The History of Diabetes
History covering the disease of diabetes has been around for
Although it has been there for so long, the actual discovery of how to control it
has only been discovered in the past century.
Here is a timeline of the major known diabetes discoveries…
The earliest known written mention of diabetes is from 1552 B.C in the third dynasty. An Egyptian papyrus
displays the words of physician Hesy-Ra who described the disease to have a possible symptom of frequent
In 164 A.D, Galen of Pergamum believed diabetes was caused by a kidney disorder. This stuffed up the conception
of diabetes for many years.
In the 11th century, people called “water tasters” would diagnose diabetes. This name was awarded to them due to
the fact that they would diagnose you based on the taste of your urine.
Diabetics urine has higher sugar levels, which was easy to tell from taste.
The 1500s saw Paracelsus re-diagnose diabetes as a general medical condition. Thankfully this cleared up all the
confusion about kidney issues and other ideas.
In the early 1800s a chemical test was composed to work out how much sugar was in urine – thank goodness! This
made it a lot easier for everyone to identify diabetics.
But there was no way at that time to help those with diabetes.
In the 1870s, Bouchardat who was a French physician made a major discovery about diabetes. He found the blood
sugar levels of people who had food rationing because of the Franco-Prussian war were lower than those without
Hence it became obvious that diet is a main dynamic for the health of diabetics.
German medical student, by the name of Paul Langerhans, discovered in 1869 the pancreas creates two types of
cells. These are known as pancreatic fluid and “islets of Langerhans”, the second of which was an unknown
It wasn’t until 1921 when this substance was known. A dog had its pancreas removed so they gave it insulin shots
to help it manage with the lack of insulin-producing cells.
The history of diabetes had another major leap forward on the 23rd of January, 1922 when
there was the first recorded successful insulin injection into a human. This gave hope to diabetics all around the
world. They would soon have a way of controlling their bodies’ condition!
Within two months, the insulin injections were considered successful!
Soon after in May of the same year, Eli Lily made a deal with the University of Toronto. So he then started the
first large scale production of insulin in North America.
There followed a lot of new diabetes discoveries such as a standard syringe.
This syringe came onto the market in 1944 for insulin injections. It helped make the procedure more
Then there began oral medicines in 1955. These helped lower blood sugar levels.
In 1959, it was discovered there were two sorts of diabetes. This made treatment a lot
easier as it made everything much more specific.
There was the introduction of blood glucose meters in 1970 and in 1983, biosynthetic human insulin was made.
There are still lots of research going into cures for this chronic disease. It is still unknown what causes type
1 Diabetes, so there are lots of studies trying to unfold these mysteries.
Researchers and doctors are still hoping to make diabetes history by finding new and better ways to help
those people with diabetes.
Hopefully this will have good results and everyone will be happy and healthy!
Now go here to learn about Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.