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Diabetes Channel
Reported October 4, 2004

Botox Treats Diabetic Gastrointestinal Disorder

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Botox injections are well known for smoothing wrinkles. But they might smooth more than that for people with type 1 diabetes suffering from a stomach condition.

A new study out of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, finds injections of botulinum toxin can help ease painful and distressing gastrointestinal symptoms resulting from spasms in the pylorus, the small opening between the stomach and the small intestine.

Researchers say up to 50 percent of people with type 1 diabetes suffer from a condition called gastroparesis in which spasms in the pylorus make it difficult for food to go from the stomach to the intestine. It leaves people with a feeling of overfullness and results in nausea, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss, and stomach pain.

Since Botox essentially paralyzes smooth muscle, they decided to see if injections directly into the pylorus would prevent the spasms, thus allowing people to process food more normally. Seven patients completed the study and a 12-week follow-up period. After receiving the injections, symptoms declined markedly and overall physical functioning improved. No complications were noted during the trial.

The researchers now call for additional studies to confirm these findings and suggest, “Funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health or the American Diabetes Association should strongly consider support of such research, which has the potential to bring relief to diabetic patients suffering from gastroparesis.”

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: /newsalert/.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, 2004;27:2341-2347

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