Diabetes….an Epidemic

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Why do I have diabetes? Diabetes happens when someone’s body does not make enough insulin. Doctors and scientists have been working on that question for years without coming up with an answer. They know that if brothers, sisters, or parents have diabetes, then you have a greater chance of getting diabetes. But that’s not always the case. They know that diabetes is not caused by genetics alone. That means you can get it even if nobody else in your  family has it. A lot of people with type 1 diabetes don’t have any history of diabetes in their families.


For 2,000 years diabetes has been recognized as a devastating and deadly disease.  In the 17th century a London physician, Dr. Thomas Willis, determined whether his patients had diabetes or not by sampling their urine. If it had a sweet taste he would diagnose them with diabetes mellitus- “honeyed” diabetes. This method of monitoring blood sugars went largely unchanged until the 20th century.

One thing is for sure, diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar. This story probably comes from the way diabetes used to be treated. Long ago, when your grandparents were kids, people with diabetes were not allowed to eat any sugar. Luckily, researchers now know people with diabetes can eat sugar, but you have to make sure it’s in your meal plan.

The History Of Diabetes………….

1552 BC – Written on a 3rd Dynasty Egyptian papyrus, physician Hesy-Ra mentions frequent urination as a symptom. This is the earliest known record of diabetes. The first known mention of  diabetes symptoms  was in 1552 B.C., when Hesy-Ra, an Egyptian physician, documented frequent urination as a symptom of a mysterious disease that also caused emaciation. Also around this time, ancient healers noted that ants seemed to be attracted to the urine of people who had this disease

1500 BC Ancient Hindu writings note that ants are attracted to the urine of people with a mysterious emaciating disease.

500 BCThe first descriptions of sugar in the urine and its occurrence in obese individuals.

250 BC Apollonius of Memphis is credited with coining the term “diabetes”, meaning to go through, or siphon, for a disease that drains patients of more fluid than they can consume.

1st Century ADThe Greeks describe the disease as “a melting down of the flesh and limbs into urine.”

164 AD Greek physician, Galen of Pergamum, diagnoses diabetes as a kidney ailment.

Up to 11th Century – Since the urine of people with diabetes is thought to be sweet tasting, diagnosis is often made by “water tasters” who drink the urine of those suspected of having diabetes. Mellitus, the Latin word for honey, is added to the term “diabetes”.

16th Century- Paracelsus identifies diabetes as a serious general disorder.

image - Diabetes....an Epidemic

For thousands of years, no one knows how to live with diabetes, let alone treat or cure it. Children with diabetes often die within days of onset and older people deal with devastating complications. Remedies range from herbs to bleeding.

1776 Dobson finds a substance like brown sugar in appearance and taste when diabetic urine evaporates. He also notes a sweetish taste of sugar in the blood of diabetics. He observes that, for some people, diabetes is fatal in less than five weeks and, for others, is a chronic condition. This is the first time that a distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 has been made.

1797Rollo applies the first significant dietary approach to the treatment of diabetes. He successfully treats a patient using a high fat and protein diet after observing that sugar in the urine increases after eating starchy food.

1798Rollo documents excess sugar in the blood, as well as the urine.

Early 1800’s – Researchers develop the first chemical tests to indicate and measure the presence of sugar in the urine.

1848Bernard discovers that glycogen is formed by the liver and speculates that this is the same sugar found in the urine of diabetics. This is the first linking of diabetes and glycogen metabolism.

Late 1850sThe French physician, Priorry, advises diabetes patients to eat extra large quantities of sugar as a treatment. Oops! This won’t be the last time that strange and unhelpful treatments for diabetes will be tried.

In 1897, the average life expectancy for a 10-year-old child with diabetes is about 1 year. Diagnosis at age 30 carries a life expectancy of about 4 years. A newly diagnosed 50-year-old might live 8 more years.

