Insulin resistance linked to ulcer bacteria

Jul 21, 2009 The Yomiuri Shimbun

Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can cause gastric ulcers, have been linked to type B insulin resistance syndrome in diabetics, researchers reported in the British medical journal The Lancet.

A diabetic patient was found to have completely recovered from insulin resistance after the bacteria were killed with antibiotics. The discovery was made by Prof. Hideki Katagiri of the Center for Translational and Advanced Animal Research at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan and others.

When a person develops type B insulin resistance syndrome diabetes, insulin is prevented from functioning properly by the immune system. The syndrome, thought to occur in only one in every thousand to tens of thousands of people, does not respond to common diabetes treatments.

Katagiri and others examined a patient with type B insulin resistance who had become thrombocytopenic -- a condition characterized by a low level of blood platelets _ and found they were infected with pylori bacteria. After eradicating the bacteria with antibiotic treatments used for treating thrombocytopenia in March last year, the patient reportedly showed no further symptoms of either diseases.

Katagiri said the eradication of the bacteria could completely cure type B , theorizing that the pylori bacteria are affecting patients' immune systems and contributing to the development of diabetes.
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(c) 2009, The Yomiuri Shimbun.
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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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