DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE
Insulin Therapy for Diabetes Past, Present and Future
Medical Author: Ruchi Mathur, M.D.
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
I am lucky to have so many wonderful patients who try so very hard to
maintain the best blood sugar
control possible. For many of them, this involves
insulin pump therapy or multiple
injections of insulin
a day - in addition to testing their blood sugars often. I often get asked is there is anything on the
horizon that will make life easier for them. I tell them they may have to
"squint" a bit to see it - but off to the distance, there just may be.
The symptoms of diabetes were described more than 2000
years ago. Aretaeus of Cappadocia (circa 150 A.D) noted that "...it consists of a
moist and cold wasting of the flesh and limbs into the urine. The patient never
ceases making water. The disease is chronic in character, though the patient
does not survive long when it is completely established for the maramus produced
is rapid and death is speedy." Ancient Hindu texts also described a diabetic
syndrome, characterized by "honeyed urine." These astute observations
characterized the clinical
syndrome associated with what is now called type 1 diabetes (formerly known as
insulin dependent diabetes). Type 1 diabetes usually manifests in childhood or
young adulthood. Until the latter half of the 20th century, type 1 diabetes was
a fatal disease.