Juvenile Diabetes in the Past


(Anonymous) #1

So we’ve covered the fact that Thomas Edison was diabetic (I don’t know about you – but that came as quite a surprise for me!), but in one of the books about juvenile diabetes I checked out, there was a bit of history. I don’t mean past treatments, diagnosis, etc. This stuff is pretty cool; I Googled it for more information after reading it.

First off, Hesy-Ra was an Egyptian doctor and in 1552 B.C.E. he described a patient that needed to use the restroom often. Diabetes much? Some people believe he was describing a case of diabetes, before we called it that and before we knew what it was. This could just be me, but I find that really interesting. Also, the book states that doctors in India and China also saw patients with similar symptoms around the same time.

You may already know this, as it is fairly general, but it was first called diabetes about 100 to 175 C.E.

The first human to receive insulin (diabetic) was Leonard Thompson in January 1922. He was eleven at the time (that was when I was diagnosed – must have been weird to be getting the first of such a treatment).

Anyone else have some interesting facts about juvenile diabetes in the past? Pretty cool stuff J


(Anonymous) #2

 

I Googled Hesy-Ra again; these are listed here http://www.13beyond.com/hesy-ra/gallery.htm to be Hesy-Ra.


(BrianPQuinn) #3

Wow... The Edison thing is kinda cool to know. Weird, but cool. And when I first read your message above and you mentioned Leonard Thompson being the first to recieve Insulin at the age of 11 in 1922. I misread it and thoguht you said you were diagnosed in 1922, which seemed odd. Cause you don't look 87 to me.


(Gina) #4

Alyssa that is pretty interesting! Thanks for posting. I will look for some interesting diabetes facts too.


(MaDEvans) #5

Do you know how they used to test to see if there was sugar in the urine in the old days (before blood sugar meters)?  They would taste the urine.  AH!  Hahaha.  Diabetes means excessive discharge of urine, mellitus means sweet.

An old native name for it was "the pissing evil". The noun diabetic was fromed 1840."


(BrianPQuinn) #6

You know some days I complain about my meter and the finger pricks. However, now I am all about pricking my finger. I don't think I would be all that happy if I had to test the other way.


(A-D) #7

Mad Evans,

And I know Joe and a few others remember this all too well but between the tasting and the finger sticks was a period of putting the urine in a test-tube with a reagent and waiting for a color change...  We got information on averages only (urine is not a point-in-time test) and all we could really tell was whether we were high enough (160-180+) to be spilling sugar into our urine... I am willing to bet nobody misses those days!

What fun information and a great post, thank you (again, and again...) Alyssa!

Cheers!

A-D


(tombeatson) #8

I've been Type 1 since Dec. 1942, when I was 10. I tested my urine by putting a measured amount of Benedict's Solution in a test tube, along with (I think it was) 5 drops of urine. I put the test tube into a metal 1-cup measuring cup that was partially filled with water, and then put the measuring cup into a space on the gas stove in the kitchen, where I boiled it for (I think) 5 minutes. If there was no color change (from the dark blue of Benedict's Solution), the test was "negative". Color changes to green, yellow, orange, and brown were called 1+, 2+, 3+, and 4+. Lots of my tests were 4+, because what else could you expect with one or two insulin injections per day. The negative tests were kind of a warning of low BG, although negative could be anything less than 160-180, as we know it today.

Tom


(Anonymous) #9

Tom,
I know I've already told you this, but I still love hearing about diabetes in the 40's. I know I've also told you this before, but it's my favorite time period :)

 

And in response to what A-D posted, this makes me laugh because I saw a book in an antiques store once about diabetes. I don't remember when exactly it was printed, but on the first couple of pages were printed a picture of test tubes with different colors inside and the general blood sugar range listed below. It was an interesting read :)


(Anonymous) #10

On the Hesy-Ra track, this is his name in hieroglyphics. I think this is pretty cool how simple it is: the first symbol is vase, or hes, and the second sun disk, or rey. This is the link, it's the fifth picture if you're curious: http://www.13beyond.com/hesy-ra/gallery.htm


(joe) #11

[quote user="Mad Evans"]

Do you know how they used to test to see if there was sugar in the urine in the old days (before blood sugar meters)?  They would taste the urine. 

[/quote]

In some societies, they would be a little smarter - if ants were attracted to urine spilled near an anthill, it would be proof that sugar was present, no need to call the "tasters"   AMEN.


(joe) #12

[quote user="A-D"]

And I know Joe and a few others remember this all too well but between the tasting and the finger sticks was a period of putting the urine in a test-tube with a reagent and waiting for a color change... 

[/quote]

My kidneys were strong, so if I got a color change it would mean my BS was over 200, in the last 3 hours!!!  Imagine a life where all you had was a test tube, 5 drops of urine, (10 drops of water) and a clinitest tablet that boiled in contact with moisture and had "benedict solution" built in.......    A-D   THESE KIDS ARE SPOILED


(BrianPQuinn) #13

Spoiled or happy that things have gotten easier call it what you want, Joe. However, if you want to truly prove your dedication to the old days I am sure your doctor can arrange to have you go back tot he old style of testing and monitoring. We may be spoiled, but your suffering from the past does benefit you now. Thank God for science or who knows where any of us would be. I have my guesses, but lets not go that way.


(joe) #14

[quote user="Brian"]

Spoiled or happy that things have gotten easier call it what you want, Joe. However, if you want to truly prove your dedication to the old days I am sure your doctor can arrange to have you go back tot he old style of testing and monitoring. We may be spoiled, but your suffering from the past does benefit you now. Thank God for science or who knows where any of us would be. I have my guesses, but lets not go that way.

[/quote]

haha I was smiling when I wrote that Brian - no one with diabetes can ever, ever be acused of being spoiled.  sorry if I offended, I was making a joke of my old age.... 

the fact is that things have improved - some out of necessity, some out of evolution, some even out of ingenious inventions.  I work in "Big Pharma" and there are thousands of inventors and scientists and engineers working on improvements and making real strides in human health in general, most of them behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.

oh and the clinitest tablets are still available, so are clinistix (vast improvement over clinitest).  If you ever wanted to see what it was like you can actually still try it out.


(Eric_Carpenter) #15

My endocrinologist told me another pre-glucometer "test" was to boil your urine. If crystals were left in the pot sugar was spilling into it. The test didn't require you to drink, but wasn't popular because the whole house would smell.


(BrianPQuinn) #16

Joe,

I am way kidding with you. No worries, I am a walking bag of sarcasm, which sometimes gets me in trouble. In fact that happened the other night. I got suckered into a toast because of the sarcasm.... Such is life. I love hearing these stories from the ancients cause it is kinda odd,  remember being annoyed with the 60 second sugar test. Only had I known about boiling my pee...


(Perk) #17

does anyone remember when testing your blood sugars having that special paper to dab your finger on three times ... thats when you practically need a blood transfusion for one test


(firerose17) #18

I didnt know that Thomas Edison was diabetic.  I was diagonsised about three weeks ago and I am 14.  I hope you and I can talk to each other.


(slkboston) #19

I think he's using an insulin pump in the second picture-LOL!


(rainbow) #20

I remember urine tests, and I remember my first blood test machine required what seemed like a litre of blood, and you had to wait 60 seconds then rinse the blood off with a special water bottle.


The one that came after that required blotting on a special pad of paper.

I think I am spoiled, but I'm definitely not going back to urine tests.