SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A new treatment for people with diabetes type 2 and developed by Dutch doctors, could mean an end to insulin injections for thousands of patients, the AD reported on Wednesday.
Researchers at Amsterdam’s UMC teaching hospital have developed a system to improve patients’ blood sugar levels by using a process known as mucosal resurfacing.
A balloon is inserted via their mouths to the top of their small intestine where it is inflated with hot water which burns away the mucous membrane. A new membrane is formed within one or two weeks which improves the blood sugar level, delaying the need to inject new insulin, or doing away with the need altogether.
So far, 50 patients have undergone trials of the balloon system and the results are ‘promising’, the researchers told the paper. In 90% of the patients, the disease was stable after a year.
They still take medicine but have a lower risk of heart and artery disease, kidney failure, blindness and the loss of feeling in hands and feet, the researchers say. A new international research project involving 100 patients is now being started.
Ultimately, the system could be suitable for 70,000 diabetes patients who get little benefit from pills and have to inject insulin, the paper said.
Around one million people in the Netherlands have diabetes, of whom 700,000 have the type 2 variant of the disease. (DutchNews)