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All Pakistan Diabetes & Endocrine Society (APDES)

                                                            Diabetes History

"The number of diabetics has surged in the last ten years, leading to a healthcare burden and growing complications. But is this a new phenomenon? Have levels only increased in the last few decades? Is this down to wider media coverage and more fastidious medical checking? investigates the history of diabetes mellitus.

The history of diabetes is supposedly started in approximately 1550 BC. An Egyptian papyrus mentions a rare disease that causes the patient to lose weight rapidly and urinate frequently. This is thought to be the first reference to the disease.

Diabetes was given its name by the Greek Physician Aretaeus (30-90CE). He recorded a disease with symptoms such as constant thirst (polydipsia), excessive urination (polyuria) and loss of weight. He named the condition ‘diabetes’, meaning ‘a flowing through.’ Later, Galen (131-201CE) noted the rarity of this condition and theorised that it was an affliction of the kidneys.
After this period, diabetes is rarely mentioned. Indeed, it seems to have been a mystery or incredibly rare during the Middle Ages. The first clear reference to the disease came from Avicenna, the famous Arabian Physician. He described in detail the complications of the disease, and how it progressed.

Around this period, ‘uroscopy’ came into being as a way of identifying disease. The colour, sediment and odour of the urine were examined to try to establish what was wrong with the patient. Some physicians even tasted the urine, and this is apparently how diabetes was given its second name, mellitus, meaning ‘honey’ in Latin.

By the early 19th Century, chemical tests had been devised through which it was possible to detect excess sugar in the urine. Despite therapies being proposed, in the absence of a cause, they proved unsuccessful. It was not until the Franco-Prussian War, when the French Physician Bouchardat noticed that restricted diets helped his patients, that calorie intake was recognised as important.

Around this period, microscopic studies by a medical student known as Paul Langerhans had revealed the composition of the pancreas. In so doing, he had identified tiny cell islands whose function was unknown. It was not until 1920 that an American called Moses Barron linked the Langerhans cells with the basis of diabetes mellitus. Picking up on the research of Barron, a doctor called Frederick Banting conducted critical experiments linking the pancreas and diabetes. He discovered an essential hormone called insulin, named after the ‘islands’ of cells described by Langerhans. Banting and one of his colleagues were recognised for their achievement with a Nobel Prize.

Throughout the 20th century, treatment and understanding of the disease has advanced significantly. Although prevention and management remains difficult, the life of an average diabetic is becoming both longer and easier all the time".



Prof. Dr Irshad-Ul-Haq                 

Prof. Dr Ahmed Bilal                                     

Vice President:
Prof Dr. Mahmood Alam
Dr Aamir Ch.
Dr Aamir Hussain
Dr Ghazanfar Ali Sindhu
Dr Mohsin Rana
Dr Nouman Khurshid
Dr Shahzad Riaz
Dr Dilshad Mohammad

General Secretary:
Dr  Khalid Amin

Joint Secertary:
Dr Fraz Saeed Qureshi

Finance Secertary:
Dr Ghazala Khalid
Dr Hina Ayesha
Dr Masood Javeed

Scientific Committee:
Prof. Dr  Abdul Hafeez Ch.
Dr Sadia Khan
Dr GA Sheikh
Dr Javeed Khalid
Dr Ijaz Anwar

Public Relationing Committee:
Prof. Dr Mohammad Saeed
Dr Zahid Masood Khan
Dr MS Qureshi
Dr Asad Rashid

Research and develpoment Committee:   
prof. Dr Riaz Hussain Dab
Prof. Dr Tasneem Cheema
Dr Javaid Irfan (Director PINUM)
Dr Javaid Qureshi (Director NIBGE)
Dr Javaid Iqbal

Regional Co-ordinator:
Dr Khurram Sohail Raja
Dr Yasir Yaqoob
Dr Ahmed Zeeshan
Dr  Owais Fazal

National Chapter Heads:
Prof. Dr Jamal Ara (Karachi)
Dr Irum Shakir Kiyani (Rwl-Isl)
Prof. Dr Saleema Qaisar (Lahore)
Prof. Dr Nisar Anwar (Peshawar)
Dr Mohammad Ashraf Arain (Sialkot)
Dr Arif Malik (Sargodha)
Dr Noor Ullah Magsi (Quetta)

International Chapter Head
Dr Samina Raja (U.S.A)
Dr Amir Hussain (U.K)
Dr Arif Sohail Sheikh (Australia)
Mrs Dr. Saman Umer (Canada)
Dr Hassan Bhalli (Newzealand)

Member Executive Committee:
Prof. Dr Farooq Mian
Prof. Dr Zahid Iqbal
Prof. Dr Raza Baloch
Dr Azam Aslam
Dr Naeem Aslam
Dr Tauqeer Cheema
Dr Imtiaz Jilani
Dr Sajid Sheikh
Dr Mehboob Aslam
Dr Khalid Mustafa
Dr Abdul Shakoor
Dr Rizwan Rasool
Dr Ali Saqib
Dr Masood Sheikh
Dr Bushra Abdul Malik
Dr Aftab Islam
Dr Habib Aslam Gaba
Dr Humaira Arshad
Dr ishfaq Cheema
Dr maqbool Hussain
Dr Abid Hussain
Dr Zafar Ahmad


Posted on Sep 16, 2008
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