Egyptian manuscripts identified a disease that caused excessive urination and weight loss, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
The Greek physician Aretaeus used the term diabetes mellitus to describe the condition of urine that had a sweet taste, according to NEJM. Indian physicians noticed the sweetness in some people’s urine, calling it madhumeha, or honey urine, because it attracted ants, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
When the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery was founded in 1812, diabetes was recognized as a clinical entity although the causes weren’t yet understood and no treatments were available.
Insulin from dogs’ pancreases was extracted and injected into dogs whose pancreases had been removed and it was noted that their blood sugar levels decreased. Two men involved in the study, Frederick Banting, MD and Professor J.J.R. Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923 for the discovery, according to the ADA.
Ames Diagnostics produced do-it-yourself glucometers which allowed people to test blood sugar levels at home rather than needing to visit a doctor or the emergency room. This invention gave patients “a new sense of freedom, making the disease more comprehensible and manageable,” according to the NIH.
CGMs continue to improve. There are models that report blood glucose levels in real time, can alert you when your glucose level is too high or too low and give you data to see trends so you can see how eating or exercising affects your glucose according to Diabetes Forecast. Flash glucose monitors only need to be held next to a sensor to get your glucose reading.