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National Diabetes Awareness Week

June 12-18 is Diabetes Awareness Week in the UK but why not observe it in the United States and other countries. It was developed to raise awareness, encourage lifestyle changes with diet and exercise, and warn you about the risks. Diabetes is a growing risk to children, teens, and adults in all countries.

A Brief History of Diabetes

The treatment and awareness of diabetes was made by two men that had the disease. They were R.D. Lawernce and H.G Wells. Both men established the Diabetic Association in the UK.

Dr. Lawerence was treated with insulin in 1923 at Kings College Hospital in the UK. He devoted his life to understanding the disease and the patients dealing with it.

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His patient H.G Wells was an author and journalist who helped R.D. Lawernce establish the first diabetic patient oriented group. Wells was a well-know science fiction author who used his name to raise money for the diabetes inpatient unit at Kings College Hospital and later to establish the Diabetic Association in the UK. The both promoted awareness and treatment of the disease.

The first symptom for diabetes was discovered in Egypt in 1552. BC. It was frequent urination, excessive thirst, and weight loss. In India diabetes was tested by leaving a urine sample outdoors for ants. The sample had a high sugar content and attracted ants.

In 1776 Matthew Dobson confirmed that the urine of patients with diabetes had a high glucose level. In 1889 Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski found that the pancreas controls blood sugar. When they removed the pancreas from dogs they developed diabetes and died quickly afterwards. This helped scientists learn about the pancreas and its role in diabetes.

Elliot Joslin published a paper on treating diabetes using a fasting diet and exercise in 1916. In 1921 Frederick Banting and Charles Best introduced an extract of healthy pancreatic cells from healthy into dogs with diabetes. This reversed the diabetes in dogs and became an introduction to developing insulin.

These men worked with two scientists to purify insulin from the pancreas of cows to produce insulin for diabetes first used in January 1922. Today treatment for diabetes includes insulin, medications, diet, and exercise.

Photo Source: Wiki Symptoms

Diabetes, Diet and Exercise

Photo Source: Wikipedia

Today young children and teens develop diabetes at an early age. The causes may be too much sugar, carbs, genetics, processed food, lack of exercise, poverty, not having access to healthy food, and the body chemistry. The way the body processes food may vary in different ethnic groups. One cannot blame one factor as the cause of the problem. It is complex and hard to treat at times.

Dietitians and The American Diabetic Association believe diet and exercise can help control the symptoms of the disease The diet or Diabetic Plate has 1/2 plate of vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 carbs. The diet many of us eat has too much sugar, desserts, fat, salt, snack foods, bread, processed foods, sauces and condiments.

Protein is allowed on the diet you can eat chicken, fish, and some cuts of meat. Grass fed meat without hormones and antibiotics is recommended. Tuna, salmon, halibut trout, cod, clams, lobster, scallops' shrimp, and oysters are allowed. You can eat turkey, duck, and Cornish game hen, regular and reduced fat cheese Beef pork, veal and lamb are allowed but eat less of it.

Visit The American Diabetic Association for some delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and snacks. Read food labels and look at sugar, carbs, fat, Drink water, tea, coffee or low sugar drinks with meals. Salads and soups are great way to eat fruits and vegetables. One pot meals will feed a family and provide a great way to includes vegetable in your menu. You may have to register for an account to view their recipes.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

Regular exercise is recommended walking, biking, swimming, gardening, yoga, dance, doing housework, going to the gym, running, and if you are fit more strenuous exercise like Pilates and calisthenics. If you take medications or are treated for Type 1 or 2 diabetes check with your doctor about diet and exercise before jumping into a new routine. Do not jump into a strenuous routine work up to it gradually.

Start with small changes in diet and exercise to start the process with yourself and your family. Other sites to get ideas for managing diabetes in children and adult are ASweetlife, Diabetic Gourmet Magazine, and Eating Well.


The American Diabetes Association

Diabetes UK The Global Diabetic Community

Diabetes : Past Treatment, New Discoveries: Medical News Today, by Valencia Higuera, May 2023

Eat Well/ Diabetes

Animation: Giphy

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