New EndoBarrier study tracks weight loss success and improvement in diabetes control

Camille Bienvenu
Wed, 13 Sep 2017
New EndoBarrier study tracks weight loss success and improvement in diabetes control
Overweight patients with type 2 diabetes who took part in an NHS trial treatment with the EndoBarrier device have shed a significant amount of weight and kept blood sugar levels under control.

Doctors from City Hospital, in Birmingham, who led the trial also noticed that blood pressure dropped, liver fat deposits were reduced and fitness levels improved.

The EndoBarrier for weight loss is a sleeve, or very thin long plastic tube, which is passed down into the mouth and unrolled into the smalll intestine to prevent the absorption of excess calories through its lining.

Contrary to a surgical intervention, like gastric bypass surgery, it is carried out as an endoscopic procedure and as such doesn't involve cutting any tissue or stitches. The tube is usually removed after 12 months.

The latest findings, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Lisbon, highlight its effects on type 2 diabetes which are broadly akin to the effects of gastric bypass surgery.

Researchers have so far fitted 50 patients with the EndoBarrier device as part of the NHS trial. All the patients had had type 2 diabetes for an average of 13 years and 17 were insulin treated.

The new results concern the first 31 patients who have had the device removed. These patients lost 15 kg (2st 5lb) and had healthier blood sugar levels as well as a lower blood pressure and less fat in their liver.

Those on insulin saw their dose regimen reduced from 100 units to 30 units per day. Furthermore, 11 out of 17 patients followed for six months after removal of the EndoBarrier have managed to keep the weight off.

One of them, a 53-year-old named Harnaik Pharhani, told a Press Association reporter that the Endobarrier device helped him shed 10in from his waistline.

The father-of-two from Great Barr, Birmingham, initially weighed just over 21st. Since receiving the EndoBarrier treatment, he has lost three and a half stone and gone from a 54in waist to 44in, in addition to improving his blood sugars.

He and other patients also reported having more energy to engage in physical activity: "I hadn't played any sports for a while because of my weight gain. But now I regularly play badminton with 18-year-olds who aren't very happy when I beat them at the game," Pharhani said jokingly.

Whilst the results of this trial are promising, further studies are still needed to understand the long-term impact of using EndoBarrier on weight loss and diabetes management.
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