Posted on 07/04/2014 at 11:55 PM by Todd Eibes, MD
After the surgery, blood sugar levels can return to the normal range meaning the need for fewer or no diabetes medications.
Moreover, as diabetes can lead to many other serious health problems, the case for weight loss surgery becomes even stronger.
It has been estimated that as much as 8.3 percent of the world’s population has diabetes, with this number increasing annually. As weight goes up, so does the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, almost 25 percent of individuals who are affected by severe obesity will carry a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Uncontrolled diabetes leads to a number of long-term problems including heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, and the need for amputations.
Some additional statistics regarding diabetes:
A chronic and progressive disease, type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 95 percent of all diabetes cases. Current therapy for type 2 diabetes includes a drastic change in lifestyle, including weight loss, diet and exercise, as well as medication.
Weight loss surgery has been proven to be the most effective treatment for type 2 diabetes among individuals who are affected by obesity and may result in remission or improvement in nearly all cases. The surgery has been found to:
With the advancements in weight loss surgery, not only could many of the individuals who die each year from diabetes complications be saved, but their quality of life improved as well. While weight loss surgery certainly has some risk, the long-term effect of continued diabetes typically has more serious and longer lasting implications.
While the effect of many types of weight loss surgeries can have an impact on type 2 diabetes, sleeve gastrectomy in particular appears to have some independent effects on glucose metabolism and also causes some changes in hormones that have shown improvement in diabetes symptoms. Diabetes remission rates after sleeve gastrectomy are very high (more than 60%).
It’s important that each person’s individual health history, risks for surgery, and the severity of their diabetes as well as their other obesity-related health problems be evaluated when considering weight loss surgery. While surgery may not be right for everyone, obese individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes should seriously consider its benefits.
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