Weight loss device helps obese diabetics shed two stone

14 September 2017 08:29

Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with being overweight

Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with being overweight

A non-invasive alternative to gastric bypass surgery that helps people with Type 2 diabetes lose weight is being recommended for widespread use by NHS experts.

The Endobarrier lines the first 60cm of the small intestine, preventing the body from digesting food, and making patients feel full after a small meal.

The removable device is non-invasive and can be fitted orally under anaesthetic in less than an hour.

A study of the Endobarrier shows it helps obese people with diabetes lose more than 2st on average.

The patients involved in the study have been suffering from Type 2 diabetes on average for 13 years, and 17 of the first group are classed as insulin dependent.

On average, those who rely on insulin have been able to reduce their dosage from 100 units to 30 per day,

Study yields promising results

The device has been fitted in 50 patients as part of an NHS trial and experts say it's so effective that it should be fully rolled out across the country.

Dr Robert Ryder and colleagues from City Hospital, Birmingham say the first 31 patients fitted with the Endobarrier lost an average of 15 kg (2st 5lb) and have seen their health improve.

"This first NHS Endobarrier service demonstrates that Endobarrier therapy is highly effective in patients with obesity and diabetes that has been very hard to treat, with high patient satisfaction levels, and an acceptable safety profile," the research team says.

They added: "The Endobarrier service could be a safe and cost-effective treatment for the NHS - it does not involve surgery and patients do not have to stay in hospital, so reducing the risk of infection."

The experts say widespread locations of endoscopy units could enable them to help patients across the country.

All patients involved were advised to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan while the Endobarrier was fitted.

A group of 17 patients monitored for six months after the device was removed show that 65% have managed to maintain their weight loss and improve their control of diabetes.

Large-scale study needed

Being overweight is closely linked with Type 2 diabetes diagnoses, and Diabetes.co.uk says over 90% of newly diagnosed patients are above their ideal weight.

The condition can lead to heart disease, strokes, kidney problems, vision loss or even amputations.

Responding to the report, Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Diabetes UK director of research, said: "The results of this trial are promising, but long-term, large-scale studies are still needed to understand the true impact of using Endobarrier to manage Type 2 diabetes."

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