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Chapter Summary

There is no progressive arc to follow in the history of diabetes, although there surely has been change in dealing with the disorder. True understanding of diabetes has waxed and waned, and effective treatments rediscovered repeatedly over time. During the late Middle Ages and Renaissance the sagacity of traditional Galenic medicine arrived in Britain where the wisdom of the classical world dovetailed nicely with local folkways. Stimulated by the emphasis on clinical observation associated with Thomas Sydenham rather than reliance on Latin learning, doctors all over Britain experimented with different sorts of diets and regimens, some requiring careful hospital-based monitoring of patient intake and outgo. Unlike other disease biographies, one cannot proclaim a cure for either variety of the disease or the significant reduction of Type 2 as a multifaceted health plague.

Keywords: Britain; diabetes; Galenic medicine; Thomas Sydenham



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