Express News Service
You’ve heard of every way under the sun in which type 2 diabetes can be managed—eating healthy, exercising regularly, losing weight and drugs. But a new treatment protocol is underway that promises effective management of type 2 diabetes without drugs. It’s non-invasive too.
It’s an ultrasound technique that stimulates specific nerves in the liver to treat type 2 diabetes.
How does this happen?
By sending regular ultrasound pulses on specific nerve clusters in the liver in an area called the porta hepatis. The procedure is called peripheral focused ultrasound stimulation (pFUS), and the ultrasound pulses used are very concentrated. Doing so regularly reduces insulin and glucose levels. “It cannot get better than this,” says Noida-based Internal Medicine specialist Shivam Sawhney, adding, “The porta hepatis contains the hepatoportal nerve plexus, responsible for communicating information on glucose to the brain. Scientists have been at sea with the study of these tiny nerve structures that cannot be stimulated separately with implanted electrodes because of their minuscule size, which is why ultrasound pulses are targeted to nerve clusters.”
First, human trials are still underway so it could be some time before you can make use of this treatment. “In addition to that, specialised tools and resources are needed to undertake the specialised stimulation,” says Sawhney. The other challenge he points out is the lack of technical know-how to perform the ultrasound using never-used-before machines and tools. Training technicians will require time and effort. “Having said that, the ultrasound technique holds the big promise of treating type- 2 diabetes with bioelectronic medicine—a tall feat for the industry—but one that the fraternity needs,” says Sawhney.