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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Media hype (again)   (March 6, 2008)

Two people notified me today about a press release, Type 2 diabetes may be caused by intestinal dysfunction, that they felt I should read.

Actually, I got as far as reading the title, and laughed -- sure, and the moon may be made of green cheese!

The press release quoted an article in Diabetes Care, so that's where I headed next. Yes, there's an essay there, titled in a much less flamboyant fashion: Is Type 2 Diabetes an Operable Intestinal Disease? A provocative yet reasonable hypothesis.

After reviewing the results of gastric surgery on people with diabetes, the author concludes: "All together, these data suggest a novel revolutionary concept about an old disease: type 2 diabetes may be an operable intestinal illness." (Interestingly, I also reviewed a recent study about gastric banding for diabetes.) Well, that's his opinion. But then he's a surgeon, and surgeons like to operate. After all, that's what they were trained to do.

But my main gripe isn't his admittedly provocative hypothesis. It's the breathless press release, which hypes the good doctor's work, and doesn't include the key word: provocative.

Oh well. Another day, another piece of public relations flackery.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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