You would have to be a centenarian to remember what diabetes was like before the discovery of insulin in 1922.
The only treatment available was a rigorous diet (on the order of 400 calories a day with minimal carbohydrates), and all that did was prolong life by a few months. Patients usually had to be hospitalized to control their intake with carefully measured quantities of unpalatable food.
Intake was adjusted by testing the urine, which was a complicated procedure at the time. Instead of a convenient dipstick, testing involved Benedict’s solution, test tubes, eyedroppers, teaspoons, a bottle for urine, and an aluminum cup. (Much later, urine testing was discarded in favor of the much more accurate blood testing.)
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