4.1.1 All About Insulin

Insulin Timeline

1800's

Approx. 1800

Researchers develop the first chemical tests to detect sugar in urine

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1848

Approx. 1848

This is the first linking of glycogen to diabetes and metabolism. A doctor discovers that glycogen is secreted liver and he believes it is the same sugar exhibited in the urine of diabetics.

1869

1869

A german medical student by the name of Langerhans discovers that there are specialized cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. These were later known as islets of Langerhans.

1889

1889

It is discovered that animals that had their pancreas removed would get diabetes. At this time, the average life expectancy for a 10-year-old child with diabetes is about 1 year. At age the life expectancy is about 4 years. A 50-year-old's life expectancy after diagnosis might even reach 8 years.

1909

1909

The Name insulin is given to an unknown pancreatic substance. This is Latin for island.

1911

1911

The Benedict's solution is invented and leads to a new more efficient way to test for sugar in the urine. This lead to easier diagnosis

1921

1921

Insulin is "discovered" when a romanian scientist published a paper on how he was able to isolate pancreatic insulin. This lead to tests on animals, Doctors gave the first insulin shots to a dog that no longer had a pancreas, the dogs diabetes was controlled

1922

1922

A 14 year old boy named Leonard Thompson was injected with insulin extracts in Toronto, which was soon considered as a successful test in controlling the boys diabetes. Also insulin was allowed to be mass produced in North America.

1923

1923

The two main researchers at the time Banting and Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. They both decide to share their awards with Best and Collip. At this time Eli Lilly begins the commercial production of insulin.

1940's

Approx. 1940

In this decade, a uniform insulin syringe is invented which lead to more sustainable management of diabetes. Helen Free also developed the "dip-and-read" urine test which allowed instant monitoring of blood glucose levels. The life expectancy of people diagnosed with diabetes increased.

1959

1959

The two major types of diabetes are recognized: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. This allowed people to know if the use of insulin would help their diabetes or if they had to resort to controlling diabetes with diet and exercise.

1964

1964

At this time the first strips for testing blood glucose level are used. These would work by placing a drop of blood onto the strip, waiting 1 minute, then washing off the strip. After the strip was washed off, the color change would be compared to a color chart provided, allowing for rough estimates of blood glucose levels.

1970's

Approx. 1970

The 1970's are when the very first blood glucose meter is introduced. The meter, by the name of AMES is produced with the intent of being used in doctors offices. The starting price was around $500. Insulin pumps are also developed in this decade.

1978

Approx. 1978

In this year, the first testing of recombinant DNA insulin is sharred amongst the people. This was extremely important because previous to this insulin came from animal pancreatic tissue, DNA technology allowed the manufacturing of genetically engineered human type insulin.

1983

1983

In 1983 the first biosynthetic human insulin is introduced to the public. This caused a revolution due to the fact that we could now produce insulin in mas quantities due to recombinant DNA and DNA technologies. Also blood glucose monitors known as "Reflolux" or "Accu-Chek" were introduced allowing for easy self monitoring at home for those with diabetes.
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1986

1986

Another innovation that made blood glucose control easier for patients were the introduction of insulin pen delivery systems.

1990's

1990

In this decade many significant advances are noted. The Defeat Diabetes Foundation was established to inform the people of prevention tactics which were not usually shared. The FDA also approved the first recombinant DNA human insulin.External insulin pumps are also made more available to people, decreasing the need to inject themselves constantly with insulin. Other provisions were also put in place to make diabetes easier to handle.

Today

Approx. 2014

24 million Americans have diabetes.
8 million of them remain undiagnosed.
57 million Americans are at risk of developing diabetes in the next ten years if they don’t make appropriate lifestyle changes.
Diabetes is a huge problem, even though there are many interventions available for the control of the disease, it may lead to other serious complications, which is why prevention is never too small to think about