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Diabetes : A Important For A Public Health Issue Essay

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From a historical standpoint, diabetes was not always considered to be a public health issue. As with many of our modern disease, there was little known about the mechanism of diabetes when it was first discovered. The Greek physician Aretaeus first coined the term “diabetes mellitus” to refer to the sweet taste of urine that diabetics were noted to have and it wasn’t actually until 1776 when scientists measured the glucose content in a diabetic’s urine and found it to be elevated (Polonsky, 2012). Ironically, Aretaeus also wrote, that “diabetes is a remarkable affliction, one not very common among men (Laios, Karamanou, Saridaki, Androutsos, 2012). Throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries, diabetes was still considered to be a rare condition and because so little was known, it was almost always fatal within a short time period. Advances in the 20th century such as the discovery of the pancreas and its role in insulin production along helped elucidate the mechanism behind type 1 diabetes- a lack of insulin leading to the inability to utilize glucose as energy stores. Once the mechanism was known, researchers developed methods to provide Type 1 diabetics with the insulin their pancreas was not providing. This led to reduced mortality rates and improved quality of life for Type 1 diabetics. Though they would never be cured, the disease was not fatal as it once was. However, while Type 1 diabetes was the pre-dominant form of diabetes some 200 years ago, it is type 2
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