Sunday, September 15, 2019

19th Century Death Sentence--Diabetes PLUS GIVEAWAY!!



Diabetes~ It touches everyone these days, if not a family member than you know someone who has been affected by the disease.

Did you ever wonder if this is a 20th plus century problem or older? My family has seen the devastation of diabetes, as type 1 runs in the family. I decided to do some research into this growing disease and found it so interesting I thought I'd share it with you.

Diabetes dates back to early Egypt well before 1000 BC. It wasn't referred to as diabetes but as 'the passing of too much urine'. Historians believe the two are one in the same. Unlike today, it was also considered a rare disease. By 50 AD a Greek physician named Aretaeus speaks of the 'the passing of too much urine' and coins the name that we know it as today, diabetes, giving it a clinical name.

Jump forward to the nineteenth century when we know diabetes was treated with blood letting or opium to help the sufferer deal with the pain associated with dying from diabetes. Moving ahead another century, the disease brought research. Diabetes was no longer a rare disease, and often afflicted children. The children lay in comas dying in wards of fifty or more patients while the parents mourned for them, waiting for their imminent deaths.


Frederick M. Allen, a physician, discovered that the disease was a metabolic disorder and much more than just high blood glucose levels. Because of this discovery, he developed a low carbohydrate diet which was referred to as the starvation diet.
Parents, by putting their children on this starvation diet, were able to gain up to another year with their child before they succumbed to the life stealing disease. Adults were able to survive closer to two years on the diet.

While Allen's diet treatment didn't cure, it did give patients a chance of controlling their disease though bringing them to the brink of starvation in the process.

Left, child on starvation diet, right, on insulin

Left, on starvation diet, right, on insulin


And research continue. Frederick Banting, Charles Best, J.B. Collip and their supervisor, J.J. R. Macleod were hard at work in 1921 looking for a way to save diabetic sufferers. Banting had an idea how to extract the serum that the pancreas excreted. He brought it to Macleod who became his supervisor and thought it hopeful starting the new research project. Banting brought on Best as his assistant. 


       Banting                                                                  Best

                                         

       Collip                                                                 Macleod

A year later after many trials and many errors an insulin injection was believed to be discovered and given to 14 year old Leonard Thompson who lay dying in a Toronto hospital from the disease. Due to the impurities in the insulin he had a severe allergic reaction and further injections had to be halted. The men worked on relentlessly trying to remove the toxins from the serum. J.B. Collip was able to purify the insulin on January 23, 1922, removing the toxins, and once again they gave it to a 14 year old boy. This time getting a positive result and saving the boys life.

An emotional moment came for the wards that housed the fifty plus children in comas and dying from diabetes. Banting, Best, and Collip went from one bed to the next and injected each child in the ward with the insulin that had been successful on the Thompson boy. Before they had reached the last of they dying children the first they'd given shots to were coming out of their comas and waking up, to their parent's astonishment and joy.


This lifesaving discovery was up for a Noble Prize. It caused much dissention between the men when Banting and Macleod were given the award. Banting insisted his partner Best deserved to have won instead of Macleod and split his winning money with his partner. Macleod split his with Collip. In the end, Banting and Best were the ones remembered for their research while Macleod and Collip seemed to be forgotten. 


I didn't realize how close my aunt had come to be one of those children in a ward, born only 15 years after the discovery of insulin. At eleven years old her teacher realized something was wrong when she was sleeping through class. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and went on insulin. Since then many of my family members have been diagnosed with the disease. 

What about you? Do you know anyone who has benefited from Banting, Best, Collip, and Macleod's hard work? Had you ever thought about when diabetes became a health issue? Do you think you would have put your child on the starvation diet, knowing it was painful but also knowing it would give you another year with them?

GIVEAWAY: Answer one or more of the above questions to be entered to win a copy of choice of one of my books in choice of format.

 Debbie Lynne Costello is the author of Sword of Forgiveness, Amazon's #1 seller for Historical Christian Romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina with their 5 horses, 3 dogs, cat and miniature donkey.
  After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.
     Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.
PURCHASE HERE



23 comments:

  1. It's great to hear from you, Debbie Lynne!!! And such an important topic. I didn't know any of this. I have Type II diabetes, and I just can't imagine the children diagnosed with Type I. They have so much to deal with, physically and mentally. Thanks for telling about the research that went into the discovery of insulin. And by the way, I didn't even receive this from YOU!! Something is definitely wrong with my delivery system, or the blog. But I know where to find you all!!!

