What Is Diabetes :The full name of this awful disease is ‘diabetes is ‘Diabetes millitus’ diabetes means a syphon. One more name is related to this malady and that is ‘diabetes insipid’? ‘Il)is term is used when urine is free from sugar,
The words ‘diabetes millitus’ have been derived from Greek. ‘Diabetes’ means in Greek to go through or come out and ‘mellitus’ means sugar or honey. Thus it stands for the flow of sugar. In Ayurveda also it is claimed that the word ‘diabetes’ is derived from the Unani language meaning ‘flow’ and the word ‘mellitus’ — of Latin origin means sugar. In Ayurveda the disease is called ‘Madhumeha•. meaning ‘flow of honey’.
Insulin isolated: The disease owes its name to the Greek physician named Aretaeus. It was in the second Century AD, and it was for Thomas Willis, an English physician who lived in the seventeenth century, to find out the contents of sugar in urine. Many physiologists thereafter devoted their attention to research work and the French Physiologist, Claude Bernard (1813-1878), provided a rational basis for understanding diabetes. In 1889, a German doctor, Von Mering, and a Pole, Minkowski, reached the conclusion that the disease is caused due to the malfunctioning of pancreas, an organ in the upper intestine which secretes a number of hormones and enzymes. But they could go no further. In 1922 two Canadians, Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best, assisted by John Macleod, were successful in isolating insulin from pancreatic tissue and declared that it was essential for the body to absorb sugar fully.
Too much research has been carried out since then by various biochemists and atomic structure of insulin has been well established. The large molecule has been synthesized, first by Chinese, and is now also produced by genetic engineering of a common, benign intestinal bacterium, Escherichia coli.
West more affected
West more affected: In the West, the disease affects about 15 per cent of the population, but the developing countries have lesser number. Of those with the disease, about 15 per cent are children or young people. They are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 30. The onset of symptoms tends to be acute and they are almost always dependent on insulin to control the symptoms for the rest of their lives.
But approximately 85 per cent of all diabetics become ill after the age of 35 and the rest only in later years. The onset of symptoms tends to be slow, and patients do not usually require insulin to control them. The sexual incidence is about two women to one man. The late-onset diabetic is likely to be overweight or obese whereas the early-onset patient is more often thinner than usual.
In 1921 a Canadian surgeon, Frederick Banting, and Charles Best, a medical student who was helping him with his experiments in a Toronto laboratory, discovered that an extract of certain parts of the pancreatic gland could be made which, when injected, controlled the diabetes temporarily. They named it insulin, because it came from the ‘islets of Langerhans’, (insula is ‘island’ in Latin), special cells that were grouped together throughout the spongy gland of the normal pancreas.
Insulin was found to be ahormone, a chemical substance which is secreted by a gland which travels via the blood stream to other organs which it stimulates into action. For sometime it seemed that the whole problem of diabetes had been solved; people with diabetes were those whose pancreas did not make enough insulin which was necessary to enable them to digest and make use of sugar in their bodies. It seemed very simple then and in fact the basic theory that an insulin deficiency causes diabetes remains unchallenged.
Body chemistry: As the years rolled on. the complications of the human body’s chemistry have been more understood and it is nowadays appreciated that many other factors may be playing a part in the cause, the effects and the control of diabetes. Nevertheless, insulin stops diabetes from getting worse. controls the disorder and keeps a diabetic healthy.
In young people, symptoms of diabetes often flare up suddenly. Urine volume may rise rapidly accompained by a raging thirst. Weight loss is rapid and unrelated to diet. There may also be vomiting. pain in the gut and muscles, irritability and a tingling sensation at the extremities. Unless treatment is begun within a few days or weeks the patient will pass into profound unconsciousness, coma, and die. In older people, the disease develops very slowly and is often mild. Urination increases but less dramatically, perhaps being most noticeable during the night. Similarly, thirst is less intense. Weight loss is extended, and indeed, some patients may actually gain weight. Itching in the urinary passage affects mainly women though men may also experience it around the head of their private part. Men complain that they lose lidido and become impotent. Lassitude is common. Other symptoms indicate complications of diabetes.
When the body does not get proper nutrients. it breaks down fats to acetone in a desperate but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to gain energy. That produces a strange smell which has been called “the odour of sanctity”
Ketoacidosis can lead to coma and death within hours. It is the usual cause of death in diabetes, and basically treatment is designed to prevent or correct acidification of body fluids.
When we say a person is suffering from diabetes insipid, we mean he is suffering from excessive urination and too much thirst. But the urine in such cases is of low specific gravity. It is only when the urine contains too much of sugar content, it may be said that the patient is having a bout of diabetes.
As has already been mentioned in the chapter of introduction that when the body fails to absorb the sugar content released after one has his meals, it goes into blood and when blood fails to absorb the whole quantity of sugar, the excessive quantity passes on to kidney and thence to urine.