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History of Diabetes

Around 30 million Americans have Diabetes, with 1/3 developing Type 2 Diabetes over time. Diagnosis of both Type 1 & Type 2 have increased in the youth of the US. 

History of the term Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 Diabetes)

The term diabetes was first used around 250 BC in Greece, but the condition of having sweet urine was described in ancient times. The word diabetes was first seen in English in 1425 and mellitus was added in 1675. Diabetes means "siphon" or "to pass through" and mellitus means "honeyed" or "sweet". Other terms for sweet urine were Madhumeha (Indian) with madhu meaning "honey".

History of Treatments for Diabetes

Treatments for diabetes included exercise, wine, overeating, and starvation diet until insulin was discovered in 1910 with treatment of diabetes using insulin in 1922. This discovery won the Nobel Prize in 1923. The patent for insulin was free to ensure availability for everyone having diabetes.

History of Diabetes Testing

Ancient Indians tested for diabetes using ants to see if they were attracted to someone's urine.

History of the Pancreas's Role in Diabetes

In 1889, symptoms of diabetes was described in dogs that had their pancreas removed leading to the conclusion that the pancreas played a role in preventing diabetes.

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