1900-1915Diabetes treatment includes: the “oat-cure” (daily allowance is approximately eight ounces of oatmeal mixed with eight ounces of butter, eaten every two hours), the milk diet, the rice cure, “potato therapy”, opium, and overfeeding to compensate for the loss of fluids and weight.



1925 Home testing for sugar in the urine is introduced. Eight drops of urine is mixed in a test tube with 6 cc of Benedict’s solution provided by the doctor. The tube is put into boiling water for five minutes. The color of the liquid indicates the presence of sugar: greenish (light sugar), yellow (moderate) or red/orange (heavy).

Late 1940’sHelen Free develops the “dip-and-read” urine test (Clinistix), allowing instant monitoring of blood glucose levels

1944A uniform insulin syringe is developed and diabetes management becomes more standardized.

By 1945, a newly diagnosed 10-year-old has a life expectancy of 45 years; a 30-year-old has 30.5 more years; and a 50-year-old might have 16 more years to live.


1955 Oral drugs that help lower blood glucose levels are introduced.

1959Two major types of diabetes are recognized: Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.

1964The first strips for testing blood glucose are used. A drop of blood is placed on the paper strip for 1 minute, and then washed off. Comparing the color to a color chart provides a rough indication of blood glucose levels.

1965 Instant glucose is developed.

1966Doctors at the University of Manitoba perform the first pancreas transplant.


1970First blood glucose meter (Ames) is introduced. It is intended for use in doctors’ offices and costs around $500.

1970Insulin pumps are developed.

The development of testing equipment and supplies provides patients with much greater control and flexibility in the management of their diabetes.

1970Laser therapy is used to help slow or prevent blindness resulting from diabetes.

1973U-100 insulin is introduced.


1976HbA1c test is introduced.

1978 Testing of the first recombinant DNA insulin is announced.

Until this date manufacturers of insulin have had to stockpile animal pancreatic tissue. This changes dramatically with the development of DNA technology that allows the manufacturing of a genetically engineered “human” type of insulin.

1978The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) is established to increase knowledge and understanding about diabetes among patients, health care professionals and the general public.

1983 The first biosynthetic human insulin is introduced.

1983“Reflolux”, later known as “Accu-Chek”, is introduced allowing relatively easy and accurate blood glucose self-monitoring.

1986 Insulin pen delivery system is introduced.

1990Defeat Diabetes Foundation established to address the issue of prevention, which was not being met by existing diabetes related organizations.

1993 The landmark clinical trial Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) publishes its report. The study clearly demonstrates that more active self-management through nutrition, activity and monitoring of glucose levels (and adjustments) delays the onset and progression of long-term complications in Type 1 individuals. The study results shows proper management reduces risk complications significantly for eye disease (76%), kidney disease (50%) and nerve disease (60%).


1993 Instant Glucose tablets are introduced.

1996 The FDA approves the first recombinant DNA human insulin analogue, lispro (Humalog).

1990-1997External insulin pumps allow closer control and freedom from multiple injections. More sophisticated insulin analogues are introduced which offer faster action, less risk of reactions and more flexibility for diabetes management.

More than 300 insulin analogues have been identified, including 70 animal insulin’s, 80 chemically modified insulin’s and 150 biosynthetic insulin’s. These allow physicians the ability to customize treatment, reduce side effects and have improved outcomes.

2003The names Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) for Type 1 and Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) for Type 2 diabetes are formally dropped.

The life expectancy for people with diabetes in 2004 is still lower than that for the general population by about 15 years.

2014 – 26 million Americans have diabetes and 1 in 3 of them don’t know it. Another 79 million Americans are categorized as “pre-diabetic” and are at risk of developing diabetes in the next ten years if they don’t make appropriate lifestyle changes.



