetes. He weighed less than 30 kg and was at risk of slipping into a diabetic coma. To avoid this, Leonard’s father allowed him to be injected with a new pancreatic extract, now known as insulin. At the time, people with diabetes tried to control their condition through a strict diet, but they usually died within a year of diagnosis. Remarkably, after the injection, Leonard regained his strength and appetite and went on to live for several more years. News of insulin and Leonard’s recovery spread around the world and brought notoriety to Dr Frederick Banting and student George Best at the University of Toronto. With the support of Professor John Macleod and biochemist Bertram Collip, Banting and Best had successfully extracted insulin from an animal pancreas and purified it so that it could be administered to humans. Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood. When we eat, our glucose levels rise and insulin is released into the bloodstream. Insulin works by regulating glucose transport proteins in cells so they can take up the glucose and use it as an energy source or convert it to glycogen for storage. Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing beta cells of the islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but it is produced in insufficient amounts or in a form that does not work properly. Discovery and application Between 1920 and 1921, Banting and Best had been removing dogs’ pancreases to make them diabetic. Building on the w Continue reading >>

Frederick Banting’s Discovery Of Insulin In The 1920s Saved A Child's Life. It’s Still Saving Lives.

Frederick Banting’s Discovery Of Insulin In The 1920s Saved A Child's Life. It’s Still Saving Lives.

Toban B. / Flickr In the 1800s, the life expectancy for a 10-year-old child with Type 1 diabetes was about one year. Now people with Type 1 diabetes can expect to live around 68 years on average. One big reason why: the discovery of the hormone insulin by a team led by Frederick Banting, an early-20th-century scientist from Canada, which revolutionized treatment for the disease. Today, we celebrate Banting’s 125th birthday with a Google Doodle in his honor and with World Diabetes Day. Banting and his colleagues cracked a mystery that was thousands of years old Diabetes is one of the first human diseases on record. Ancient Egyptian manuscripts from as far back as 1500 BC mention a disease “characterized by the ‘too great emptying of urine.’” Around 500 BC, an Indian physician described patients with urine so sweet and sticky it attracted ants. These ancient reports were likely of Type 1 diabetes, the autoimmune version of the disease where antibodies damage the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for taking sugar out of the bloodstream and transferring it into the body’s cells, where it can be used for energy. When the body stops making insulin, blood sugar rises. And unchecked high blood sugar can lead to a range of complications — from deteriorating eyesight to nerve damage to the buildup of chemicals called ketones in the blood. Ketones at high levels can be poisonous, causing the blood to turn acidic. (In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, but the body has become resistant to its effects. It’s a metabolic disease, rather than an autoimmune disease.) While ancient physicians recognized that the disease was a result of mismanagement of the body’s sugar, they didn’t know what caused it. (D Continue reading >>

First Successful Laboratory Production Of Human Insulin Announced

First Successful Laboratory Production Of Human Insulin Announced

South San Francisco, Calif. -- September 6, 1978 -- Genentech, Inc. and City of Hope National Medical Center, a private research institution and hospital in Duarte, California today announced the successful laboratory production of human insulin using recombinant DNA technology. Insulin is a protein hormone produced in the pancreas and used in the metabolism of sugar and other carbohydrates. The synthesis of human insulin was done using a process similar to the fermentation process used to make antibiotics. The achievement may be the most significant advance in the treatment of diabetes since the development of animal insulin for human use in the 1920's. The insulin synthesis is the first laboratory production DNA technology. Recombinant DNA is the technique of combining the genes of different organisms to form a hybrid molecule. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the substances genes are composed of, contains the chemical record in which genetic information is encoded. Scientists at Genentech and City of Hope inserted synthetic genes carrying the genetic code for human insulin, along with the necessary control mechanism, into an E. coli bacterial strain which is a laboratory derivative of a common bacteria found in the human intestine. Once inside the bacteria, the genes were "switched-on" by the bacteria to translate the code into either "A" or "B" protein chains found in insulin. The separate chains were then joined to construct complete insulin molecules. The development of genetically engineered human insulin was funded by Genentech. However, the work was a cooperative effort between Genentech and City of Hope. The synthesis of human insulin gene was accomplished by four scientists at City of Hope Medical Center led by Roberto Crea, Ph.D., and Keichi Itakura, Ph.D. Scien Continue reading >>

