Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Question from Leia - Diabetes in Tudor times
I know back in Tudor times they had deadly illnesses they called "the sweating sickness" and of course the plague and childbed fever. I wondered if there was ever any reference to a disease that could have been diabetes. I'm sure type 2 wasn't very prevalent back then, although Henry VIII would have been a prime candidate for it. I have had type 1 for 15 years and am very into 16th century England. I wondered if there was any symptoms in England teens and kids that could have been type 1. In the early 1900's before insulin was invented diabetes was called the "sugar disease". I thought maybe there would be something similar to this that may have surfaced during this time as well. Of course I know that many children perished in these times because of lack of medical awareness and vaccines and such so it may be hard to pinpoint this many years later any symptoms or illnesses that may point to diabetes. Also these children would have lived only a month or two at best so they probably went to quick for anyone to make the connection to the thirst and the "fruity breath" which is characteristic of untreated diabetes. This has been on my mind for a while- thanks for the help!