A history and impact of the diabetes disease in the 20th century

Soon after the introduction of effective vaccines in the s and s however, polio was brought under control and practically eliminated as a public health problem in these countries. Six years later they receive the Nobel Prize for their work.

A history and impact of the diabetes disease in the 20th century

Articles The History of Diabetes We tend to think of the 20th and 21st centuries as the greatest eras of medical discoveries and advances in the treatment of human diseases, and a very strong case can be made for this.

This is not actually a valid way of looking at the history of medicine, as it turns out. Ancient physicians and healers appear to have known more about the body, more about diagnosis and more about treatment plans than they have been given credit for.

The field of ethnobotany specializes in talking to native and traditional healers in part to determine which plants should be further investigated for anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, antibiotic and other properties. We are also learning that older concepts regarding nutrition an apple a day ie.

The growing consensus among medical scientists and physicians is that ancient medicines and ancient approaches may need to be re-examined, even if it is not stated that way. In India at about the same time, physicians found that the urine from people with diabetes attracted ants—this provided the first clinical test for diabetes—the physicians would pour out the urine and see if the ants were attracted to it!

The early Greeks believed that diabetes was a disorder of the kidneys. Later Greek physicians were able to distinguish between what we today call diabetes mellitus and another disorder, diabetes insipidus, which is also characterized by extreme thirst and frequent urination, but is based on a completely different hormonal disorder.

A history and impact of the diabetes disease in the 20th century

An interesting fact is that Galen, a famous Roman physician, reported seeing only two cases of diabetes in his whole career—so while diabetes was recognized and known, it was a very rare occurrence. Chinese physicians noted that individuals with diabetes were wealthier and heavier—and were more likely to suffer infections.

In the late 18th century, however, an English physician noticed that diabetes developed in individuals after an injury to the pancreas.

At about the same time, another English physician identified sugar in the urine of patients with diabetes. By the 19th century, sugar in the urine was the definitive diagnostic test for diabetes. The main treatment for diabetes during much of this time was a low calorie, high protein, low carbohydrate diet along possibly with agents such as digitalis and opium to suppress appetite.

By the late 19th century, the substance that was deficient in diabetes still unknown at that point was identified as being produced by the pancreas and specific areas of the pancreas the islet cells were thought to be the ones deficient in diabetes.

Other researchers made progress in identifying this substance but the final credit for discovering insulin is given to Frederick Banting and Charles Best, working in Toronto, Canada. The first insulin treatment was done by Banting and Best in Toronto in They successfully treated a year old boy with Type 1 diabetes.

The First Hypoglycemics Hypoglycemics are drugs that lower blood glucose blood sugar levels. They were first discovered because these drugs produced lower blood sugars as a side effect. The first class of hypoglycemic that were developed during the 20th century were the monoguanidines and the biguanidines—the biguanides are still commonly prescribed today and include Metformin.

Sulfonylurea drugs including Glipizide and Tolbutamide and other classes such as the Thiazolidinediones, the DPP-4 inhibitors, the GLP-1 inhibitors and others followed. Insulin For a good deal of the 19th and 20th centuries, diabetics who required insulin relied on insulin derived from cows or pigs.

Cow insulin differed from human insulin in only 3 places 3 different amino acids, the basic building blocks of a protein such as insulin. Pig insulin differed in only one place.

While insulin from cows and pigs usually worked very well, there were significant numbers of people who developed immune responses, making the insulin less effective.

Historical aspects

This lead to the development of recombinant-DNA based production of human insulin. In this process, the human gene that codes for insulin is inserted into bacteria—the bacteria are then essentially turned into insulin-making factories. The Development of Lab Tests for Diabetes Diagnosis and Management Lab tests for glucose blood sugar have been known for some time, but monitoring for patients with diabetes was complicated until the development in of a home blood sugar testing strip.

Since that time, the medical device industry has improved monitoring to the point where anyone with a blood glucose monitor can get an accurate and inexpensive test of their blood sugar at any time of the day or night. Also during the s, the discovery of a form of glycosylated hemoglobin, A1c, lead to the development of a test which was able to streamline monitoring the average blood sugar levels for the past 3 months.

Glycosylated hemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin the oxygen carrying molecule in the red blood cells that has sugar molecules chemically attached to it.

A history and impact of the diabetes disease in the 20th century

As red blood cells age they survive on average, for 3 months the hemoglobin picks up sugar molecules from the blood—the more sugar in the blood, the greater the number of sugar molecules attached to hemoglobin. This characteristic allows a physician to monitor how well a person is controlling their blood sugars and is valuable as a diagnostic lab test as well.

Current Status of Diabetes Research Currently, the emphasis of much of the research is on the development of more hypoglycemic agents to control diabetes. This, however, is a treatment, not a cure. Research into a cure for diabetes centers around pancreas and islet cell the cellular source of insulin transplants.

As with all transplants, the key is to find a way to reduce rejection of the tissue. With the completion of the Human Genome Project init is hoped and believed that a better understanding of the genetics of diabetes may lead to better methods of detection, treatment and prevention.

In a study begun inthree approaches to prevention and treatment were studied. Metformin plus standard care monitoring blood glucose, A1c levels, moderate dietary and lifestyle modifications 3. The study clearly indicated that losing weight, eating healthy foods and exercising routinely could drop the risk of diabetes by about half.

Diabetes Today Today, with the world-wide adoption and spread of western dietary habits, obesity and diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions.Diabetes: the sweet irony of modern technology Type 2 diabetes has often been described as a “disease of civilization”.

In this Bulletin interview Dr Chris Feudtner argues that, for the more than 90% of diabetes cases that are diabetes Type 2, we are dealing with a condition that is a product of modern technology. 19th Century to Early 20th Century. The biochemical assay was also developed during this period to be used as a diagnostic tool for diabetes, kidney disease, anemia, diphtheria, and tuberculosis.

History of medical technology. THE RISE AND DECLINE OF CORONARY HEART DISEASE. The common narrative of CHD in the 20th century is a triumphalist one. Coronary heart disease rose from relative obscurity in the late 19th century to take a devastating toll in the 20th.

chronic disease initiative in the 20th century, Weisz’s centre of gravity a chronic disease, and type 2 diabetes was less prevalent (or less noticed) was more resistant to effective medical intervention before the coming of dialysis and renal Chronic Disease in the Twentieth Century: A History George Weisz.

20th Century to Present

Johns Hopkins University. The History of Diabetes. January 1, Melissa Sattley Leave a comment. This method of monitoring blood sugars went largely unchanged until the 20th century. My brother Jamal’s passing had the greatest impact on me.

Probably because were the Irish twins; eleven months apart and his departure devastated me. The History of Type 2 Diabetes From to Today The History of Diabetes in the 20th and 21st Century We’ve come a long way in the treatment of diabetes – from vials, diabetic pens to insulin pumps.

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