A new clinical study reports that for diabetic patients, weight loss surgery can help improve blood sugar levels more than any lifestyle changes or pharmaceutical intervention. Weight loss surgery may even help with long-term remission. The study appeared in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association, endorsed by 45 professional societies around the world. Type 2 diabetes is a very serious disease and it is often the cause of blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, and more. Even with diet changes, exercise routines, and prescription drugs, only about 50% of people with diabetes can effectively control their blood sugar levels. 

How Weight Loss Surgery Can Help

Bariatric or weight loss surgery can be completed in several different types of procedures. For example, gastric bypass surgery involves reducing the stomach to a small pouch and connecting it directly to the intestine. Over the past 10 years, several randomized clinical studies have shown dramatic results for diabetic patients that have undergone weight loss surgery. Approximately 80% of the patients with type 2 diabetes went into remission after their surgery, or were more effectively able to stabilize their blood sugar through medication, exercise, and diet.

How It Works

The positive effects of surgery on diabetic patients isn’t just because of weight loss, but also due to several other factors that are still being explored. Surgery has been shown to impact the amount and timing of gut hormone secretions, which can influence how insulin is produced. In addition, surgery can also help increase the production of bile acids that make cells more insulin-sensitive. It can also increase the intake of glucose by the gut cells, which can result in reduced blood glucose levels.

The results that have been compiled from these clinical trials and experiments make a compelling case that links weight loss surgery to diabetes treatment and healing, yet the concept of weight loss surgery to help diabetic patients will require a change of mindset for doctors, researchers, as well as patients themselves. Having surgery is not a small decision and it isn’t always the best option for some patients. Before you decide if surgery is right for you, be sure to talk in depth to your doctor and discuss the positive and negative effects of what the procedure involves. Discuss if there are any less invasive interventions that may be more effective for your situation.

If you or anyone you know is considering weight loss surgery, talk to the experts at Oregon Weight Loss Surgery. We can help you navigate the decision-making process and decide if weight loss surgery is the right option for you.

  1. Rubino, Francesco. “Medical Research: Time to Think Differently About Diabetes.” Nature.com. May 24, 2016. Accessed online May 21, 2016. https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-time-to-think-differently-about-diabetes-1.19955
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