The Existence Of Diabetes Mellitus

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The existence of diabetes mellitus was first recognized by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks when individuals showed signs of excessive urination, rapid weight loss, and “sweet-tasting” urine. Diagnosis was, therefore, made by designated “water tasters,” who drank the urine of potential diabetes patients searching for a “sweet taste.” Because diabetes patients are drained of fluids, the Greek philosopher Apollonius coined the term “diabetes” for the disease, which means “to siphon” or “to pass through.” The name “mellitus” originated from Latin and was later added to the term “diabetes.” (9) For thousands of years, little information was known about diabetes. The remedies used at the time were largely ineffective, and many individuals died from diabetes after short life spans. In 1776, Matthew Dobson discovered that the urine of diabetes patients contained increased concentrations of glucose. In 1797, John Rollo recognized a link between diet and treatment of diabetes. In 1812, the disease was clinically recognized in the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, and the first laboratory tests were developed to measure the presence of sugar in urine. (9) During the following two hundred years, the scientific community gained a greater understanding of diabetes and its pathology, prevention, and treatment. In 1869, Paul Langerhans identified various types of pancreatic cells. In the early 1900’s, a pancreatic “substance” was extracted and termed “insulin.” In the 1920’s,
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