Human Exceptionalism

Potential Surgical Treatment for Type II Diabetes

Adult onset diabetes may be treatable with a radical surgery used to treat morbidly obese patients. From the story in the Telegraph:

Gastric bypass surgery could be the latest tool in the fight against Type 2 diabetes, which is normally caused by obesity. One in four people in the UK is currently overweight and as the obesity problem grows experts are warning that there will be an explosion in diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. There are already two million sufferers in the UK.Shortening the bowel means the body has less time to absorb food as it passes through the digestive system and can result in dramatic weight loss. But early results have shown that the surgery is having an effect before weight loss occurs, meaning that the precise section of bowel that is removed has some other role.

Two people who have had surgery to remove the upper small intestine or duodenum had Type 2 diabetes but were not overweight. Since the operation they have been able to come off their diabetes drugs as their body is now able to deal with sugar more normally.

This is a drastic procedure, but serious conditions call for drastic remedies. Still, once again we discover that embryonic stem cells are not the “only hope.”