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Saudi German Hospital Cairo  >  press releases   >  Diabetes History, Symptoms, and Treatments

Diabetes History, Symptoms, and Treatments

What is Diabetes?
The History of Diabetes
Types of Diabetes
The Common Symptoms of Diabetes
The Diagnosis of Diabetes
The Treatments of Diabetes


What is Diabetes?
It is dramatic to know that there are more than 400 million persons around the world that suffer from diabetes. Due to unhealthy life styles and the consumption of large amounts of sugar and sweets, this number is largely increasing every day.

Glucose is one of the main sources for energy for the body. However, a certain increase in the level of glucose in the blood level would be considered diabetes, a health condition that would have an impact on the whole body.
When people eat, their bodies transform various nutrients into glucose in order to be modified internally into energy the body benefits from in all its activities.
Pancreas plays a significant role in the development of diabetes, as one of its major functions is to produce and direct the glucose inside the cells of the body to make use of it. However, in the cases of several patients pancreas does not produce enough insulin. This is the main cause of diabetes.
Although there is not a permanent cure for diabetes as it is one of the most common chronic diseases. It is necessary to for diabetes patients to have good care of their cases on daily basis in order to avoid the severe complications that would happen.

The History of Diabetes
Various scholars and physicians have been recording this case recognized afterwards to be diabetes for centuries. Many civilizations and bright minds contributed to the discovery and the treatment of diabetes.
The very first record of any symptoms of diabetes was in the middle of the 16th century BC. This was when Hesy Ra, an ancient Egyptian physician discovered that an increase in the frequency and the amount of micturition is symptom of an unknown disease. In fact, the study of many ancient Egyptian mummies discovered that some of them died due to the complications of diabetes.
Another astonishing fact that scientists also found out during this period is that the urine of patients who suffer from this mysterious disease attract ants! This is because it contains a high percentage of sugar.
An important event in the history of diabetes occurred in the 2nd century BC. This was when a Greek scientist gave the very first description of diabetes when he said that it is the melting down of flesh and blood into the human urine.
The first real diagnosis method of diabetes took place hundreds of years afterwards at the end of the 17th century. Physicians began tasting the urine of patients. If they tasted sugary, then probably, the person suffers from diabetes. This primitive mean of diagnosis remained until doctors in the 19th century began developing clinical tests to determine the presence of diabetes.

When scientists began to learn more about this chronic disease, they started understanding how to deal with it. The very first treatment physicians began advising their patients to carry out is to exercise in order to reduce the amount of urine their bodies produce.
At the beginning of the 18th century, scientists began to discover other means to treat diabetes when they realized that a change in the eating habits and the diets of patients would contribute to the decrease of the amount of urine produced by the body and decrease the percentage of sugar or glucose in the body.
In 1916, Elliot Joslin, a scientist from Boston, wrote the first textbook for the treatment of diabetes. He noted that a diet that is based on fasting for certain hours and the daily exercises would considerably improve the conditions of patients.
The most important milestone in the treatment of diabetes was when scientists discovered the relation between pancreas and diabetes. Nobel Prize winner, Frederick Banting, a Canadian physician discovered that role insulin plays in regulating glucose levels in the blood of patients.
Banting was able in 1922 to inject patients with certain dosages of insulin and the diabetes levels of patients tremendously improved. It is worth mentioning that Banting won the noble prize for this discovery.

Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
In the case of Type A Diabetes, the pancreas of the patients stop producing any quantity of insulin. Therefore, these patients should take insulin every day to survive. Although type 1 diabetes usually appear in children and teens, it may appear or develop at any age.
Despite the fact that insulin injections are vital for the patients with Type A Diabetes, a balanced diet would also contribute to improve the conditions of patients.

Type 2 Diabetes
The pancreas of patients who have Type 2 Diabetes produce certain amounts of insulin. However, the quantities of insulin are either too high or too low for the consumption of the body. This intensifies the glucose level in the blood because these amounts of sugar are not directed in the right way to be used as a source of energy.
The majority of patients around the world suffer from Type 2 Diabetes with the percentage being more than 90% among diabetes patients. Most of the cases require medications to control the sugar level in the body.

Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a temporary case of diabetes that affect from 3 to 20% of pregnant ladies. Although this condition does not last after giving birth, it may increase the risk that the mother or the child would have diabetes afterwards.

The Common Symptoms of Diabetes
–    A feeling of fatigue
This is because the body receives a certain amount of glucose that the body does not benefit from due to the lack of the proper amount of insulin. This would make the patient feel tired and hungry most of the times.
–    Abnormal peeing and thirst
Peeing more than 6 or 7 times a day is the most common symptom of diabetes. This is because the kidneys begin getting the insulin out of the body when it cannot make use of it resulting in more urine getting out of the body.  Even if the patient keep on drinking more water, he would go peeing and losing the water he consumed.
–    Problems in vision
Due to the large amount of fluids changed inside the body, the lens inside the eye inflames and cause blurred vision and other problems in the eyes.
Other symptoms would include headaches, unexplained loss of weight, dry mouth, and pain around the body.

The Diagnosis of Diabetes
There are mainly three ways to be get diagnosis for diabetes. Doctors usually ask patients to carry out these three following tests in order to prescribe the appropriate medications.
The first is a blood test to measure the level of glucose in the body in case of fasting for at least 7 hours. If the results turn out to be more than 120 mg/dL, the patient might prove to have diabetes. This test can be carried out at home using a glucose measurement gadget.
There is also the A1c test that gives an idea about the glucose level in the blood for a period of 2 to 3 months. If the result is more than 6.5%, this means the patient has diabetes.
The last mean to diagnose diabetes is through the consumption of glucose through the mouth through some certain drinks. Doctors then measure the glucose level every 30 to 60 minutes. After 2 or 3 hours, if the level of glucose is more than 200 mg/dL, this means probably that the patient suffers from diabetes.

The Treatments of Diabetes
The treatment of diabetes is a must as it never gets cured by itself and the body cannot tolerate its effects on its own without medical intervention.
As a chronic disease, doctors usually have a plan for treatment that suits the sugar level of the patient and all his other life conditions. The treatment is afterwards modified many times due to the increase or the decrease in the glucose level of the patients.
There are hundreds of medications for the treatment of diabetes. This is why doctors assign certain medications for the specific cases of patients. Other than direct insulin consumption, some medications work on encouraging the pancreas to produce more insulin, others’ function is to reduce the ability of the body to absorb unwanted amounts of glucose.
Diabetes is a serious disease that sometimes require a whole team of medical professionals to deal with and to avoid the severe complications that might occur.

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