Botox for the Tummy

By: Elka Karl

A new study indicates that diabetics withgastroparesis, an autonomic nervoussystem disorder that results in delayedstomach emptying, may find relief withbotulinum toxin treatment.

Eight type 1 diabetic subjects wereenrolled in the study in the United States.The lower end of the stomach (pylorus)was injected with 200 units of botulinumtoxin, which inhibits the release ofacetylcholine and produces transientparalysis in smooth muscle.

After three months, no complicationswere noted in the patients. Symptomsdeclined significantly and physicalfunction improved. Some patientsincreased insulin use and gained weight,and four patients improved gastric-emptyingscan time.

The researchers concluded that theresults of this small study warrant furtherinvestigation with a large, randomized,double-blind placebo-controlled clinicaltrial.

Gastroparesis affects up to 50 percentof type 1s. Symptoms include nausea,vomiting, early satiety and difficult-to-controlblood glucose levels related tounpredictable digestion and nutrientabsorption.

Diabetes Care, October 2004



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