What is Diabetes?
Diabetes basically means your body has too much sugar (glucose) in your blood that your body is not able to distribute to your cells normally. It is a medical condition that occurs when the body can’t use this blood sugar (called “glucose” in the body) normally. This is your main source of energy for your body’s cells. The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin which controls the levels of this glucose in the blood by helping them enter the cell. This is used to give you energy and make you active. When the body does not make enough insulin or cannot distribute the insulin it does make in your body, glucose can’t get into the cell and it builds up in the blood, causing your to be diabetic and sick.
Diabetes has been around since at least 1500 B.C. and is recorded in early medical writings. “Aretaeus of Cappadocia”, a Greek physician from 200 A.D. first called the disease “diabetes”, which also means to “flow,” referring to the flow of urine. The Latin word “mellitus” was then added to the name, meaning “honey”, to imply the existence of sugar in the urine.
The sweet taste of urine was noticed by Indians, Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, and Persians. Diabetes mellitus was written in the “The Canon of Medicine” in the medieval time of Persia describing the “abnormal appetite and the collapse of sexual functions” and documented the sweet taste of diabetic urine.
Indians use to test for diabetes by checking whether or not ants were attracted to an individual’s urine.
In the late 1800’s a German physician by the name of Paul Langerhans found a part in the pancreas that was discovered to be the place where insulin is formed, collected, and then released.
In 1921 researchers advanced diabetes research when they removed some of the fluid that came from the cells of the pancreas, which we now know as insulin. In 1923, Dr. Grant Banting was given the Nobel Prize for Medicine for this breakthrough.
In 1974, the National Diabetes Commission was created to evaluate the impact of diabetes.