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NEW DIABETES TREATMENT?

ANCHOR LEAD:   CAN GASTRIC BYPASS CURE DIABETES?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

People with diabetes who undergo gastric bypass surgery will usually see their diabetes disappear shortly after the operation, even before they lose weight.  This observation has led some to speculate that gastric bypass surgery could be used to cure diabetes, which has reached epidemic levels but still hasn’t peaked.  Thomas Magnussen, director of obesity surgery at Johns Hopkins, says such a strategy isn’t ready for prime time.

MAGNUSSEN:  It certainly seems to be real in genetic models of diabetic rats, it’s another step to say this is going to impact on the human situation since obviously in humans diabetes is a multifactorial disease, in other words it’s caused by a lot of different things, one of those things is obesity, another of those things is genetics, so whether or not doing an operation designed to cause weight loss in a normal weight patient will get rid of their diabetes perhaps needs to be investigated further.        :25

For now, diabetes control should be considered just one more benefit of gastric bypass surgery for those who are obese.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.


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