The role of endoscopy in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: this is the theme at the heart of the live Facebook stream, which featured two specialists from Humanitas, Dr. Cesare Berra, Head of Diabetology and Professor Alessandro Repici, Head of Digestive Endoscopy and Professor at Humanitas University.


Type 2 diabetes

“It is thought that in Italy there are 5 million patients who suffer from diabetes, in fact there are about 4 million patients diagnosed and almost a million who have diabetes and do not yet know they have it. It is a very widespread chronic disease, which if not managed well leads to the development of cardiovascular and microvascular complications.

Once type 2 diabetes (which covers 97% of all diabetes cases) was called elderly diabetes, but now it can affect anyone, even in childhood. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed first and treated first, so early diagnosis is important. Lifestyle also plays a role, and from pre-school age risk factors such as uncontrolled nutrition, obesity and sedentary lifestyle must be combated.

Today we have new drugs that allow us to manage diabetes, without side effects and preventing cardiovascular risk. We also have many clinical studies, in Humanitas there are 4-5 ongoing studies on type 2 diabetes, one of which is in collaboration with the Department of Endoscopy directed by Prof. Repici,” explained Dr. Berra.


The role of research: endoscopy for diabetes

“Endoscopy is the method by which the stomach, intestine, esophagus and duodenum can be explored by means of flexible hoses. In addition to the exploration it is possible to carry out numerous treatments. Endoscopy therefore seems to be a long way from metabolic diseases such as diabetes, but we have found a meeting point because one of the areas that we explore endoscopically is the duodenum and this represents a junction of the glycemic metabolism. Different hormones are in fact produced in this area that serve to regulate blood sugar and that are altered during our lives especially on the basis of the risk factors mentioned.

The most recent research has shown that altering the mucosal surface of the duodenum through a particular technique can return this hormonal metabolic balance to the conditions prior to the onset of diabetes,” explained Professor Repici.

The two specialists then explained the advantages and contraindications of this treatment, emphasizing that it is still a study and therefore an experimental treatment, in collaboration with the most important European centers, the first results of which will arrive in 18-24 months.

The specialists also answered some of the questions from the connected live users.


Watch the live Facebook stream with Dr. Berra and Professor Repici: