Gastric bypass findings could lead to diabetes treatment

May 1, 2013

A Lund University research team has shed new light on why gastric bypass often sends diabetes into remission rapidly, opening the door to developing treatment with the same effect.

85% of patients with who undergo a gastric bypass procedure recover from the disease within a few days, showing a return to levels - long before any weight loss. Until now, there have been few clues as to why this happens.

"Most previous studies have analysed samples taken from patients before and after a gastric bypass, but there is a risk that the results are misleading. They may not be attributable to the operation itself, but rather to factors such as weight loss and reduced food intake", says Nils Wierup of the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden.

In a gastric bypass, food bypasses the majority of the stomach and duodenum. Just a small part of the upper stomach is connected directly to the . In some cases, the surgeon inserts a catheter into the part of the stomach that no longer has contact with food as a precautionary measure. This was what gave the researchers an opportunity to study the exact difference between before and after the procedure.

The participants were given a set amount of a nutritional drink and blood samples were taken before, during and at short intervals after it was ingested. The next step was to inject the same amount of nutritional solution through the catheter over the same length of time as it had taken the patient to drink it and the same samples were taken. The food then ended up where it would have been before the gastric bypass.

The comparison revealed a major difference. "When the patient drank the solution, the in the blood rose almost five times as much as when it was injected into the closed-off stomach. Intestinal hormones, which play a significant role in controlling , rose sharply, as did certain . There was also a major impact on , with the levels roughly halved", says Nils Wierup, observing:"We believe these changes are part of the answer to why gastric bypass cures type 2 diabetes. We have looked at just a few intestinal hormones. There may be a hundred or more involved in the body's complex sugar metabolism."

Jan Hedenbro, one of the surgeons in the study, adds: "If we can identify the mechanism behind this, it will open the way for both more individually tailored operations and, in the long run, the possibility of achieving the same results with pills rather than with surgery."

Explore further: Gastric bypass surgery alters hormones to relieve diabetes symptoms

More information: Andreas Lindqvist, Peter Spégel, Mikael Ekelund, Hindrik Mulder, Leif Groop, Jan Hedenbro and Nils Wierup, Effects of Ingestion Routes on Hormonal and Metabolic Profiles in Gastric-Bypassed Humans, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, JCEM jc.2012-3996; doi:10.1210/jc.2012-3996

Related Stories

Gastric bypass surgery alters hormones to relieve diabetes symptoms

April 30, 2013
–Gastric bypass surgery alters the hormones and amino acids produced during digestion, hinting at the mechanisms through which the surgery eliminates symptoms of type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study accepted for ...

Scientists reassess weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes

January 4, 2012
Weight loss surgery is not a cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can improve blood sugar control, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Surgery. Whereas some previous studies have claimed that up to 80 ...

Gastric bypass reduces blood pressure

September 7, 2011
The kidneys play an important role in the regulation of blood pressure by adjusting the production of urine after eating or drinking. This process begins already in the upper digestive tract, which could explain why gastric ...

Gastric bypass surgery changes food preferences

July 27, 2011
Gastric bypass surgery alters people's food preferences so that they eat less high fat food, according to a new study led by scientists at Imperial College London. The findings, published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, ...

Research reveals hormone action that could lead to treatments for type 2 diabetes

September 30, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered that the immediate improvement in blood sugar (blood glucose) for those with type 2 diabetes who undergo gastric bypass surgery is related to ...

Recommended for you

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

Smart mat detects early warning signs of foot ulcers

August 16, 2017
While completing his residency in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in the mid-2000s, Jon Bloom saw his fair share of foot amputations among patients with diabetes. The culprit: infected foot ulcers.

The best place to treat type 1 diabetes might be just under your skin

August 14, 2017
A group of U of T researchers have demonstrated that the space under our skin might be an optimal location to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D).

New measure of insulin-making cells could gauge diabetes progression, treatment

August 10, 2017
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a new measurement for the volume and activity of beta cells, the source of the sugar-regulating hormone insulin.

Pioneering immunotherapy shows promise in type 1 diabetes

August 9, 2017
It may be possible to 'retrain' the immune system to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes, according to results of a clinical trial published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Online team-based game helps patients with diabetes lower blood glucose

August 8, 2017
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System have found that an online, team-based game designed to teach patients about diabetes self-management had a sustained and meaningful ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.