The Discovery Of Insulin: A Medical Marvel For The Sugar Sickness

The Discovery Of Insulin: A Medical Marvel For The Sugar Sickness

Diabetes Before Insulin Diabetes, from the Greek word meaning "to pass through" or "pipe-like" has been claiming lives for thousands of years. A diabetic's body is unable to utilize food's nutrients as energy, causing extra sugar to collect in blood and urine (Bliss 20). Food simply "passes through" the body, without absorbing any nutrients. Slim Chances With no effective treatment aside from a semi-starvation diet, a diabetic's outlook appeared grim. Before 1922, diabetic children rarely lived a year after diagnosis, five percent of adults died within two years, and less than 20 percent lived more than ten (Berger 57). Untreated diabetics faced blindness, loss of limbs, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and death (Yuwiler 12). Continue reading >>

Who Really Discovered Insulin?

Who Really Discovered Insulin?

For people with diabetes mellitus, the year 1921 is a meaningful one. That was the year Canadian physician Frederick Banting and medical student Charles H. Best discovered the hormone insulin in pancreatic extracts of dogs. On July 30, 1921, they injected the hormone into a diabetic dog and found that it effectively lowered the dog’s blood glucose levels to normal. By the end of that year, with the help of Canadian chemist James B. Collip and Scottish physiologist J.J.R. Macleod, Banting and Best purified insulin, and the next year it was used to successfully treat a boy suffering from severe diabetes. The researchers were celebrated and honored for their breakthrough. Banting and MacLeod even shared the 1923 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for their work. Indeed, they were the “discoverers” of insulin. But the story of the discovery of insulin actually begins much earlier than 1921. According to Britannica’s pharmaceutical industry article: In 1869 Paul Langerhans, a medical student in Germany, was studying the histology of the pancreas. He noted that this organ has two distinct types of cells—acinar cells, now known to secrete digestive enzymes, and islet cells (now called islets of Langerhans). The function of islet cells was suggested in 1889 when German physiologist and pathologist Oskar Minkowski and German physician Joseph von Mering showed that removing the pancreas from a dog caused the animal to exhibit a disorder quite similar to human diabetes mellitus (elevated blood glucose and metabolic changes). After this discovery, a number of scientists in various parts of the world attempted to extract the active substance from the pancreas so that it could be used to treat diabetes. One of those scientists was Romanian physiologist Nicolas C. Paule Continue reading >>

The Evolution Of Insulin Pumps

The Evolution Of Insulin Pumps

Photo:� portrait.� Caption: �Donna Blake Believe it or not, insulin pumps have been in existence for over 20 years.� In the seventies, the first insulin pump was approximately the size of a microwave oven.� That first pump performed exactly the same functions that the beta cells did in a non-diabetic pancreas.� The Biostater measured blood glucose levels and dispensed insulin into the blood stream every five minutes.� Because of it�s size it was used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and in diabetes related research studies.� As the concept of daily blood glucose monitoring developed and came into being, researchers at Yale University had an idea:� why not allow a person with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels and regulate the pump based on their own judgement.� Thus, the concept of a portable insulin pump began. The first portable insulin pump was in fact a chemotherapy pump, and the idea taken from the way cancer patients were given their medicines.� Patients undergoing treatment for cancer wore small portable pumps on their belts, which either delivered their chemotherapy medicines or morphine to help control the pain.� The first pump weighed over a pound (not by much) and used a large syringe placed on the outside of the pump. The early pump was about the size of an aerosol can, only a bit wider and rectangular.� Besides the dials being located on the outside (two round half-inch projections) there were also blinking red LED lights.� The pump delivered diluted regular insulin at a constant rate and the user pumped in extra insulin based upon meal times and blood glucose levels.� In order to become a pump user, people were required to undergo psychological testing, and required at least a one-week stay in a hospital.� Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus - Insulin Treatment In Dogs

