Patients with type 2 diabetes (Non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) have a hope in gastric / abdominal surgery, after a clinical trial found it may permanently cure the condition.
Gastric bypass surgery is performed as a last resort to help severely obese people lose weight, but doctors have noticed that up to 98% of patients who also had late-onset diabetes appeared to be cured within weeks of surgery.
The operation involves bypassing part of the upper intestine known as the duodenum and re-plumbing the stomach to empty into the mid-small intestine. This makes it harder for the body to absorb calories from food, so people lose weight.
It could revolutionise treatment for millions of people who rely on tablets, insulin injections and strict diets.
Doctors began the trial late last year. Of seven volunteers, the first two are now living without diabetes medication, according to New Scientist magazine. Doctors say it is too early to know whether the other five will show similar improvement.
Professor Francesco Rubino, a surgeon at the Catholic University of Rome who led the study, will present the findings in Portugal next week. His team is seeking approval to perform the operation in the US.
Iain Frame, head of research at Diabetes UK, said: “We don’t know exactly what is happening in these cases. One possible explanation is that the intake of food has been so drastically reduced that the small amount of insulin still produced by these people is able to cope in the short term. Either way, surgery should only ever be considered as a last resort.” Source: Guardian [www.guardian.co.uk]
The surgery is still a dangerous option but for seriously obese people with type 2 diabetes, this may be yet another reason to go under the knife.