The History of Diabetes

The History of Diabetes
Christine L. Foutch Naturopathic Physician Rock Island, Illinois

Christine Foutch is a practicing Holistic Physician in Rock Island, Illinois, specializing in Holistic Nutrition and Biomechanics. Holistic medicine is the art and the science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies... more

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by the elevated levels of glucose in the blood. This is known as hyperglycemia.

Before I get into it, let's look at some diabetes history first.

It was first discovered more than 2,000 years ago as a affliction that caused excessive thirst, weight loss, and honey-sweet urine.

Thought I would get your attention on that comment. Yes, doctors had to taste the urine! This sweet taste had been noticed in urine by the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, and Persians as it is evident from their literature.

By the 16th century, doctors began treating their diabetic patients with different diets. 

It was known in the 17th century as “pissing evil”.

Doctors would recommend diets consisting of milk, barley, water, and bread. The idea here was to replace the sugar lost within the urine, but this didn't work. Doctors later tried a diet of meat and fat, but regardless of the diet, the patients died within a few months.

With nothing else to offer, doctors were at a loss. With the intent to keep their patients alive, they tried restricting the patients' food intake. Until the discovery of insulin, there was no hope for patients with diabetes.

Insulin was discovered around 100 years ago when two physiologists discovered the surgical removal of a dog's pancreas caused diabetes. This caught the attention of a man named Frederick Banting. Banting thought that enzymes produced by the pancreas were destroying other substances released from the pancreas. Banting collected the remaining functional secretions and injected them into diabetic dogs. The dogs' symptoms disappeared.

Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy who was dying of diabetes, was the first to be injected with Banting and his colleagues' pancreatic extract. That was later named insulin. Early on, insulin was obtained from the pancreatic extractions of cattle and pigs. Today, human insulin is produced by genetic engineering which is purer and more effective than the insulin derived from animals.

By 1960, it became clear that there was more than one type of diabetes. Over the years, diabetes became classified by the age of onset (juvenile or adult). This was confusing because various forms of diabetes can occur at any age.

The classification then became whether insulin was required for treatment or not. The problem with this is that some people diagnosed with non-insulin-dependent diabetes require insulin to control hyperglycemia. 

Today, diabetes is classified based on etiology, or the underlying cause.

These types include:

  • Type One
  • Type Two 
  • Gestational
  • Secondary

About Christine Foutch:

Christine Foutch is a practicing Holistic Physician in Rock Island, Illinois. Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health.

Her educational background includes holistic nutrition, physiology, weight loss, weight gain, fitness maintenance, functional range of motion, hypertrophy, strength training, and power training. She has expertise in nutrition, biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, immunology, and knowledge of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.

Christine Foutch obtained certification in 2013 from Penn Foster Career School. She began online counseling through Holistic Infowars and has since provided help with disease reversal and weight management, among many others.