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Sunday, 12 October 2014


The first known written record of diabetes was recorded on an Ancient Egyptian papyrus in 1552 BC. A doctor named Hesy-Ra noted frequent urination as a symptom.

The word diabetes, which means “passing through” was coined by the Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia in the first century AD to describe patients with great thirst and excessive urination. Aretaeus thought diabetes was caused by snakebite.

The connection between sweet food and diabetes was known in Ancient China. They noted that the excessive amounts of urine diabetics produced attracted ants, bees and flies and devised a test for it by observing whether ants are attracted to a person's urine. The Chinese believed it to be a kidney complaint.

Thanks to food rationing during the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War, a French physician discovered a link between diet and diabetes management.

Researchers at the University of Toronto led by biochemist Frederick Banting (1891-1941) proved on July 27, 1921 that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar. Purified insulin was first used to treat diabetes and its acute complications the following January.

This is the University of Toronto laboratory where insulin was discovered

Banting shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923. He is still the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Before blood glucose tests were available, doctors would taste the urine of their patients to diagnose diabetes. A sweet taste meant the patient was diabetic.

The American genetic engineering company Genentech developed the first genetically engineered product to enter medical practice. Human insulin made in bacteria was tested and approved for medical use and in 1980 the first diabetic patient was successfully injected with it. About 5% of diabetics were allergic to the animal insulins available before.

8.5 percent of adults worldwide currently have diabetes—that rate was 4.7 percent in 1980.

Diabetes is the direct cause of about 1.5 million deaths a year worldwide.

More than 17% of people have diabetes in Mobile, Alabama, and Charleston, West Virginia—the highest rates in the U.S.

The global economic cost of #diabetes in 2014 was estimated to be $612 billion.

Nick Jonas has Type 1 diabetes. He wrote the song “A Little Bit Longer” about his struggles with the disease. Other music stars with the disease include eric Paslay, Bret Michaels and American Idol alum Crystal Bowersox,

Whiskey can be made out of diabetics' urine because of the high sugar content.

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