Diabetes Mellitus - Insulin Treatment In Dogs

By Ernest Ward, DVM & Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP Emergency Situations, Medical Conditions This handout provides detailed information on insulin administration. For more information about diabetes mellitus, see the fact sheets "Diabetes Mellitus - General Information", and "Diabetes Mellitus - Principles of Treatment". What is diabetes mellitus? In dogs, diabetes mellitus is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. This is Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (also called Type 1 Diabetes). This type of diabetes usually results from destruction of most or all of the beta-cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. As the name implies, dogs with this type of diabetes require insulin injections to stabilize blood sugar levels. What do I need to know about insulin treatment for diabetes mellitus? In diabetic dogs, the main treatment for regulating blood glucose is giving insulin by injection. Dogs with diabetes mellitus typically require two daily insulin injections as well as a dietary change. Although the dog can go a day or so without insulin and not have a crisis, this should not be a regular occurrence; treatment should be looked upon as part of the dog's daily routine. This means that you, as the dog's owner, must make both a financial commitment and a personal commitment to treat your dog. If are out of town or go on vacation, your dog must receive proper treatment in your absence. Initially, your dog may be hospitalized for a few days to deal with any immediate crisis and to begin the insulin regulation process. For instance, if your dog is so sick that he has quit eating and drinking for several days, he may be experiencing “diabetic ketoacidosis,” which may require a several days of intensive care. On Continue reading >>

Get Unlimited Access On Medscape.

Get Unlimited Access On Medscape.

You’ve become the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal of medicine. A must-read every morning. ” Continue reading >>

The History Of Diabetes

The History Of Diabetes

For 2,000 years diabetes has been recognized as a devastating and deadly disease. In the first century A.D. a Greek, Aretaeus, described the destructive nature of the affliction which he named “diabetes” from the Greek word for “siphon.” Eugene J. Leopold in his text Aretaeus the Cappodacian describes Aretaeus’ diagnosis: “…For fluids do not remain in the body, but use the body only as a channel through which they may flow out. Life lasts only for a time, but not very long. For they urinate with pain and painful is the emaciation. For no essential part of the drink is absorbed by the body while great masses of the flesh are liquefied into urine.” Physicians in ancient times, like Aretaeus, recognized the symptoms of diabetes but were powerless to effectively treat it. Aretaeus recommended oil of roses, dates, raw quinces, and gruel. And as late as the 17th century, doctors prescribed “gelly of viper’s flesh, broken red coral, sweet almonds, and fresh flowers of blind nettles.” Early Discoveries-Human Guinea Pigs In the 17th century a London physician, Dr. Thomas Willis, determined whether his patients had diabetes or not by sampling their urine. If it had a sweet taste he would diagnose them with diabetes mellitus- “honeyed” diabetes. This method of monitoring blood sugars went largely unchanged until the 20th century. Despite physicians’ valiant efforts to combat diabetes, their patients remained little more than human guinea pigs. In the early 20th century, diabetologists such as Dr. Frederick Allen prescribed low calorie diets-as little as 450 calories per day for his patients. His diet prolonged the life of people with diabetes but kept them weak and suffering from near starvation. In effect, the most a person afflicted with diabetes coul Continue reading >>

History Of Diabetes

History Of Diabetes

Origin of the term ‘diabetes’ The term diabetes is the shortened version of the full name diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is derived from the Greek word diabetes meaning siphon - to pass through and the Latin word mellitus meaning honeyed or sweet. This is because in diabetes excess sugar is found in blood as well as the urine. It was known in the 17th century as the “pissing evil”. The term diabetes was probably coined by Apollonius of Memphis around 250 BC. Diabetes is first recorded in English, in the form diabete, in a medical text written around 1425. It was in 1675 that Thomas Willis added the word “'mellitus'” to the word diabetes. This was because of the sweet taste of the urine. This sweet taste had been noticed in urine by the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, and Persians as is evident from their literature. History of the treatment of diabetes Sushruta, Arataeus, and Thomas Willis were the early pioneers of the treatment of diabetes. Greek physicians prescribed exercise - preferably on horseback to alleviate excess urination. Some other forms of therapy applied to diabetes include wine, overfeeding to compensate for loss of fluid weight, starvation diet, etc. In 1776, Matthew Dobson confirmed that the sweet taste of urine of diabetics was due to excess of a kind of sugar in the urine and blood of people with diabetes. In ancient times and medieval ages diabetes was usually a death sentence. Aretaeus did attempt to treat it but could not give a good outcome. Sushruta (6th century BCE) an Indian healer identified diabetes and classified it as “Madhumeha”. Here the word “madhu” means honey and combined the term means sweet urine. The ancient Indians tested for diabetes by looking at whether ants were attracted to a person's u 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 Insulin?

