I'm glad we don't diagnose diabetes this way anymore!!!

United States
October 7, 2007 7:04am CST
Back in the old days when we were first learning about lab procedures and diagnosing ailments, diabetes was diagnosed by tasting. Since your body dumps the excess sugar that it can't handle in your urine, the urine was tasted for sweetness. Sounds gross, huh? A diabetic's urine can smell fruity (I have never sniffed any to verify), and I guess if their blood sugar is pretty high, you can taste it in their urine. Sometime after this, I guess people got tired of tasting urine and they started using ants to diagnose the disease. They would pour some near a group of ants, and if the ants were interested in it, then it was assumed that there was sugar in it. How far we have come... Have you heard of any other interesting things that have changed since those days?
3 people like this
5 responses
@Amberina (1542)
• United States
8 Oct 07
Can you imagine how many times the job of tasting urine got given to the new guy? LOL
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (44598)
• United States
8 Oct 07
There are just some things I'm not willing to do for a job. : )
• United States
11 Oct 07
Yeah... they could just sit him at a table covered with urine cups and a sink to spit in. YUCK!!!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (44598)
• United States
8 Oct 07
I am still in awe that they used to put leeches on people to help them heal. Someone would be deathly sick, and they'd stick leeches on them! Yuck! I have seen that in extreme cases doctor do use leeches for certain ailments, but it's not common anymore.
@AmbiePam (44598)
• United States
8 Oct 07
I forgot about the maggot therapy. That's true, it can help a lot. And talking about that reminds me of those flesh eating fishes. You know, where they put in a container someone's foot that maybe has rotten flesh, and the fishes eat that away and leave just the healthy skin.
@balasri (26577)
• India
7 Oct 07
And here is another one. Strappado, a technique in which patients are strapped to ladders and dropped from significant heights, was used to correct spinal misalignments. It is now considered torture.
• United States
11 Oct 07
I wonder what the success rate was with this!! This sounds pretty crazy!
@mummymo (23709)
10 Oct 07
Wow - I have never heard that before sweety and I have to say I don't know which would be worse - having to test for Diabetes or being Diabetic and relying on this method of testing!!! We really have come a long way since this was used for testing! As someone who has a large risk of inheriting type 2 diabetes it really blew my mind. Thanks so much for sharing such an interesting (if somewhat stomach churning!) fact. xxx
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
8 Oct 07
I hads vaguley heard of this method of testing for diabetes. But I had never really thought it through, & realised that tasting urine may have been the first way of testing. It makes sense using ants too. I think we should be extremely greatful for the development of technology. Thank you for keeping usa informed.