Blog | Friday, September 19, 2008

A diabetes therapy from the future

Rather than putting patients with type 2 diabetes through the pain and risk of gastric bypass, physicians may soon be lining diabetic intestines to induce weight loss and control blood sugar. Researchers at the First World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes reported on a cool new device (with a slightly less appealing name--the EndoBarrier Gastrointestinal Liner) which is inserted endoscopically and then alters the way food is absorbed by the digestive system.

As reported in the Washington Post, a trial of 18 patients (the device has been put into 118 people total) resulted in an average weight-loss of 27.5 pounds by 31 weeks, and improved glucose control as soon as a week after surgery. The studies were, of course, funded by the manufacturer and need more confirmation. And yes, having a plastic bag put down your gullet sounds gross, but it sure beats having your stomach stapled.