National Geographic : 1942 Nov
DIABETES...a disease that prefers plump, middle-aged people Twenty years ago people with dia- Today, largely because of insulin, betes were virtual invalids. The basis of their treatment was a "starvation diet"' so drastic that life was gloomy, indeed. Most of them survived only a few years. Then, in 1921, medical science produced the modern miracle-insulin. Overnight, di abetics were given a new lease on life. the life span of people with diabetes-and especially of dia betic children - has increased remarkably. Hundreds of thou sands of diabetics are able to lead practically normal lives. Many successfully carry heavy responsibilities. The vital factors in controlling diabetes are proper diet, insu lin in its several varieties, and exercise (which includes work). The diabetic who studies his disease and co-operates with his physician has a good chance of living as long with diabetes as he might without it. D IABETES SEEMS TO RUN in families. A diabetic should educate his relatives in preventive measures, counsel ing them against overeating and overweight, and encouraging them to obtain periodic health check-ups. Diabetes may occur at any age, although it begins most fre quently in those who are past 45 and overweight. More women than men get diabetes. Typical signs of the disease are usually absent in early or mild cases. At that stage it may be detected by abnormal amounts of sugar in the urine and the blood. That is why it is advisable for everyone with a family history of diabetes, espe cially if overweight, to have peri odic health examinations. The first obvious symptoms are usually excessive thirst, constant hunger, frequent uri nation, and unexplained loss of weight and strength. Among middle-aged and older people, boils, carbuncles and sores which resist healing (especially on the feet or toes) may first lead to its discovery. Prompt treatment prevents serious and sometimes fatal complications. To learn more about diabetes and its treatment, send for Met ropolitan's free booklet, 112-N, "Diabetes." COPYRIGHT 1942-METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) Frederick H. Ecker, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y.