Is gastric bypass a cure for diabetes

The statistics are alarming but somewhat not surprising, diabetes is a direct result of obesity and the fact that there are so many obese diabetics kind of puts everything into context.

A Loyola University Health System study has found that one out of five Type 2 diabetics is morbidly obese—approximately 100 pounds or more overweight.

Researchers reported that 62.4 percent of U.S. adults with Type 2 diabetes are obese, and 20.7 percent are morbidly obese.

Among African American adults with Type 2 diabetes, 1 in 3 is morbidly obese.

“The rate of morbid obesity among people with diabetes is increasing at a very alarming rate, and this has substantial public health implications,” said Dr. Holly Kramer, a kidney specialist and lead author of the study published online in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications.

For the morbidly obese diet and exercise alone will most certainly not be enough to bring their sugars under control and it is a known fact that dropping the weight will directly impact how much insulin and other medications someone takes.

More and more people are choosing Gastric bypass surgeries and their alternatives to help in the weight loss and it is working, from a practical standpoint the weight loss improves overall health for anyone and to most it has been able to get them off diabetes medications.

So the proverbial question becomes is gastric bypass a cure for diabetes?

There has been calls recently to change heavy restrictions for those in need of gastric bypass surgeries. The current restrictions preclude those who have a BMI or body mass index of less than 35.

Reviewing more than a decade’s worth of studies on weight-loss surgery and diabetes, clinicians and researchers backing the movement have concluded that the improved metabolic function that is typical in diabetic patients who undergo bariatric surgery is not merely an incidental effect of weight loss. “Surgery is a specific treatment for diabetes…the effect on diabetes is a direct consequence of the new anatomy created by surgery,” said lead author Dr. Francesco Rubino, director of the gastrointestinal metabolic surgery program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College.
The implications, added Rubino in an interview, “are enormous.” For starters, that finding should drive a broadening of the patient population offered the option of gastric bypass surgery or less invasive procedures that reduce the capacity of the gastrointestinal tract. Rubino said that patients with Type 2 diabetes that is poorly managed by diet, exercise and medicine should now routinely be assessed as surgery candidates.
Some of those will likely be far less overweight than the bulk of patients who have had the surgery for weight loss. Rubino cited the example of diabetic patients of Asian descent, who rarely reach a BMI of 35 but who might benefit from bariatric surgery.
For the more than 20 million Americans — and counting – thought to have Type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery may offer more than just another treatment option. Research shows that for many patients, diabetes abates dramatically and permanently with surgery. That, said Rubino, makes the possibility of a “cure”–a prospect not discussed until very recently–real for many patients who have been told that “living with diabetes” is the best they can do.

Why aren’t more people having the surgery then?

Many an Insurance company will not pony up for the surgery with the current restrictions as they are thus the call for a change. Obviously the out of pocket expenses for this surgery are too astronomical for the regular Joe.

Gastric bypass is becoming more popular as an alternative short cut to weight loss for the morbidly obese. While the jury is still out on considering it a cure, adding it as a tool in the diabetes cure arsenal is still the prudent way to go.
Used in conjunction with serious lifestyle changes then can be very successful, remember it is completely reversible, which means without lifestyle changes, you can easily fall into the same trap.

The complete article is aptly named Doctors embrace bariatric surgery as effective treatment for diabetes is here.

The complete discussion is available at the poor diabetic blog