September 17, 2012

Drug to replace bypass surgery to cure Type 2 diabetes


If your doctor suggests you consider gastric bypass surgery to possibly cure your Type 2 diabetes  you may wonder two things: how does it work and can we do the sane thing without surgery? A  study out of the University of Maryland answers these questions.

The researchers hope to discover a way to address the diabetes epidemic without the extreme action of surgery. Hypothetically if doctors were able to assist patients with Type 2 diabetes with a pill to cure diabetes rather than a pill to treat diabetes, it sheds a new light on the unrelenting chore of Type 2 diabetes.

Before you think that this pill would be the silver bullet for the epidemic brought on by poor lifestyle choices (in the opinion of some), it’s important to understand why bariatric surgery has seemingly cured people of Type 2 diabetes within days of the procedure.

The Roux en-Y seems to be the specific bariatric procedure that has the curative effects on Type 2 diabetes.  Without getting specific, the surgery applies the divide and conquer principle to the capacity of the stomach and reconnecting the intestines for a shorter path to follow in the alimentary canal. The end result is a Y-shape of pathways where the body cannot handle more than 1 oz. of food at a time.

People with Type 2 diabetes have a defect in insulin sensitivity and the subsequent production of insulin. Increasing GLP-1 levels can help increase insulin production to levels where it can restore normal glucose levels. Gastricc bypass seems to increase GLP-1 production.

So what have researchers found to be the nonsurgical answer to this dangerous disease? It’s a cheap, oral medication known as glibenclamide. It’s a tricky situation because in humans the primary site for production of the GLP-1 hormone is the small intestine. However, for the results of a gastric bypass cure, researchers will need to target the drug to the large intestine where it could prompt GLP-1 production.

This begs the question – if you’re still taking a pill every day to cure an illness, is it really cured?

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