November is a time to talk about more than just turkey. It’s National Diabetes Month — a time to raise awareness of the disease, how to prevent diabetes related health problems and the need for a cure!
Around 38 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. More than 1 in 3 adults – about 98 million Americans — has prediabetes, and 81% of them don’t know they have it.
The identification of diabetes goes back centuries — all the way back to 1550 B.C. The Egyptians were the first to recognize diabetes as a rare condition in which a person urinated excessively and lost weight – symptoms of what is now referred to as Type 1 diabetes.
In 600 B.C., Sushrata, a Hindu physician in India described a disease he named madhumeha, or “honey urine” because ants were attracted to the sweet taste of the urine from people with diabetes.
The scientific name for diabetes is diabetes mellitus – two words with separate meanings. But together the words are quite meaningful.
Diabetes is a Greek word meaning “siphon,” or “to pass through.” In 150 A.D., the Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia was the first to use the word “diabetes” when as he noted that disease causes constant flow of urine. He wrote that “Diabetes…being a melting down of the flesh and limbs into urine…The patients never stop making water, but the flow is incessant, as if from the opening of aqueducts.”
Mellitus is derived from Latin word meaning “honey.” In 1675, Thomas Willis (Britain) added the word mellitus upon discovering the sweetness of the urine of his patients. Willis also famously referred to diabetes as “pissing evil.”
Together, diabetes and mellitus aptly describes the frequent passing of urine with high levels of glucose (sugar)!
How Sweet It Isn’t
Diabetes is a serious disease – and can lead to a host of health complications if not managed. Common diabetes health complications include heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, liver disease and is linked to some types of cancer. And there’s more – blindness, loss of toes, feet and legs, and oral health problems.
Read more about diabetes complications in this issue of The Download
- In the Headlines: current healthcare news, including unions increase vax rates, race not a factor in assessing heart disease and male life expectancy declines.
- Risk and Rewards: diabetes and risks of liver disease, and pancreatic cancer, preventing Type 2 diabetes.
- Request Denied: prior authorization denial stories and what to do if care is denied.
- Talking Turkey: including my personal favorite, These People Are Responsible for the Cranberry Sauce You Love to Hate!
In the Headlines
Risks & Rewards
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]