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    1. Hey Connie!!! Thanks for coming by and finding my post. I don't know why blogger/feedburner is giving some people problems. It was such a sad topic to research but it did have a happier ending with the discovery of insulin.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your very interesting post. I didn’t know when diabetes came to be but it is a terrible disease. Many of my family members had and have Type II. It would have been so hard to have a child with Type I. The Starvation Diet would have been terribly hard.

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    1. Hey Melanie! It is such a terrible disease and is exploding in number. I don't think there is anyone that doesn't know someone personally that has diabetes. It truly has become an epidemic.

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  3. I know someone who's whole family is Type 1 Diabetes and effect both past and present generations.

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    1. Oh my goodness, Kim! That gene must be a dominate gene for that family. How sad. My dad is what they call a brittle Type I diabetic. I can't imagine having a whole family of Type I.

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  4. Such a heart wrenching story. My husband's uncle passed away at age 3. I have a trunk with some of his little clothes that his mother saved. His parents missed him greatly and talked about him for 70 years, longing for the day they'd see him in Heaven.

    In memory of Carlos Lee Graham and all the children who suffer from this horrible disease. But so thankful for these doctors for finding a cure.

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    1. That is so sad, Pam. That had to have been horrible for them. What year was it that your husband's uncle died?

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  5. That starvation diet was barbaric. I feel bad for those poor kids. My hubby is pre-diabetic, but he's working on losing weight.

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  6. Hey Vickie, it was a terrible diet but I think desperate parents would do anything. I can't imagine how hard that was for parents to do. I hope your hubby can get the weight off. That seems to really help most people.

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  7. Very interesting read! I am not CLOSE to anyone with Type 1 diabetes... but I do have a friend (internet) whose oldest daughter has it. I can't imagine the "starvation diet." I know that my husband (with Type2) struggles keeping his blood sugar in check... and it's not just about foods... sleep and exercise play a big part!! I'm so glad that medicine is constantly improving!

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    1. Hello Ladette! Stress is also a huge factor in diabetes. And it can be mental stress or stress from illness or an injury. It is truly amazing all the things that affect our blood sugar.

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  8. Wow, Debbie Lynne, how hard that would be for those parents to see their child suffering so...heartbreaking. Diabetes is very strong in my family. My grandmother lost a kidney due to diabetes. Her youngest daughter...my mom's sister, is currently on dialysis 3 times a week because of diabetes. My mom and I don't have it but my sister and cousins do and my aunt's did as well.
    Blessings, Tina










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    1. OH my, Tina. That is terrible. Diabetes is so hard on the organs. Especially the kidneys and also the eyes. I'm so glad you have dodged it as well as your mom. Perhaps you somehow missed that gene.

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  9. My husband was just diagnosed as Pre-diabetic. His mother was diabetic and my parents both are now.

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    1. Gosh Becky, I'm sorry to hear that. I know pre-diabetic and type 2 can often be turned around by diet, although not always. I hope your hubby will be able to do that.

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  10. I never really thought of the history of medicine and diabetes. There is always something to learn from history isn't there?! I have had an uncle and an aunt who were diabetic but, that is all as far as close relatives. If I had to use the starvation diet on anyone, I think it would be difficult but, one you might have to do in order just to live. Is it "strange" that food; the lack of or too much of, can make one so sick. Just thinking, I guess. :)
    --Diane Buie

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    1. Hey Diane. Thanks for coming by! Its amazing how intricate our bodies are! How everything has to be just right for them to work properly. I agree, it would be so hard to starve someone you love but then you know if you don't that they will end up in a coma and die. Such a heartbreaking dilemma.

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  11. Oh my goodness! I can't even imagine. It's really hard to say what I'd actually do if I lived back in those times, but I don't think I could possibly put my child on a starvation diet for only prolonging his misery for a year. I'm sure that has a lot to do with being a Christian. I know the child would be with Jesus and not suffering.

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    1. That is true, as Christians we do know that we go to a better place, but oh how terrible to see your child go into a coma.

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  12. Insulin is a miracle drug. My mom’s sister died at the age of 15 in a diabetic coma. Being poor, she and my mom shared a bed. My mom awoke one morning to her sister cold and unmoving. Like you Debbie, many in my family have been afflicted with T1D, including one of my sons and myself. I’m grateful for these men who discovered insulin to save people from this horrible death. I’ve been in DKA, and it’s a very painful way to die.

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    1. OH my goodness, Leann. I am so sorry. My father has been in DKA as well as comas from low blood sugar. Its terrible. And your poor mom. That is heartbreaking to hear that she woke to her sister's passing. T1 is such a tough disease. Thanks for coming by and sharing your story.

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  13. And the winner is.....Melanie Backus! Congratulations!

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