The MD, PhD Is In

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When you hear that someone is ‘diabetic,’ that usually refers to the formal name, diabetes mellitus. Mellitus is the Latin word for ‘sweet like honey.’

Historically, Egyptian manuscripts circa 1500 B.C. write of a disease associated with much urine output. Indians used the word,  madhumeha (‘honey urine’) because ants were attracted to the sugary urine.

English doctor Thomas Willis (1621-1675) is credited with observing and publishing the fact that the urine of diabetes mellitus tastes sweet. It’s rather gross, but he described it as being “wonderfully sweet as if it were imbued with honey or sugar.” (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Sweet Urine of Diabetes Mellitus. It’s not normal to spill the sugar…

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