Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Diabetes in Ancient Times

Diabetes mellitus, usually referred to simply as “diabetes” had been known to mankind since ancient times.

Diabetes means “flowing though” and mellitus has it origin in the Latin word means “sweet as honey”.

In the past, diabetes was diagnose by tasting the urine. No effective treatment was available.

Ebers Papyrus, which was written around 1500 BC, describes diabetes mellitus treatment, ancient Egyptian physicians were practice diabetes disease management by manipulating the diet of his patients by giving them beer swill and cucumber.

Physicians in India at the same time observed that the urine from people with diabetes attracted ants and flies. They called the condition “honey urine”.

In 230 BC, Greek physicians considered diabetes a disease of the kidneys and recommended, among other ineffective treatments, such measures as bloodletting and dehydration.

Physicians in ancient Greece described in detail and gave the world its name. Aretaeus and Galen were two Greek physicians who listed symptoms of diabetes.

Aretaeus in 2nd century AD described a serious condition involving the ‘melting down of flesh and limbs into urine’. He observed that ‘life was short, unpleasant and painful, thirst unquenchable, drinking excessive and disproportionate to the large quantity of urine’.

The first human to be treated with insulin was a 14 year old boy, Leonard Thomson, in Canada in the year 1922.
Diabetes in Ancient Times
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