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The Wonder of Insulin

Today is World Diabetes Day. November is also National Diabetes Awareness Month. Yet, no one would want to celebrate this day if it were not for the work of Dr. Frederick Grant Banting of Canada.

"In 1920, a diagnosis of diabetes was essentially a death sentence, especially for a child with rapid onset of what later was defined as Type 1. Life expectancy was generally less than a year from diagnosis. Slower onset diabetes, mostly among adults and later defined as Type 2, was more manageable, yet still deadly in many cases. " 1

The first kind of treatment children with Type 1 would be put on was a diet that would limit the number of carbs and calories. Often the children would eat 300 - 500 calories a day and would end up starving to death.

Then when Dr. Banting and those working with him discovered Insulin, they were able to give life back to the children. There is a story I've come across that there was a unit of children in DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis) and as a doctor went around the ward injecting insulin by the time the last child was dosed the first

one started waking up from coma.

I myself have seen this change between last Christmas and April, I was drinking water like there was no tomorrow and eating all the time but constantly loosing weight. I looked much like the girl on the left hand side of the picture. Then on April 11 when they gave me insulin for the first time at the ER I came back to life. This past Saturday was my 7th month Dia-versary.

Last year Insulin celebrated its 100th birthday. Many wonder what it would be like to live in the past, yet without the invention of insulin, I wouldn't have the quality of life that I do now. Also with all the technology, I wear a Dexcom G6 Continues Glucose Monitor (CGM) and T-Slim Insulin pump, it allows me to spend a lot less time worrying about my blood sugar (when my tech is working right) and more time sewing the historical clothes that make my heart happy.


Further Interest:

Banting House

The University of Toronto's The Discovery and Early Development of Insulin which includes

Stories of Early Patients


Visiting the Birthplace of Insulin (by Michelle Lord who is a Type 1 Diabetic)


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