Bypass Surgery Shows Promise as Diabetes Fix

Variation on obesity procedure has led to remission
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 4, 2008 10:09 AM CDT
Employees at Novo Nordisk, the world's leading diabetes care company, formed a human circle to commemorate the first United Nation's sanctioned World Diabetes Day.   (AP Photo/Feature Photo Service)
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(Newser) – Intestinal bypass surgery—a variation on the gastric surgery used to combat obesity—is showing surprising and promising results in treating diabetes, the Washington Post reports. Cutting out some of the intestine but sparing the stomach, the procedure is  producing full remission in a high percentage of cases, allowing patients to go off all medication.

Just days after the procedure, patients saw their blood sugar normalize. While the mechanism behind the fix isn’t yet known, and some doctors are skeptical, “I think it's the most significant advance in the management of this chronic killing disease since the discovery of insulin,” says one surgeon. "Understanding what is happening is the holy grail," says a diabetes doc. "Surgery in a pill is where this all needs to be headed."