History of Diabetes Treatment, the School Learned

The history of diabetes treatment the school learned happened this way. A parent tried to find out as much as she could about diabetes when her little girl was diagnosed with diabetes. What she learned, she passed it on to the school hoping that her kid will get the support she needs in her learning environment.

What did this parent learn about the history of diabetes treatment? Well, she learned that physicians and scientists have researched this condition for over a thousand years. The modern ways of treatment are built on the concepts learned over the years.

They did not call it diabetes in ancient Egypt but some suffered from it. In 1552 BC Dr. Hesy-Ra tried to treat a patient who had to go to the bathroom a lot. He did not know what was wrong with the man but he tried a special diet of honey, grains and fruits. It helped but did not cure the man. This is just the start of what she learned about the history of diabetes treatment.

After this, most physicians have known that diabetics have too much sugar in the urine. So they started testing the urine but they did not have the modern way we now have, not until the 11th century. Instead the assistants had to taste the urine and tell the doctor if it was sweet. I'm glad this is now part of the history of diabetes treatment, don't you?

The doctors in India and China also had similar patients. The Indian doctors thought the patients were eating and drinking too much so they had them reduce their food. It was around 100 to 175 C.E. when the doctors first called the condition diabetes. Who named this? Let's dig into the history of diabetes treatment to find out.

It could have been one of the three Greek doctors who named the disease after a patient's need to urinate often. Diabetes comes from the Greek word for siphon which is a tube used to drain liquids. Then later, the Latin word for honey was added to describe the diabetic's urine as containing sugar. What is that Latin word? Mellitus, that's what. Thus diabetes mellitus was born.

By the early 1800s, scientists were able to use chemicals to test urine for sugar. Then a French doctor name Apollinaire Bouchardat found in 1870s that some diabetic patients had less sugar in the urine. He realized after a while that his patients' diet had changed because they had less food during the war between France and Germany. He therefore started to tell his patients to eat less. So did the history of diabetes treatment tell us.

Now came experiments trying out different kinds of diet. They did not usually work but they taught the scientists a lot about diabetes. In 1889, Austrian scientists Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering tried to find out what pancreas did to digestion. After they removed the dog's pancreas, the dog developed diabetes, but they did not know how to treat it.

The history of diabetes treatment continued with Georg Zuelzer who in 1908 gave his patients shots of a fluid from a human pancreas. There was reduction of sugar but the patient became very ill. Meantime in the US, Frederick Allen observed about 100 diabetic patients and opened a clinic in New Jersey.

Then a Canadian named Frederick Banting experimented in 1920 different fluids taken from a dog's pancreas which he injected into dogs that had their pancreas removed. Of course you know what happened from the history of diabetes treatment. The dogs' blood glucose levels were brought under control by one of the fluids he called insulin.

An eleven-year old boy from Toronto named Leonard Thompson was the first human diabetic given insulin taken from a cow. And lo and behold! He became healthier with his blood glucose coming close to normal. A company started to mass produce this and doctors all over the world started to use it to treat diabetes.

Dr. Banting and Dr. Macleod were awarded a Nobel prize in Medicine for discovering insulin. Dr. Banting was not happy with this because his number one helper named C. H. Best was not acknowledged. Anyway, insulin could have made him a lot of money but Dr. Banting just donated his discovery to University of Toronto for everybody's use. What a man, eh?

Meanwhile at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, Dr. E. M. K. Gelling looked for a way to produce insulin in large quantities in 1925. By 1940, children diagnosed with juvenile diabetes started to learn how to inject themselves with insulin

By the 1950s, scientists discovered medicines that can be taken orally to control blood glucose level. In the 1960s, they invented a test that allowed people to test their urine themselves where before they had to go to the doctor often for the same test. Then in 1970s, they invented tests to measure the glucose in the person's blood. By 1983, the first biosynthetic human insulin was used.

Today, as insulin production gets better, so do the methods of administering it. Before, doctors used only the traditional syringes and bottles to inject insulin. Some still use this but insulin kits that one can carry around are available. There are even portable pumps that can automatically deliver insulin.

Hopefully, someday the scientists will discover a cure for diabetes but without the history of diabetes treatment, this will be impossible. Now school has learned how easier it is to help the students with this condition. True it's important to assist the students but just as vital is to teach them to take on the responsibility for self-management and self-care.

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