Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Historical View of Diabetics Mellitus: From Ancient Egyptian Polyuria to Discovery of Insulin

Mohajan, Devajit (2023): Historical View of Diabetics Mellitus: From Ancient Egyptian Polyuria to Discovery of Insulin. Published in: Studies in Social Science & Humanities , Vol. 2, No. 7 (12 August 2023): pp. 26-34.

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History is the pioneer of all researches and developments, and the history of diabetes has its beginnings in antiquity about over three millennia. Diabetes mellitus is one of the oldest diseases from the human civilization. Also it is one of the most studied diseases in the history of medicine. Main symptoms of this disease are hyperglycaemia, excessive thirsty, increased appetite, gradual loss of body weight, and continuous passing of huge honey-sweet urine that often drew ants. The disease causes either for inadequate insulin production, or for the body cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Descriptions of diabetes mellitus have been found in the Egyptian Papyri, in ancient Indian and Chinese medical literature, and in the works of ancient Greek and Arab physicians. In the 17th century works of Thomas Willis; in the 19th century, the glycogenic action of the liver is done by French physiologist Claude Bernard; famous experiment of removing the pancreas from a dog and producing severe and fatal diabetes are performed by Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering; and finally in the 19th century, isolation of insulin from pancreatic islets is done by Frederick Banting and Charles Best to save diabetes patients from the suffering from diabetes. These are the roots of all achievements in favor of welfare of diabetes patients. At present the prevalence of diabetes is very high worldwide, and is increasing day by day. In this study historical points of diabetes are highlighted for the awareness of this disease.

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