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DOBARA AMA x World Diabetes Day

As part of our DOBARA Wellbeing Series, we have come up with a new forum:


With rising awareness and information overload about Health and wellness it becomes important to know and understand the relevance and context before you consume the same. DOBARA is attempting to make the complex simple through an AMA forum.


What is AMA?

AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything”. With this AMA you can send us any query about Health and Wellness and receive medically validated responses. We assure complete discretion and complete confidentiality.


You can email us your questions to


This writeup is intended to give a brief history of diabetics and introduce the condition, thereby prompting  questions around management of the condition and other details.  Mary Poppins once declared, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” In some cases sugar is used to mask unpleasant tastes, and yet it can be found on the ingredient lists of sweet and sour foods alike. Take one quick look at the food labels on common grocery items and it becomes rather obvious that we consume large quantities of sugar. What exactly is sugar? There are a quite a few different types of sugars and each has a distinct sweet flavor. Sugar serves as an energy source for the body. Various types include “fructose”, “glucose” and “sucrose.” Each of these sugars is processed by the body a little differently. Fresh and prepared foods often contain natural sugars and/or processed sweeteners. In moderation, natural sugars can be good for you, but consuming too much table sugar or too many processed sugars or sweeteners can lead to health problems such as weight gain, Diabetes and Obesity. Diabetes! A Little Bit of History

Diabetes has been affecting lives for thousands of years. An ailment suspected to be diabetes was recognized by the Egyptians in manuscripts dating to approximately 1550 B.C. The condition known today as diabetes (usually referring to diabetes mellitus) is thought to have been described in the Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BC).   The term "diabetes" traces back to Demetrius of Apamea (1st century BC). In Greek, “diabetes” means “to go through.” Greek physician Apollonius of Memphis is credited with naming the disorder for its top symptom: the excessive passing of urine through the body’s system. Historical documents show that Greek, Indian, Arab, Egyptian, and Chinese doctors were aware of the condition, but none could determine its cause. In earlier times, a diagnosis of diabetes was likely a death sentence.

According to one study , ancient Indians (circa 400–500 A.D.) were well aware of the condition, and had even identified two types of the condition. They tested for diabetes — which they called “honey urine” (madhumeha) — by determining if ants were attracted to a person’s urine

For a long time, the condition was described and treated in traditional Chinese medicine as xiāo kě ("wasting-thirst"). Physicians of the medieval Islamic world, including Avicenna, have also written on diabetes.

Early accounts often referred to diabetes as a disease of the kidneys. In 1675, Thomas Willis suggested that diabetes may be a disease of the blood. In 1776, Matthew Dobson confirmed that the sweet taste of urine of diabetics was due to excess of a kind of sugar in the urine and blood of people with diabetes. In 1926, Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer announced that the pancreas of a patient with diabetes was unable to produce what he termed “insulin,” a chemical the body uses to break down sugar. Thus, excess sugar ended up in the urine. Although insulin injection began to successfully combat diabetes, some cases were unresponsive to this form of treatment. Harold Himsworth finally distinguished between the two types of diabetes in 1936, “insulin-sensitive” and “insulin-insensitive.” Today, these classifications are commonly referred to as “Type 1” and “Type 2” diabetes.

Decoding the Disease

Today, the term "diabetes" most commonly refers to diabetes mellitus. Diabetes develops when the body does not produce enough insulin or cannot respond to it appropriately, leading to high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes insipidus has no link with diabetes mellitus. While it also leads to thirst and urination, it does not affect the body’s production or use of insulin.  In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into blood sugar that it uses for energy—and insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, everyone can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes—and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. And while some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. References :

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