Scientists have developed a 'surgery in a pill' that could be a game changer for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. The pill mimics the effects of gastric bypass surgery, which reduces the size of the stomach and reroutes food away from the stomach and the small intestine so sugar doesn't reach it.
The medication temporarily coats the intestine so it is unable to absorb sugars and other nutrients, therefore avoiding blood sugar level spikes. It would allow users to receive surgery benefits but with lower risk and lower cost, according to the researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School.
In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, the upper stomach is stapled to create a small pouch that is then attached to the small intestine, reducing the capacity of the stomach.
Food is rerouted away from the majority of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. The intestine is unable to absorb sugars and nutrients, and therefore blood sugar levels don't rise.
The procedure is often prescribed for those who have type 2 diabetes (T2D), and the researchers note that obese patients with diabetes who undergo the surgery experience 'an early and weight-independent improvement or complete resolution of their T2D'.