Exploring Bariatric Surgery as a Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
Most think of injectables, oral medications, and diet and exercise as the only treatments for Type 2 diabetes, but recent studies have revealed that bariatric surgery could be the most effective treatment of all.
95% of diabetes cases are Type 2 (T2DM) and according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, roughly 90% of instances of Type 2 diabetes are attributable to excess body fat. While injections and oral medications can help patients achieve normalized levels of glucose in the blood, patients relying on these treatments often see their T2DM worsen with time. For these patients, bariatric surgery presents an opportunity for long-lasting wellness.
It comes with its own set of risks and is by no means for everybody, but bariatric surgery can make sense for those struggling with excess body fat and Type 2 diabetes.
Who Is It For?
T2DM patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or higher who are not achieving targets with other treatment options should consider bariatric surgery.
What Can I Expect?
There are several types of bariatric surgery, and each is associated with different outcomes for T2DM patients. The following results were observed in a sample of more than 135,000 bariatric patients:
In the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass procedure, the stomach is divided to form a new, smaller pouch for food and the small intestine is re-routed to connect with the smaller pouch. This pouch fills quickly, prompting feelings of being full.
This procedure resulted in remission of T2DM in 80% of patients and improvement for an additional 15% of patients. Improvement occurs soon after surgery and before significant weight loss because of hormonal changes in the gut.
In a sleeve gastrectomy, a large portion of the stomach is removed but no part of the digestive system is rerouted. This procedure results in T2DM remission in more than 60% of patients and is also associated with fast improvements driven by changes in gut hormones.
Overall, bariatric surgery causes Type 2 diabetes to go into remission in 78% of patients and results in improvement for nearly 90% of patients.
Whether you’re considering bariatric surgery as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes or as way to lessen other health risks, your doctor can help you figure out if bariatric surgery could be a good way for you to address Type 2 diabetes.
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