Since the days of Aretæus, 150 A. D., the first to use the term diabetes—the Greek word for siphon, the fanciful analogy being invoked by three of the cardinal symptoms of the disease, namely, thirst, emaciation and diuresis—the urine has always been looked on as the chief source for diagnosis in diabetes. Hippocrates, Celsus and Galen, in describing this malady, make continuous reference to the "sweet and honey urine." Glucose was first isolated and demonstrated in the urine in 1770 by Matthew Dobson of Liverpool.
With the recent remarkable advance of medicine, particularly with the progress of pathology and physiologic chemistry, the finding of diabetic urine not only makes the diagnosis of the disease, but throws light on the etiology, gives valuable aid to the surgeon and obstetrician in solving their problems when diabetes occurs as a complication, and is the guiding star in diagnosis and treatment.
LINTZ W. PRACTICAL DEDUCTIONS FROM URINARY FINDINGS IN DIABETES. JAMA. 1910;LIV(11):866-868. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550370001001g