World Diabetes Day

Posted by Michelle for PetTest, AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator on Nov 14th 2023

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day and it is a very important day for anyone that must deal with diabetes mellitus. Being Lucy’s caregiver taught me about diabetes, but it wasn’t until I started writing blogs for PetTest that I learned of the amount of work and time it took to discover that insulin was produced by the pancreas.

Let’s go over some interesting facts about the discovery of insulin and if you would like to read my blog The Discovery of Insulin please click here.

While other scientists and physicians theorized that the pancreas produced insulin they were unable to duplicate their original findings. Sir Frederick Banting believed that the pancreas secreted insulin and met with James Macleod in 1921 regarding his theory. James Macleod provided a laboratory for Banting and hired Charles Best to assist Banting. On July 27, 1921 they successfully isolated insulin. Macleod then hired biochemist James Collip to refine and purify insulin which he did successfully in January 1922.

Leonard Thompson was a 14-year-old diabetic in the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and his parents agreed to him receiving the first insulin injection. The first injection caused an infection but the second injection was a success and Leonard Thompson went on to live until he was 27 years old. Before the discovery of insulin the lifespan of a type one diabetic was months to a year after diagnosis.

Banting, Best and Collip were granted patents in 1923. They went on to sell the patent for a total of $3.00 with Banting stating that “Insulin doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the world.” He wanted diabetics to have access to life saving insulin.

In 1923 Banting and Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Banting split his prize money with Best and Macleod split his winnings with Collip.

The FDA approved the first human recombinant DNA insulin in 1982, cutting out the need for bovine and porcine pancreas.

November 14th is World Diabetes Day; this date was chosen because Sir Frederick Banting was born on November 14 th.

World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006.

Sir Frederick Banting chose a career in medicine due to two childhood experiences: The first was a roof collapsing on two men and Banting ran to get the town doctor. The second involved a very close friend of Banting, Jane. She was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus at 14 years old and passed away a couple months later.

Charles Best and another medical student flipped a coin to decide who would assist Banting in discovering insulin!

I hope that these facts are as interesting for you as they are for me. There were many scientists and physicians before Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod but this group was what gave us insulin, a lifesaving therapy for diabetics all around the world, two legged and four!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please start a conversation below.

For a printable version of this blog click here.

Until next week stay comfy, don’t stress and you got this!

Michelle Miller-Matlock

AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator

Founder/Administrator of DDO: Diabetic Dog Owners University

Administrator of Diabetic Dog Owners on Facebook

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