Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world and without a radical change in our lifestyle, it’s only going to get worse. Today is World Diabetes Day and the aim is educate people about the ins and outs of diabetes. But instead of looking the causes and symptoms, which you can find here, let’s look as some lesser known facts you might not know about.
- India has the highest diabetes rate in the world. In the year 2000, the number of Indian diabetics reached 31.7 million.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease and, if not controlled, will be one of the top ten biggest killers in the world by 2030.
- Insulin, the substance used to manage Type 1 diabetes, was discovered by a group of people in Canada, namely Sir Fredrick Banting, Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod, in 1921.
- On 11 January 1922, the first dose of insulin was given to a human. That person was 14 year old Leonard Thompson and it was given to him on his deathbed. Unfortunately he suffered a severe allergic reaction to the insulin. However once the insulin was refined, his second dosage reduced the symptoms and controlled his diabetes.
- Unlike Leonard, who was a type 1 diabetic, most people with the disease are type 2. This means that their bodies can produce insulin, but cells are resistant to it. About 90 – 95% of the diabetic population has type 2.
- Diabetes is also one of the main causes on blindness in people. This type of blindness is called diabetic retinopathy.
- It’s completely treatable. Type 1 can be managed with insulin and type 2 can be controlled with the right lifestyle changes.
- Diabetes is a very old disease. According to old records, symptoms of diabetes were identified about 1200 years ago.
- The link between diabetes and the pancreas was discovered when a doctor, who was researching the digestive system, removed the organ from a healthy dog. Later, they discovered that ants were attracted to the pooch’s urine, and found out that the urine contained large amounts of sugar, establishing a link between organ and disease.