Radical 'hot water bottle' treatment for diabetes could end to insulin injections
A radical treatment for Type 2 diabetes that can halt the disease in its tracks and avoid the need for insulin injections is being tested at a London hospital.
Doctors hope the procedure — which briefly inserts a tiny “hot water bottle” into the upper intestine — could have a major impact on the country’s obesity-fuelled diabetes epidemic.
The first UK patients had the procedure over the summer at University College Hospital, in Bloomsbury, and more volunteers to test it are being sought. About 3.3 million Britons have Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Rehan Haidry, a consultant gastroenterologist who is leading the Revita trial at UCH, called it “a phenomenal concept”.
He said: “This is probably the most exciting thing I have been involved in in the past few years in terms of its value to healthcare.”
The procedure involves passing a catheter, via the mouth and stomach, into the duodenum, at the top of the small intestine.
Once in place, a small balloon is filled with water heated to 90C to “ablate” or burn the lining of the duodenum.
This causes the cells responsible for absorbing glucose, and releasing hormones into the body to control glucose, to regenerate.
The process, which takes less than an hour and is performed under sedation, “resets” the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin, or where the body’s cells don’t react to insulin — meaning glucose stays in the blood and is not used for energy.
As their condition worsens, patients often need to take medicatio Continue reading