The happy healthcare, Mr. Divabetic presents the Diabetes Time Machine stage show featuring the history of diabetes at the ADA Expo in Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, November 8, 2014. From the origins of its discovery to the dramatic breakthrough in its treatments, this dazzling retelling of the history of diabetes is sure to educate, enlighten and entertain you.
The traveling exhibition, Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery Of Insulin will also be on display on the ADA Expo floor in conjunction with Divabetic’s newest stage show. This traveling exhibition chronicles the discovery of insulin, the impact of this breakthrough, and the evolution of insulin production and diabetes patient care throughout the twentieth century.
The discovery of insulin in 1921 marked the first great medical breakthrough of the twentieth century. Thanks to the scientists, physicians, and brave patients who participated in the earliest human insulin experiments, Diabetes mellitus was transformed almost overnight from a fatal disease to a chronic but manageable condition. A unique collaboration between the University of Toronto, Eli Lilly and Company, and the Joslin Diabetes Center brought treatment to millions of sufferers, empowering them to take control of their disease.
Diabetes mellitus, a serious disease resulting from the body’s inability to absorb carbohydrates, was first recognized by the Egyptians and the Romans. However, the causes and proper treatment of the disease eluded physicians for centuries thereafter. Following World War I, a doctor named Frederick Allen developed a “starvation diet” for patients with diabetes, keeping them alive by cutting their caloric intake. Dr. Elliott P. Joslin, a Boston clinician who began the first diabetes registry, endorsed the Allen diet. Together, these two men represented the most influential physicians of the pre-discovery period.
Then in 1920, Frederick Banting, a young Canadian physician with an interest in diabetes, developed a revolutionary hypothesis involving the ligation of the pancreatic ducts of dogs. To facilitate his research, Dr. John J.R. Macleod, head of the physiology department at the University of Toronto, provided Banting with lab space, experimental animals, and an assistant named Charles Best. Once Banting and Macleod had isolated a pancreatic extract that seemed to regulate carbohydrate digestion, Macleod assigned biochemist James B. Collip to assist in its production. Rocky from the onset, relations between Banting, Best, Collip, and Macleod deteriorated under the pressure of their imminent breakthrough. By the time the success of insulin had been confirmed and the Nobel prize was awarded in 1923, the four men were barely speaking.
Doctors everywhere pleaded with the Toronto team to accept their dying patients in clinical trials and studies. But difficulties with mass production meant that only the worst-off cases were admitted. Elizabeth Hughes, daughter of Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, was placed under Banting’s care only after her mother begged persistently. Nearly all of these initial patients made rapid and remarkable recoveries. An articulate writer, Elizabeth documented the ups and downs of her treatment and her self-actualization as she learned to administer her own insulin injections and manage her own care.
In the immediate post-discovery period, it seemed as though the production of insulin might be too expensive to meet the needs of the general population. The Connaught Laboratories at the University of Toronto were unable to produce sufficient high-quality insulin to sustain even Banting’s demand. George Clowes, head of research at Eli Lilly and Company, approached Macleod about the possibility of commercial production. By entering into the first formal contract between a university and a pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly and the University of Toronto assured the universal availability of insulin. As the sole licensed American distributor and manufacturer of the drug, Lilly continued to improve the product and supply test-papers and other devices for measuring glucose absorption. Elliott Joslin, the founder of the Joslin Diabetes Center and third partner in this insulin collaboration, was instrumental in educating patients about insulin therapy. Joslin recognized that insulin alone was insufficient to curb diabetes and had to be supplemented by a restricted diet and regular exercise, however frustrating this lifestyle might be for patients.
Whether or not you are aware of the history of diabetes including the discoveries or innovators responsible for many of today’s treatment advances, these forces have had a hand in shaping your daily self-care practices. The knowledge you gain from this presentation can help you to appreciate the methods and treatments available today and hopefully motivate you to take advantage of them!
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 9 – 4 PM
Diabetes Time Machine at the American Diabetes Association Expo
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
EXHIBITORS: Share your products and services with thousands of people living with diabetes. Contact Terri Seidman at 412-824-1181 ext. 4608 or email@example.com.
LISTEN NOW: Mr. Divabetic Show on Diabetes Innovators podcast