What Is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy. If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low or if you need more sugar, such as in between meals or during physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps balance out blood sugar levels and keeps them in a normal range. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes more insulin. If your body does not produce enough insulin or your cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, you may develop hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which can cause long-term complications if the blood sugar levels stay elevated for long periods of time. Insulin Treatment for Diabetes People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin because the beta cells in their pancreas are damaged or destroyed. Therefore, these people will need insulin injections to allow their body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond well or are resistant to insulin. They may need insulin shots to help them better process Continue reading >>

How Insulin Is Made - Material, Manufacture, History, Used, Parts, Components, Structure, Steps, Product

How Insulin Is Made - Material, Manufacture, History, Used, Parts, Components, Structure, Steps, Product

Background Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and is required for the body to function normally. Insulin is produced by cells in the pancreas, called the islets of Langerhans. These cells continuously release a small amount of insulin into the body, but they release surges of the hormone in response to a rise in the blood glucose level. Certain cells in the body change the food ingested into energy, or blood glucose, that cells can use. Every time a person eats, the blood glucose rises. Raised blood glucose triggers the cells in the islets of Langerhans to release the necessary amount of insulin. Insulin allows the blood glucose to be transported from the blood into the cells. Cells have an outer wall, called a membrane, that controls what enters and exits the cell. Researchers do not yet know exactly how insulin works, but they do know insulin binds to receptors on the cell's membrane. This activates a set of transport molecules so that glucose and proteins can enter the cell. The cells can then use the glucose as energy to carry out its functions. Once transported into the cell, the blood glucose level is returned to normal within hours. Without insulin, the blood glucose builds up in the blood and the cells are starved of their energy source. Some of the symptoms that may occur include fatigue, constant infections, blurred eye sight, numbness, tingling in the hands or legs, increased thirst, and slowed healing of bruises or cuts. The cells will begin to use fat, the energy source stored for emergencies. When this happens for too long a time the body produces ketones, chemicals produced by the liver. Ketones can poison and kill cells if they build up in the body over an extended period of time. This can lead to serious illne Continue reading >>

The Incredible History Of Insulin, A Drug That Was Discovered Almost A Century Ago

The Incredible History Of Insulin, A Drug That Was Discovered Almost A Century Ago

An insulin pump.Alden Chadwick/Flickr Diabetes, a group of conditions in which the body can't properly regulate blood sugar, affects roughly 30 million people in the US. And for many people living with diabetes — including the 1.25 million people in the US who have Type 1 diabetes — injecting insulin is part of the daily routine. Insulin, a hormone that healthy bodies produce, has been used to treat diabetes for almost a century, though it's gone through some modifications. In the past decade, the list prices of insulin have risen about 300%. This has drawn criticism from patients having to pay the high cost as well as from political figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders, who went after insulin drugmakers this month over their exorbitant prices. Here's the story of how the critical diabetes medicine became what it is today. Insulin is an integral part of the human body. It's a hormone that, in most people, is produced in the pancreas to help regulate our blood sugar levels. For those living with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn't make any insulin, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise too high after a carbohydrate-rich meal, or fall dramatically unexpectedly. Back in the 1920s, researchers figured out that the pancreas was an important part of what was making diabetics so sick and got to work figuring out if they could make a treatment for them. Pictured here is an inflamed pancreas alongside the duodenum to its right, and the spleen to its left, in a rhesus monkey. Dr. Frederick Banting, a Toronto-based surgeon, along with medical student Charles Best, started by testing out what happens when you remove a dog's pancreas. When they did, the dog developed diabetes. Next, they found that if you inject insulin back into the dog, it went back to normal. Dr. Fre Continue reading >>

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