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Type 2 diabetes may be caused by intestinal dysfunction
Date:3/5/2008

NEW YORK (March 5, 2008) -- Growing evidence shows that surgery may effectively cure Type 2 diabetes -- an approach that not only may change the way the disease is treated, but that introduces a new way of thinking about diabetes.

A new article -- published in a special supplement to the February issue of Diabetes Care by a leading expert in the emerging field of diabetes surgery -- points to the small bowel as the possible site of critical mechanisms for the development of diabetes.

The study's author, Dr. Francesco Rubino of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, presents scientific evidence on the mechanisms of diabetes control after surgery. Clinical studies have shown that procedures that simply restrict the stomach's size (i.e., gastric banding) improve diabetes only by inducing massive weight loss. By studying diabetes in animals, Dr. Rubino was the first to provide scientific evidence that gastrointestinal bypass operations involving rerouting the gastrointestinal tract (i.e., gastric bypass) can cause diabetes remission independently of any weight loss, and even in subjects that are not obese.

"By answering the question of how diabetes surgery works, we may be answering the question of how diabetes itself works," says Dr. Rubino, who is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

Dr. Rubino's prior research has shown that the primary mechanisms by which gastrointestinal bypass procedures control diabetes specifically rely on the bypass of the upper small intestine -- the duodenum and jejunum. This is a key finding that may point to the origins of diabetes.

"When we bypass the duodenum and jejunum, we are bypassing what may be the source of the problem," says Dr. Rubino, who is heading up NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's Diabetes Surgery Center.

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Contact: John Rodgers
jdr2001@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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