It has become the norm of the day for people to claim that former days were better in all aspects of human life compared to the current times. Most of these claims and counterclaims are not only baseless but also misleading to the general public. For instance, it is not uncommon for people supporting this proposition to claim that the current diseases were unheard of during the earlier periods and that people lived healthier, longer, happier and longer lives compared to the current generation.
This is not true and should be disregarded by everybody. In fact the current times are better in all aspects of life compared to the earlier days due to technological advancements. The current technological advancements have revolutionized every aspects of human life including communication, transportation, education and healthcare among other aspects. This has made things more efficient and simpler compared to earlier periods. In healthcare, technological advancements have enabled researchers to understand in details the various biological processes of the human body and their regulatory mechanisms. One of such mechanism has been elucidation of the way a disease develops and alters the normal functioning of the body processes. Current technological advancements have also enabled scientists to elucidate the primary mechanisms of various diseases that were difficult to understand decades ago. Understanding of the disease mechanisms has in turn revolutionized disease diagnosis and treatment. One of the medical complications that have witnessed gradual understanding of their underlying mechanisms and consequent revolution in their treatment are the various forms of diabetes, particularly type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite the current increased levels of all forms of diabetes, in the United States of America, due to changes in lifestyle and nutrition among other factors contributing to development of diabetes, the current treatment is better than the earlier forms of treatment. The current advancements have prolonged the lives of people diagnosed with the diseases compared to earlier treatments.
Though similar in many aspects, the current treatments for type1 diabetes are better compared to the treatment of 1920s because of many reasons. For instance, my grandmother who is suffering from Type 1 diabetes would have been treated with insulin extracted from pigs with its many side effects and shortcomings. She would have been forced to have a minimum of three injections of short acting insulin per day as her main form of treatment. It would have been even impossible for my grandmother to afford insulin during this period as it was very expensive compared to the current situation due to the limited supply from pigs. My grandmother came from a family with financial difficulties. Unlike those days, technological advancements have led to large scale industrial production of the hormone using recombinant DNA technology using Yeast and E-coli instead of pigs. This has drastically increased the availability of the hormone in addition to reducing its costs. Had my grandmother received the treatment, it would have been without the medical practitioners understanding the real cause and mechanism of the disease. Type 1 diabetes was characterized as a subset of diabetes mellitus and some of its underlying causes and risk factors elucidated around 1970s.
This is contrary to current situation. Had my grandmother been born during my sister’s generation her diabetes would been detected earlier and management and treatment started earlier before the situation could deteriorate. The current development in genetics, recombinant DNA technology and genetics would have permitted earlier detection and treatment. Even the kind of treatment she would have received had she been born during my sister’s era would have been based on facts and better than treatments of her era. Had she been born during my sister’s generation, her current complications including blindness, resulting from the disease and old age would have been minimized or eliminated. It hurts me seeing my grandmother…
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