Diabetes Report

1600 Words Jul 14th, 2006 7 Pages
Diabetes is a disease that has been plaguing mankind since as early as the time of the Egyptians in 1552 BC (Canadian Diabetes Association, 2005) as we know it. We, at the moment, understand it to be a disease created by the presence of insulin whether deficiency or resistance to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted from the pancreas and its purpose is to maintain the levels of glucose within the body (through usage). A lack of insulin would therefore generally result in the inability to absorb glucose hence, for example as a side-effect, sweet urine is produced. Throughout time, our knowledge of diabetes has improved as well as our diagnosis methods and treatment methods. The following is a brief rundown of the development of …show more content…
Banting and Best's work was most likely the turning point in history for the treatment of diabetes. It was only after their successful discovery that effective treatments for diabetes were developed. Prior to the discovery of insulin, various and less effective methods of treating diabetes were used. There were also very limited methods of diagnosing diabetes. In the past, the physician would generally just taste the urine sample of the patient and check for the presence of sweetness but nowadays, other methods such as blood tests, as well as tests for the level of sugar in the urine are used instead. This also meant that the limited understanding of the disease generally made treatment for the disease hard to find.

Firstly, there were Hippocratic treatments for diabetes. Hippocratic treatments, albeit usually being popular, were recognised to actually do the patient harm. It was only logical that a person who was suffering from weight loss would not benefit from excess blood loss for example. There were also quite a few drugs that were used later in time; approximately in the late 19th Century. These drugs included opium, which was primarily used to relieve pain rather than treat diabetes and also bichloride of mercury (Hardy S, 2005).

Another treatment of diabetes was invented by Bouchardat, a French physician, who noticed that during the
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