Diabetes is a chronic, genetically determined, debilitating disease that effects every organ system. There are two major types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. Type I or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), is caused by the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas and is usually, but not always, diagnosed in childhood. People with type I diabetes must take insulin shots in order to survive. Type II diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), are usually diagnosed in adulthood. (Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, 1-2) They produce insulin, but their bodies do not use it effectively or properly. While many modern diseases plague society, diabetes has been known of for many centuries.
History of the discovery and treatment of diabetes. Diabetes: ‘dia’ = through, and ‘betes’ = to go. In 1500 BC, the Papyrus Ebers of Ancient Egyptians had a number of remedies for combating the passing of to much urine (polyuria). Hidus in the Ayur Veda recorded that insects and flies were attracted to the urine of some people, that the urine tasted sweet, and that this was associated with certain diseases. In 1000 BC, the father of medicine in the India, Susruta of the Hindus, diagnosed Diabetes Mellitus (DM). Greeks like Aretaeus, Celsus, and Galen described DM. Aretaeus first defined the difference between DM and Diabetes Insipidus (DI), a rare disease characterized by the passage of larger amounts of urine and intense thirst. In 276 BC, Demetris of Apamea refines the diagnosis of DM. In 230 BC, Caelius Aurelianus said that Apollonius of Memphis coined the term "diabetes". Apollonius thought it was a form of dropsy. Paul of Aegina refined further the diagnosis of "dypsacus" (diabetes), associated with the weakness of the kidneys and excess moisture from the body, leading to dehydration. He prescribed a remedy of pot-herds, endive, lettuce, rock-fishes, juices of knotgrass, elecampane in dark colored wine, and decoction of dates and myrtle to drink in the first stages of the disease, followed by cataplasms to the hypochndrium over the kidneys consisting of vinegar, rose oil, and navel-wort. He warned against the use of diuretics, but venesection (cutting of veins) was permitted. In 45-117 AD, Aetius prescribed a cooling diet, diluted in wine, and cooling applications to the loins as a treatment for DI. For later stages he used opiates and mandragors. In 865-925 AD, Arabian writer Rhazea translated and shared the information of DM from the Hidus. In 900-1037 AD, Avicenna prescribed emetics and sudorifics, directed that all diuretic foods and drugs be avoided and that the patients engage in exercise to "employ moderate friction". In the later stages of DM he recommended tepid baths and fragrant wine. The Moslem Haly Abbas thought DM was caused by excessive hat within the viscus, calling it dysentery of the discrepancy. In 1257 AD, Physicians prescribed use of purgatives to relieve strain on the kidneys, astringents and refrigerant remedies. In 1501-1576 AD, cardona measured the intake and output of fluids, found a great discrepancy in the figures and surmised that people with diabetes lose more water than they take in due to some unknown reason. In 1622-1675 AD, rediscovery of the Hindu Doctor Susruta’s works. It was believed that DM was sue to humoral changes and excessive drinking. It was theorized that DM was a disease of the blood. Astringents were prescribed as a cure. In 1789 AD, John Rollo certifies excess sugar in the blood. In 1813-1878 AD, Claude Bernard theorized that DM was caused by glycogenolysis form the glycogen stored in the liver. In 1816-1876 AD, L. Traube related that the intake of carbohydrates and its digestion increases the amount of sugar in the urine, that the stopping of the intake of the carbohydrate eliminates most of the sugar in the urine. In 1889 AD, Mehring and Minkowski produce DM in dogs by removing the pancreas. In 1921 AD, Banting and Best find insulin is secreted from the Islet cells of the pancreas. (Knott, 1-3)
Diabetes affects millions of people around the world. This disease kills one American citizen every three minutes. Sixteen million Americans have the disease; and of this number, 5.4 million are undiagnosed. Diabetes afflicts 120 million people around the world, and the World Health Organization is estimating that this number will be