The Pathology of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is actually now recognized as a spectrum of diseases that converge on a common symptom, chronically high blood glucose. The name translates roughly from the Greek and Latin into “passing through honey,” meaning that a diabetic’s urine has a sweet taste. I’m not sure how the English physician Thomas Willis worked this out. Maybe urine tasting was more common back in the seventeenth century.

For some time, physicians have recognized three forms of the disease, which we know as juvenile, adult-onset, and gestational diabetes. Since so many obese children are now contracting the adult form in their teens, these terms are out the door and have been replaced by insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent ...

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