Here are 7 things you didn’t know about diabetes.
- The earliest known written record that likely referred to diabetes was in 1,500 B.C in the Egyptian Ebers papyrus. It referred to the symptoms of frequent urination.
- Diabetes symptoms such as thirst, weight loss, and excess urination were recognized for more than 1,200 years before the disease was named.
- The Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappodocia (81-133 A.D) was credited with coining the term “diabetes” (meaning “flowing through” in Greek). He described a disease with symptoms of constant thirst, excessive urination, and weight loss.
- Priscilla White pioneered treatment for diabetes in pregnancy. She joined the practice of Dr. Elliott P. Joslin in 1924 when the fetal success rate was 54%. By the time of her retirement in 1974, the fetal success rate was 90%.
- In 1921, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin and, with the aid of biochemist James Collip, were able to purify it for use in treating diabetes. Before 1921, starvation or semi-starvation was the treatment of choice.
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes were officially differentiated in 1936. However, the difference had been noted in the 1700’s when a physician noted some people suffered from a more chronic condition than others who died in less than five weeks after onset of symptoms.
- According to the WHO, around 422 million people are living with diabetes worldwide, nearly doubling the prevalence from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.4 percent in 2014. In the United States alone, an estimated 29.1 million adults and children are affected.
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