Scientists are working to find various solutions to treat different illnesses which are treatable or untreatable. Manageable illnesses require patients to make a few changes to their daily routine. For example, in the case of diabetic patients, developing wearables and other technologies can bring a huge difference. In some cases, a vaccine can also prove to be much more effective. However, the hardest part for many diabetic patients is to keep a check on insulin levels constantly. This makes it an all-day job.
Thankfully, there is now an experimental treatment which promises to potentially disrupt this narrative for Type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients. A team of researchers is using a surgical method which can stabilise blood sugar level over time for people who have T2D. The scientists opted for a surgical procedure to get these results. The innovative method involves duodenal mucosal resurfacing (DMR) in which the membrane of the mucus in the small intestine is destroyed entirely so that a new one can grow in its place.
The one hour long endoscopic procedure also involves the insertion of a tube with a small balloon. The balloon is filled with hot water which acts to burn the sensitive membrane through the patient’s mouth. From there, it will travel to the small intestine. Total 50 patients participated in this study and the results from this one year study have proved to be very promising. Researchers saw improvements within six months following the surgery which implies that this treatment can change the way doctors will figure out strategies for T2D patients.
Professor Jacques Bergman, from UMC Gastroenterology, said about the latest development, “Because of this treatment the use of insulin can be postponed or perhaps prevented. With those people, we see a spectacular improvement in blood sugar levels one day after the operation, before they even lose one kilo, which has put us on the track. Because the question now is whether this is a permanent treatment, or whether it is something that you have to keep repeating – something that in theory should be possible. We looked at whether we could stop their insulin, which is still ongoing, but the first results are truly spectacular, with the lion’s share of patients no longer using insulin after this treatment.”
Another benefit of surgery as noted by scientists was that the treatment is also able to lower the risk of kidney failure, blindness, cardiovascular disease, and even the sensation of numbness which occurs in the hands and feet.