Diabetes Timeline


By: Melissa Sattley

1000 B.C.- An Indian physician, Susruta, discovers diabetes.

100 B.C.- Greek physician Aretaeus names the disease diabetes after the word dia-bainein -“to siphon.”

1650- Thomas Willis describes the sugared taste of urine in people with diabetes.

1750- Cullen, a scientist, adds mellitus – Greek for “honey-sweet”- to the term diabetes.

1869- Paul Langerhans describes the islet cells of the pancreas.

1901- Eugene Opie links diabetes with islet cells.

1920- R.D. Lawrence develops the dietary exchange system.

1921- Frederick Banting and Charles Best discover insulin.

1936- PZI, a long acting insulin, is developed.

1938- NPH insulin is created.

1952- Lente insulin is introduced.

1956- Oral medications-sulfonylureas–are developed for people with type 2.

1961- Becton-Dickinson markets a single-use syringe.

1969- Ames Diagnostics creates the first portable blood glucose meter.

1979- The hemoglobin A1c test is created for the precise measurement of blood sugar control.

1979- The Derma-Ject needle-free insulin delivery system is marketed by The Derata Corporation.

1983- Humulin insulin is invented.

1992- Lispro is tested by Eli Lilly.

1993- The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial concludes that the best diabetes management is “tight control.”

1995- Precose and Metformin are approved for use by type 2s.


Thank you to Peter Nebergall, PhD., for his research.



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