Study claims weight loss surgery can prevent diabetes in patients

A new research claims that weight loss surgery can prevent diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases from presenting themselves on adults for years. The research also expounds the idea that weight loss surgery can possibly reverse some of the complications brought by these diseases.

The study initiated by researchers from the Cleveland Clinic gathered data from observing groups of people with diabetes who went through bariatric surgery, a weight loss surgery, as a treatment for their obesity. The researchers had to track and monitor these patients for up to nine years after their surgery to check if they will eventually acquire diabetes and other heart diseases. The result was that there were less obesity-related conditions like diabetes for most of these patients.

The researchers stated that 80% of the patients who had bariatric surgery were tested and met the recommended blood sugar level of 7% HbA1c.  Moreover, approximately 30% of the patients had a complete remission of diabetes which permitted them to shut off medication for at least five years, effectively curing their condition.

Dr. Stacy Brethauer, one of the study’s lead author and also an associate professor in the Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, claims that this is a remarkable finding that can help people totally cure diabetes. Diabetes is the condition in which the body’s to produce or use insulin to regulate the body’s blood sugar level. As there is no cure for diabetes yet, patients with this condition have to regularly take insulin shots. Until a cure for diabetes is developed, these patients will need to take insulin shots for as long as they live.  

Obesity is said to affect around 36% of Americans who are more likely to develop diabetes later in their life. Obesity can lead to a whole lot of complicated conditions that the American Medical Association pronounced it as a disease for doctors to treat it as a condition with serious risks instead of looking at it as a lifestyle. This study suggests that bariatric surgery can be a cure for diabetes while also being the cure for obesity.

There are three types of bariatric surgery- gastric bypass, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. Most of this study’s respondents went through a gastric bypass where surgeons create a small pouch by stapling portions of the stomach to help person limit food consumption. For this study, they needed to gather the data from 220 type 2 diabetes patients who had a bariatric surgery from 2004 to 2007.

Through observing and gathering data from patients, they have observed significant reductions in high blood pressure and cholesterols levels in addition to weight loss. These factors comprise metabolic syndrome which typically raises a person’s risk of getting diabetes and experiencing heart problems. In addition, researchers also noted that some of the patients under study are have some forms of kidney diseases before the procedure. After the bariatric surgery, almost all of the patients with kidney problems had their condition stabilized or reversed.

While bariatic surgery has risks with around 5% of cases experiencing complications, Dr. Brethauer points out that the risk outweight the benefits considering that its long term effects include the prevention of costly and much more serious diseases like diabetes and heart problems. 

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