2013 and Beyond. Over 4000 studies are listed on the United States government website studying diabetes. Will one of these provide the next big breakthrough? – See more at: http://www.diabeteswellbeing.com/history-diabetes.html#sthash.nmF4FOSp.dpuf
January 11, 1922. Leonard Thompson becomes the first human patient to receive insulin treatment. At the time, he was 14 years old and weighed only 64 pounds. The initial injection produced only slight improvement. Several weeks later, after further refinement of the insulin, Leonard received another treatment and showed amazing improvement. He recovered to live anther 13 years before dying of pneumonia at age 27. – See more at: http://www.diabeteswellbeing.com/history-diabetes.html#sthash.Baco6MDl.dpuf
January 11, 1922. Leonard Thompson becomes the first human patient to receive insulin treatment. At the time, he was 14 years old and weighed only 64 pounds. The initial injection produced only slight improvement. Several weeks later, after further refinement of the insulin, Leonard received another treatment and showed amazing improvement. He recovered to live anther 13 years before dying of pneumonia at age 27. – See more at: http://www.diabeteswellbeing.com/history-diabetes.html#sthash.Baco6MDl.dpuf

 Three thousand years have passed since Aretaeus spoke of diabetes as “the mysterious sickness.” It has been a long and arduous process of discovery, as generations of physicians and scientists have added their collective knowledge to finding a cure. It was from this wealth of knowledge that the discovery of insulin emerged in a small laboratory in Canada. Since insulin saved the life of young Leonard Thompson 75 years ago, medical innovations have continued to make life easier for people with diabetes.

5ce814162d3af4e8fdf40a120e902e69In Diabetes Type 1 the body is not producing insulin, while in Diabetes Type 2 the cells are not responding properly to the insulin, and/or there is not enough insulin being produced.

Type 1 diabetes is a progressive autoimmune disease, where the beta cells, in the pancreas, that produce insulin are slowly destroyed by the body’s own immune system. Nobody knows what first starts this process, but research suggests that both a genetic predisposition and environmental factors, such as a viral infection are most likely involved.  When your own body destroys good stuff in your body it has what is called an autoimmune disease. Diabetes Type 1 is known as an autoimmune disease.

Quite simply – a person with Diabetes Type 1 does not produce insulin. In the majority of cases this type of diabetes appears before the patient is 40 years old. That is why this type of diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes or Childhood Diabetes. Diabetes Type 1 onset can appear after the age of 40, but it is extremely rare. About 15 per cent of all diabetes patients have Type 1.

People with Type 1 have to take insulin regularly in order to stay alive.

Diabetes Type 1 is not preventable, it is in no way the result of a person’s lifestyle. Whether a person is fat, thin, fit or unfit, makes no difference to his or her risk of developing Type 1. In the case of Diabetes Type 2, much of its onset is the result of body weight, fitness and lifestyle. The vast majority of people who develop Type 1 are not overweight, and are otherwise healthy during onset. You cannot reverse or prevent Type 1 by doing lots of exercise or eating carefully. Quite simply, the Diabetes Type 1 patient has lost his/her beta cells. The beta cells are in the pancreas; they produce insulin.

Person with Diabetes Type 2 has one of two problems, and sometimes both:

1. Not enough insulin is being produced

 2 The insulin is not working properly-this is known as insulin resistance..



The vast majority of patients who develop Type 2 did so because they were overweight and unfit, and had been overweight and unfit for some time. This type of diabetes tends to appear later on in life. However, there have been more and more cases of people in their 20s developing Type 2, but it is still relatively uncommon.


The process that destroys the insulin-producing cells can take a long time. Once insulin production ceases, type 1 diabetes usually shows up suddenly and progresses very fast.



Some of the warning signs of type 1 diabetes are….

  • Frequent Urination (your child may start to wet the bed).
  • Unusual thirst.
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Sudden, sometimes dramatic, weight loss.
  • Weakness.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight.
  • Irritability.
  • Nausea and vomiting (if diabetes related, get your child to the emergency room).
  • Restlessness
  • Sudden drop in school performance.
  • In very severe cases a coma may be your first and only sign.

