Med­i­cal treat­ments that use elec­tric­ity

Daily Mail - - Good Health -

This week: Weight loss and di­a­betes

ELECTRICALLY stim­u­lat­ing the stom­ach mus­cles is be­ing ex­plored as a way to im­prove blood sugar lev­els and re­duce weight in peo­ple with type 2 di­a­betes.

The de­vice, the size of a heart pace­maker, is im­planted in the skin and pro­grammed to fire small elec­tri­cal sig­nals when the pa­tient is eat­ing.

The the­ory is that the elec­tric­ity in­creases the ac­tiv­ity of the stom­ach mus­cles, mak­ing the pa­tient feel full sooner and so eat less. It’s also thought to

af­fect var­i­ous hor­mones to bring on full­ness. In a trial at the Med­i­cal Univer­sity of Vi­enna in 2015, elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tion re­sulted in an av­er­age weight loss of 4kg to 5kg af­ter three months, and blood sugar lev­els fell by a quar­ter.

Re­searchers also used stim­u­la­tion of the va­gus nerve in the neck to re­duce crav­ings in over­weight peo­ple.

It fol­lows a re­cent U.S. study that showed 62 per cent of pa­tients who had the stim­u­la­tion for epilepsy also had sig­nif­i­cant weight loss.

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