Liberal diets in the treatment of diabetes mellitus
Forsyth, Constance Catherine.
Before the discovery of insulin, strict dieting was the only method of treating diabetes mellitus; the aim of this treatment was to obtain sugar -free urine and normoglycaemia. Such a method reduced the incidence of ketosis and prolonged the lives of diabetics but it necessitated severe undernutrition and many patients were consequently very thin and tired. Mild obese diabetics, on the other hand, did very well, and restricted diets are still universally used for such patients.The discovery of insulin revolutionised the prognosis for the non -obese adult diabetic and diabetic children. Mere existence was transformed into abundant life.In the years following the discovery of insulin, the necessity for undernutrition has come to be questioned and also the ideal of normoglycaemia.More liberal forms of dietetic treatment enable patients to live freer lives with great psychological benefit.The present investigation covers a period from October 1945 to March 1949. It entails a study of a very liberal method, in which patients are given diets entirely free except for the avoidance of raw sugar, jam and sweets. Insulin is used to control symptoms. Patients are fully nourished and no attempt is made to maintain normal blood sugar levels.The short-term results are given in the following pages, along with a brief discussion of the relevant ideas from the vast literature on Diabetes Mellitus.