Diabetes is the second most common childhood disease in this country. In spite of the prevalence of diabetes in this society, it is a very misunderstood disease. It’s particularly confusing when there are so many misconceptions out there about it.

MYTH: You can “get rid” of diabetes.
MISCONCEPTIONS: Type I: “Oh, he’ll outgrow it.” Type II: “Oh, I don’t have it anymore.”
TRUTH: Once you have diabetes, you always have it. THERE IS NO CURE FOR DIABETES!

So What is the Treatment for this disease?
diabetesType I Diabetes must be treated with insulin injections. The biggest key is balancing these insulin injections against other factors that affect the sugar in the blood system such as diet, exercise, hormones, stress and illnesses (and many other intangible things). Every single thing that a Type I does (and sometimes thinks about) affects the blood glucose level.

Type II Diabetes usually can be treated with oral medications, diet, exercise and weight control. Many people with Type II Diabetes also need to take insulin injections as well to supplement the other treatments.Almost 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Some people with Type II Diabetes are fortunate enough to be able to control it simply by diet, exercise, and/or weight control and do not have to take any medications

A diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming. But it shouldn’t stop you from living a healthy, active life, especially if you’re able to manage your diabetes and reduce the chance of developing complications later on…

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A healthy diet and regular exercise routine go hand-in-hand to help reduce your risk of diseases such as diabetes and live an overall healthy lifestyle. The ADA offers the following benefits to being active, as it relates to combating diabetes:

  • Improves Blood Glucose Management: Activity makes your body more sensitive to the insulin you make and it burns glucose (calories), both of which help to lower blood glucose levels.
  • Lowers Blood Pressure: Activity helps your heart pump stronger and slower.
  • Improves Blood Fats: Exercise provides heart healthy benefits such as raising good cholesterol (HDL), while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.
  • Promotes Weight Loss and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
  • Lowers Risk of Common Diseases Such as Heart Attack, Stroke, Some Cancers and Bone Loss
  • Increases Energy and Improves Quality of Sleep
  • Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Depression
  • Builds Stronger Bones and Muscles: Weight-bearing activities, such as walking, can make bones stronger. Strength-training activities, such as lifting light weights can make muscles strong.

Become a Student of Diabetes  
At the time of diagnosis, most people experience a steep learning curve as they try to digest all they can about managing their diabetes. But unfortunately, many stop learning after the first few months and assume they know enough. Don’t make that mistake. The more informed you are about diabetes the more confident you will be in managing it. Many excellent resources are available within this site to help you increase your knowledge of diabetes.

Type-1-Diabetes-SymptomsManage Your Diabetes Every Day

The four pillars of diabetes management are insulin, food, exercise and glucose testing. Balancing your glucose levels with the first three is your daily challenge. Testing your blood regularly is the only sure way of knowing how you are doing. It’s important to remember that perfection is not the goal. No person with type 1 keeps their blood glucose levels in the normal range all the time. When you have a bad day, try to understand what went wrong, give yourself some slack and make an honest attempt to improve the next day.

Self care
Self care is an integral part of daily life and is all about you taking responsibility for your own health and well-being with support from the people involved in your care. Self care includes the actions you take for yourself every day in order to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health, prevent illness or accidents and care more effectively for minor ailments and long term conditions. People living with long term conditions can benefit enormously from being supported to self care – they can live longer, have less pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, have a better quality of life and be more active and independent.

Learn how to take care of yourself. When you take good care of yourself and manage your diabetes, you will probably get sick less often, need fewer extra shots or tests, and be able to do the same activities as everyone else. When you can participate and feel well enough to get exercise (which is a great mood booster), you’ll feel better, too.


If you’re ready to take charge of tracking your blood sugar levels, adjusting and taking your insulin injections, and taking responsibility for preparing your meals and snacks, talk to your parents and doctor about how you can start making these changes. Again, taking charge of these practical tasks can give you more of a sense of control and power over diabetes. You might begin to feel proud — even amazed — that you’re doing things you didn’t think you’d be able to do.

