The History of Diabetes in America: The Ultimate Web Guide

In 2006, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) published data indicating the enormity of the diabetes epidemic. Recently, the CDC stated that diabetes affects 8.3 percent of Americans of all ages, as well as 11.3 percent of adults. About 27 percent of those afflicted with diabetes do not know they have a disease. But, diabetes has a longer history, and the articles, timelines, videos, scientific papers listed below document this history…one that has a short time frame of treating and managing this disease.

Web Articles

  1. DiabetesA Brief history of diabetes and treatment through the ages: This history, offered by the Islets of Hope Medical Library, also offers a timeline.
  2. Diabetes History, Symptoms and Treatment: All About Health offers a short history, along with information on how diabetes is listed, according to etiology.
  3. History of Diabetes: Medical News provides a well-linked article that explains the history of diabetes, including the etymology.
  4. History of Diabetes: Phlexteck’s article speaks directly to the diabetic, offering an explanation of diabetes as well as a history.
  5. History of Diabetes: An illustrated history of one of the oldest-known human diseases from Health Motivator.
  6. History of Diabetes Goes Back Centuries: This short article also contains a three-page timeline.
  7. History of Diabetes Testing: This eHow article covers the history of testing for Diabetes Mellitus.
  8. The History of Diabetes: This article originally was published in Diabetes Health in November, 1996, and brought online in 2008.
  9. The History of Diabetes: Everyday Health offers an article that shows how discoveries over the ages have led to today’s understanding of diabetes.
  10. Born Again DiabeticThe History of Diabetes: A short history about this chronic disease from a Bright Hub writer.
  11. Type 2 Diabetes History: Roger Hinsworth made the remarkable discovery in 1935 that there were, in fact, two different types of diabetes. Learn more about Type 2 Diabetes from this article.
  12. Who Discovered Diabetes? The earliest reference to the condition comes from the Indian physician Sushruta in the 6th century B.C. Read more about this disease at Diabetes Wellbeing. They also offer a diabetes timeline.

Scientific Articles

  1. Natural History of Type 1 Diabetes [PDF]: The natural history of autoimmune type 1 diabetes in children is associated with the appearance of islet autoantibodies early in life, which is influenced by genetic and environmental factors.
  2. Prospective Studies of the Natural History of Diabetes Mellitus and Its Complications in the Gila River Indian Community: The original baseline observations for this project were made on the residents of the Gila Indian Reservation, predominantly Pima Indians, in 1965.
  3. The Frequency and Natural History of Diabetes Insipidus in Children with Langerhans-Cell Histiocytosis: Published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1989, this article concludes that Diabetes insipidus occurred most often among children with multisystem disease and those with proptosis.
  4. The history of diabetes nutrition therapy: from starvation to evidence-based recommendations: Download the full article, written by Marion Franz for Diabetes Voice, December 2004. Marion J Franz is a nutrition/health consultant with Nutrition Concepts by Franz, Inc.
  5. The natural history of insulin secretory dysfunction and insulin resistance in the pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes involves abnormalities in insulin action, insulin secretion, and endogenous glucose output (EGO).


  1. A Timeline Of The History Of Diabetes: “According to the timeline of diabetes history, the history of diabetes begins shortly after the birth of Christ…”
  2. Bayer Healthcare History: Bayer HealthCare, Diabetes care has produced an impressive legacy of firsts in diabetes management. Click on the timeline to learn how this company became a world leader in the rapidly growing self-testing market.
  3. ProactivedLife Diabetes Museum: This is a sophisticated timeline that offers illustrations and detailed notes.
  4. History of Diabetes: This timeline begins in 1552 BC and ends in 1998, when the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) was published.
  5. History of diabetes treatment: This timeline documents the milestones in the history of both Type I and Type II diabetes treatments.
  6. International Diabetes Center History: This timeline marks the key activities provided by this world-class diabetes care, education, publications and research program.
  7. MGH Diabetes Timelines: These timelines include key discoveries as well as Key steps leading to the first successful treatment to reverse established autoimmune diabetes, from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Diabetes Center.
  8. Timeline of Diabetes History: This timeline begins in the first century BC and proceeds through 2007, when diabetes patients are treated with stem cells from their own bone marrow to eliminate the need for insulin.


  1. Breakthrough: A History of the Fight Against Diabetes: This video is a virtual tour of an exhibit hosted at the New York Historical Society about diabetes.
  2. Diabetes through History Movie: This lighthearted look at the history of diabetes was prepared by medical students from Kasr Al Ainy University, Students’ Scientific Society members back then in early summer 2007.
  3. Learn About Diabetes: Health Science Channel offers a compelling health and wellness video about diabetes.
  4. Novo Story of Insulin — Part 1 — Jim Turner: Jim Turner takes viewers through this first of a three-part special on how insulin became commercially available and saved millions of lives.

Related History Articles

  1. Diabetic Wrist BandA Brief History of Diabetes Care: This story covers the history of diabetes and its care.
  2. A History of Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., Founder, Joslin Diabetes Center: A history of the founder of an an internationally recognized diabetes treatment, research and education institution.
  3. A Short History of Gestational Diabetes as a Clinical Entity: GD as a clinical entity officially began in 1979 when the National Diabetes Data Group (NDDG) issued an updated classification of diabetes types, including one that was present only during pregnancy.
  4. Diabetes Center History: For nearly 80 years, scientists at UCSF have been making breakthrough discoveries that have improved diabetes treatment and saved countless lives around the world.
  5. Famous People With Diabetes: Past and Present: This article was written to inspire young people with diabetes to accomplish their dreams no matter the obstacles.
  6. History of Insulin and Diabetes: Learn how people with diabetes survived before the discovery of insulin.
  7. History of the American Diabetes Association: The American Diabetes Association talks about how they were founded in 1940 by 28 physicians, 20 years after the discovery of insulin changed diabetes from a fatal diagnosis to a manageable disease.
  8. Insulin — Its History and Future: Did you know that before insulin became available, children routinely were fed a cup of cooking oil a day? Diabetic Lifestyle offers this short history about insulin.
  9. Mission and History: This page is about the mission and history of the Diabetes Society. For over 40 years, the Diabetes Society has been providing education and one-on-one consultation to individuals with diabetes, and educating the general public about the seriousness of the disease.
  10. The Discovery of Insulin: Frederick Banting discovered insulin was a treatment for diabetes, and you can learn more about testing, self-testing and the history of the insulin process here.
  11. The History of Diabetes Nursing, 1914-1936: The 22 years between 1914 and 1936 were a defining period in the history of diabetes nursing. Learn more from this article at The Diabetes Educator.

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