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Good Health and Bad Medicine:
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 Diabetes

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Diabetes

( Originally Published 1940 )

ALMOST one million people in the United States have diabetes. About fifteen years ago a diagnosis of diabetes spelled tragedy for the affected individual, but the discovery of insulin in 1921 revolutionized the treatment of the disease. Today a diabetic who submits to competent medical care can live out his normal life span and participate in everyday activities as well as any of his normal fellow men.

In diabetes, there is a disturbance in body function such that the body cannot properly utilize starches and sugars. As a result, the sugar accumulates in the blood and is excreted from the body through the kidneys. Consequently one of the important signs of diabetes is sugar in the urine. The diabetic also voids a larger quantity of urine than is normal —as though the kidneys were trying to dilute the concentration of sugar brought to them by the blood.

The induction of a larger amount of urine secretion than normal is the basis of most of the patent-medicine fakes on the market for the cure of diabetes. These nostrums contain drugs which cause the patient to void a larger amount of urine than normal, so that any single specimen of urine will show a small concentration of sugar, even though the total amount of sugar excreted daily may actually be very large.

Proper diet alone, or diet plus insulin injection, is the only effective method of relieving diabetes—no medicine, drug, herb or vegetable compound taken by mouth will cure or even relieve it. Many deaths have occurred because of failure to obtain medical care or because of cessation in administration of insulin. Medical scientists are now trying to discover a material that can be taken by mouth to do what injection of insulin is now doing so successfully. So far they have not discovered a substitute.

Prepared "diabetic foods" such as gluten and protein breads, sold for the relief or cure of diabetes, should be avoided. Most of them do contain a high percentage of protein and a low percentage of carbohydrate. But in diabetes, protein foods may be tolerated almost as poorly as carbohydrate foods, so that it is best for the diabetic to avoid artificial food preparations and to learn how to plan his diet with foods that are readily available.

The following preparations are listed by the Council of Pharmacy and Chemistry and the Bureau of Information of the American Medical Association as "fakes" or totally worthless for the treatment of diabetes:

Cellasin, Filudine, Globcol, Succinolac, Hemo-Thera pin, Chlorax, Intarvin, Diabesan, Blueberry Leaf Extract, Recresal, Sulfobetin, Eubetin, Tryptoferm, Pancresal Tablets, Imbak Preparations and Anticoman.

Amberita, Banbar, Bauer's Anti-diabeticum, Beta, Dia-Bet, Diabeticine, Diabetol, piabetylin, Diaplex, Dill's Diabetic Mixture, Eksip, Expurgo (Sanol) Anti-Diabetes, Flowering Herb, Insoloid, Jamun Compound, Kaadt Treatment, Kelpe'koe, Korectone, Letone, Lifeore, Melatol, Mel-Tex, Pancretone, Photo-Synthetic Tea, Sal-Sano, Sanborn Treatment, Scheidemann's Shrub Remedy, Uvursin, Vinculin, Vindor Diabetic Wine, Warner's Safe Diabetes Remedy and Winroy.

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