I found this article by Riva Greenberg who is a speaker and Health Coach. She has Diabetes 1. She shared this article which I think so many of you will relate to.

Daily signs of my diabetes:
1. I find myself yelling, “How many carbs are in that pancake? You don’t know?!” My day is filled with stuff ordinary people never think about.

2. Checking my pockets every time I leave the house to see if I have fast-acting sugar with me to ward off low blood sugar.

3. Finding myself sweating profusely while no one around me seems bothered by the heat. Oops, too late to ward off low blood sugar.

4. Lying in bed utterly exhausted about to fall asleep when a thought creeps through my mind, “Gotta get up and stick a needle in my finger to test my blood sugar.”

5. Hmmm, that’s a cute designer diabetes accessory. It would carry all my syringes, vials, test strips. God, did I really say that?

6. Wiping blood off my counter, my cupboard, my shirt, after testing, with absolutely no abhorrence, hesitation, or dismay.

7. “When’s dinner? When? You sure? Really? Ten minutes, you’re sure?”ebookdiabetes2

8. I planned to skip my morning power walk due to rain. One hour later the sun is out. Should I walk? Shouldn’t I? Now I’ll have to eat something if I walk to avoid low blood sugar! Damn! Should I walk? Shouldn’t I?

9. Seeing five different doctors every year even when I’m feeling fine, including an endocrinologist, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, diabetes educator, dietitian.

10. My jewelry has emergency contact information on it.

11. Being thrilled that my health care insurer has merged with a durable medical supply company so I get all the test strips I want. Oh goodie!

12. I just tested my blood sugar and I just forgot the number! Alzheimer’s? Who cares, now I have to do it again!!! Geez!

13. Glucerna just made a cereal for diabetics – a product just for us. Hmmm…I don’t really want to notice there’s an “us.”


(Lose It! is an outstanding calorie, exersize, and goal tracker. You pick a target weight and a reasonable rate of loss then the program sets a daily caloric target, which adjusts upward for exersize  entries.

But unlike other ‘weight loss’ programs, YOU get to set the goal and YOU get to do the tracking, so there is absolutely no external shame or guilt. This facilitates direct access to the core driver of all addiction, internally generated shame which remains hidden and inaccessible at the slightest hint of externally imposed shame or guilt.)

Get Lose It!

I Got Diabetes

MPj026224500001-300x199I got diabetes
one “not so good” day,
I felt like a washrag
with no urge to play.

So thirsty and sleepy
I went to my Doc,
He found Diabetes
(it was quite a shock!)

My mom started crying
My dad looked real stern,
We all went to classes
Some lessons to learn.

Like what I could eat
at what time; and how much,
And how to take shots
and test sugars and such.

We learned Diabetes
is not like the flu,
that you can get over
It’s something brand new.

We found Diabetes
can hit any kid,
It isn’t your fault
and it’s nothing you did.

I’m strong now and healthy
My parents are too,
We exercise more
e0a89c1352c137add53522ada00f0b88than we once used to do.

I feel really lucky
I learned all the tricks,
to keep Diabetes
from making me sick.

Healthier foods have
a place on my plate,
I look just the same
and I feel really great!

Diabetes is only
a piece of what’s me,
It’s not going to block
anything I can be!!!!!!

The high price of prescription medications for the treatment of Diabetes and its complications can be cost prohibitive, even with insurance. My Advocate for Health can save you money and time on your medications.
Defeat Diabetes Foundation is on a mission to inform, educate and prevent Type 2 Diabetes and to improve the lives of ALL people with Diabetes. That’s why we are recommending My Advocate for Health.


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Hello, We are very excited to be here. We hope you will like our website and come back often. We have 10 children between us and 25 grandchildren. We love anything family related. Dennis is a network dispatcher and Barbara works in the food industry and just finished a course in Medical Coding. Thank you for visiting.

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