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Obesity Surgery May “Cure” Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

‘Diabetes Mellitus or ‘Diabetes’ as it is more commonly known, is a metabolic disorder defined by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. Diabetes is characterized by increased thirst, appetite, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision. 

Diabetes is caused either by a reduced production of insulin (type 1) or reduced sensitivity of the body to insulin(type 2), with resulting rises in blood glucose level. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to potential complications such as stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage, and heart disease. 

Relation of Obesity with Diabetes

Obesity is a primary factor in developing diabetes. Studies have shown that people who are severely obese are at 10 times more risk of developing the disease. It has been estimated that the risk of developing diabetes is 93-fold in women and 42-fold in men who are severely obese. Foods rich in fats and carbohydrates increase fatty acids in the blood and lipid build–up in the liver and muscles. This results in an increase in insulin resistance resulting in a persistently elevated blood glucose level.

Bariatric Surgery can Cure Diabetes in Some Patients

Weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery can be used to treat diabetes. Given the role of obesity in type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that weight loss with its many advantages is an effective means of controlling diabetes. Lifestyle intervention to promote weight loss with appropriate dietary changes and increased physical activity are an essential component of diabetes treatment regimens. In patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery has been shown that with weight loss, there is significant improvement in blood sugar control. 

Patients are eligible for weight loss surgery to treat diabetes if your Body Mass index (BMI), a ratio of your weight to your height, exceeds 35 or more with Type-2 diabetes. 

Some of the types of weight loss surgery are:

  • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) – It reduces the size of the stomach and limits food intake.

  • Laparoscopic Roux – en-Y Gastric Bypass- Here a small stomach pouch is created. The intestine is connected to the new pouch and rerouted. This limits the amount of food you can eat as well as the amount of calories absorbed.

  • Duodenal Switch (DS) - This procedure creates a smaller stomach that is in connection with a farther part of the small intestine which limits the amount of food and even less calories absorbed.

Weight loss surgery comes with several benefits. A majority of patients lose 50 to 80 percent of excess weight within 18 to 24 months after surgery. But the effects on blood sugar are immediate; within days after surgery. Bariatric surgery helps patients to reduce or even eliminate diabetes medication. Statistics show that approximately 33% of patients do not require diabetes drugs after surgery and a total of 85% of patients do not need medication within 2 years of surgery.

The extent of remission of diabetes is influenced by the extent of weight gain, amount of weight loss after surgery, duration of diabetes, pre-surgery therapy requirements, and the choice of bariatric procedure. 

Total resolution of diabetes is more common among people who lose more weight after surgery, have diet controlled diabetes and have had diabetes for less than five years. Additional benefits of bariatric surgery with weight loss include a reduction in the risk of heart attacks, heart and kidney failure, some cancers and stroke.

The Risk of Bariatric Surgery is Less Than the Risk of Death from Diabetes

Research shows that bariatric surgery is more effective than usual diabetes treatment in reversing the disease. Researchers aren’t sure how weight loss surgery “cures” diabetes. But it has been seen that it usually results in more weight loss than other treatments and this in turn probably improves the body’s use of insulin. Moreover, bariatric surgery can alter hormones and other substances produced during digestion, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. 

Bariatric operations have some risks, but advantages clearly overcome the potential problems. The most common complications from Gastric Bypass include bowel obstruction, pulmonary embolism, and internal hernia. Considering the risks-to-advantages ratio, bariatric surgery is more effective when compared to medical treatment. The risk of death from diabetic complications is greater than the risk of death from surgery. 

Life After Surgery

After bariatric surgery, a well balanced diet, low in carbs and high in proteins is started and this will have to be continued for the rest of your life. You will have to take mineral and multivitamin supplements. Very important after surgery, an exercise routine is recommended. Regular follow up after surgery increases long term success with patients keeping the weight they lost off.

Why choose CGA Weight Loss?

At CGA Weight Loss & Surgical Specialists, our team of dedicated medical professionals use minimally invasive techniques in the treatment of obesity and surgical diseases. We aim to improve your health and well-being in the safest and most effective way possible by helping you battle obesity and other surgical diseases. 

We pride ourselves on affording our patients optimal care, minimal pain, and visible results in a caring, understanding and empathic environment. 

Contact us and embark on a journey towards a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life as we help you win by losing.

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