Life-saving insulin is 100 years old

Life-saving insulin is 100 years old

Thursday, November 10, 2022

By Shay Holbrook, RN, BSN, CDCES, Chronic Care Coordinator at Gothenburg Health

One century. It has been one century since the first dose of life-saving insulin was given to 14 year old, Leonard Thompson, a child with type I diabetes. Insulin was discovered in 1921 by researchers from the University of Toronto. Before the discovery of insulin, many people with Type I diabetes did not survive for more than a few weeks or months from being diagnosed with this condition. Leonard Thompson went on to live another 13 years while taking doses of insulin.  Today, we are still seeing advancements in the production of insulin because of the bravery of Leonard and millions of others. 

According to the CDC website, more than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes today. With diabetes comes many complications that can affect many organ systems.  Ninety-six million people in the US have prediabetes. As we all know, the cost of diabetes presents a financial burden to many, estimating around $327 billion dollars annually for those with diabetes in the US. Although some risk factors associated with diabetes cannot be avoided, there are resources and lifestyle changes available to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. 

Although diabetes can seem daunting, there are many resources available for those living with diabetes as well as their caregivers. Following up with your healthcare provider as directed, seeing your dentist and eye doctor regularly, attending diabetes educational sessions, and making lifestyle changes are a few ways to delay or prevent type II diabetes. All of which these services and resources are available at Gothenburg Health.

One hundred years ago injections of insulin saved a young boy’s life.  With the incredible advancements in diabetes today, there are many ways to increase your qualify of life with diabetes. For more information, you contact me at Gothenburg Health at sholbrook@gothenburghealth.org or by calling 308-537-1009. 

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