Back at the turn of the 20th century doctors knew that there was diabetes, but they had not worked out there were more than one kind. The starvation diet was used as a cure all – and it certainly did help lots of very over weight diabetics at the time. Children and thin adults tended to just die.
The starvation diet consisted of black coffee and whiskey or boulon and then vegetables were gradually introduced until the patient was sent home on 2000 calories a day (not starvation obviously).
Although insulin began to be used in the early 1920s which helped prevent quite so many people dying. It wasn’t until 1935 that the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes was discovered by Sir Harold Percival, who published his findings in The Lancet in 1936. Type 1 was thought to be mainly in children and youngsters and was nick named “juvenile diabetes”.
These days 10% of diabetics are type 1 and must use insulin to regulate their body sugars and stay alive. The other 90% have type 2, which sometimes gets so difficult to manage that the person will become insulin dependant.
St Anthony of Padua who died of his diabetes is a patron saint for Diabetics. I have read that st. Josemaria Escriva is another saint for diabetics.
There’s a lot of difficulties for people with type 1, trying to stay on top of their insulin and glucose and keep those nasty keytones at bay. Spare a thought and a prayer for all diabetics today.
Saints Anthony and Josemaria ora pro nobis