Intestinal tube against diabetes?

An intestinal tube, the so-called EndoBarrier, offers an alternative to bariatric surgery and affects diabetes positively.

People who are morbidly obese often suffer from diabetes mellitus type 2. Aid against this sever disease is in many cases only a bariatric surgery. However, surgical intervention is associated with many health risks. A non-surgical alternative is the EndoBarrier, a thin tube which is laid in the intestine to prevent the complete digestion of food

Small Intervention, big Impact

Less than one hour of minor procedure. However, the effect is large: "With the EndoBarrier obese diabetics with a body mass index (BMI) of between 30 and 40 kg / m² or more can improve their insulin level even without undergoing a complicated bariatric surgery," says Dr. Albrecht Hoffmeister of the Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Leipzig. He is working on a clinical trial involving the effect of EndoBarrier therapy supported by Prof. Matthias Blüher from the Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases. Currently, the method is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. The EndoBarrier prevents the food from contact with the intestinal wall. By interfering with the metabolic system, the digestive juices of the pancreas are re-directed to the tube. Thus, the digestive is delayed: "Together with exercise and a change in diet, it allows the patient to control his diabetes and additional, to lose weight permanently," the scientist explains, who works as a specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology.

The Intestine is lined

The EndoBarrier is placed by means of a flexible hose, a gastroscope, through the mouth in the top portion of the small intestine. This requires a general anesthetic. However, there are no cuts like with an ordinary bariatric surgery. Dr. Hoffmeister emphasizes that "in fact, the advantage is that this procedure can be done very quickly and, above all, that there are no physical changes since it is not operated on the stomach or any other part of the digestive tract." Clearly spoken, the upper part of the intestine is "lined." The resulting barrier between food and intestinal wall can curb appetite stimulating hormones, thus contributing to weight loss. In addition to the weight loss by the delay in digestion, studies have shown that patients also feel satisfied longer after surgery and do not longer eat as much as before. Nevertheless, smaller food portions and balanced diet should be taken since

What to take care of after Surgery

After the removal of the EndoBarrier no physical changes remain as is in the case of bariatric surgery. This is therefore a completely reversible method. Of course, the cooperation is essential for this form of therapy. So it is important that the patient holds on some dietary recommendations to ensure that the hose is not blocked. He should also take pills regularly to suppress stomach acid. Through these pills the small risk of bleeding from intestinal lining can be reduced even further.
The placement of the intestinal tube is carried out for about a year. "It is particularly suitable for obese people who could not achieve to improve their type 2 diabetes by conservative methods or who are so severely overweight that a stomach operation would simply be too risky," says Dr. Hoffmeister.

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Keywords: obesity treatment, obesity surgery