We can do something about diabetes


We can do something about diabetes.

This week includes World Diabetes Day, and also what would have been the 125th birthday of Sir Frederick Banting.

Banting was a Canadian scientist whose pioneering work using insulin to treat diabetes earned him the Nobel prize.

Millions of people around the world live with diabetes, but until the 1920s there was no treatment for it.

If you have been found to be at risk for diabetes, Avera Holy Family and the RWC?continue to offer the Center for Disease Control's Diabetes Prevention Program, free and open to the public. Diabetes education is also available at Avera Holy Family to those who have been diagnosed with Type II?diabetes.

The diabetes prevention program continues for 16 weekly meetings, then offers maintenance and support for six monthly meetings.

According to the CDC, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes. Eighty-six million (1 in 3)?adult Americans have prediabetes, and 90 percent of those don't know it.

The treatment is a lot of potentially unappetizing steps:?losing five to seven percent of body weight (10-14 pounds for a person weighing 200 lbs) through eating healthy foods at smaller portions, and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

Which brings us back to Sir Frederick Banting. Frederick Banting was born on November 14 1891 in Alliston, a settlement in the Canadian province of Ontario. He served in the First World War despite initially being refused while in medical school for poor eyesight since the army wanted more doctors on the front line.

After the war, Sir Frederick had become deeply interested in diabetes and the pancreas, reading much of the work on the matter that had come before him.

In 1922, a 14-year-old boy named Leonard Thompson became the first person with diabetes to be treated with insulin, and ended up recovering rapidly. Many other patients responded well to insulin injections.The discovery of the drug was seen as a miracle, saving millions of lives. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Sir Frederick and John Macleod, who had helped the research get funded, in 1923. King George V knighted Sir Frederick in 1934.

The WHO predicts diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030.


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