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Weight Loss Surgery and Diabetes
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Weight Loss Surgery and Diabetes


Do you or someone you know have diabetes? Diabetes is a disease caused by elevated blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and cannot be prevented. With Type 1 diabetes, the body cannot make the insulin needed to survive. With Type 2 diabetes, there is either not enough insulin produced or too much insulin produced by the body that the body cannot use. 

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for about 95 percent of all cases. While Type 2 diabetes is considered a long-term disease that can lead to serious complications and disability, weight loss surgery may be the answer. Bariatric surgery has been found to offer improvement in blood glucose levels or even remission of Type 2 diabetes altogether.

The Problem with Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity is directly correlated to Type 2 diabetes, and both diseases are escalating at a distressing rate worldwide. Did you know that around 90 percent of Type 2 diabetes is related to extreme body fat? In the United States, diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death, and someone in the world dies from diabetes-related complications every 10 seconds. Diabetes complications include:

  • Amputation
  • Blindness
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression
  • Impotency
  • Kidney failure
  • Mortality risk from certain forms of cancer
  • Neuropathy
  • Stroke

Bariatric Surgery Improves Type 2 Diabetes

Bariatric surgery improves Type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar, reducing the dosage and type of medication, and improving diabetes-related health problems. Interestingly, improvement of Type 2 diabetes may come early after surgery, even before there is extreme weight loss. Researchers attribute this to a change in the hormones produced by the gastrointestinal tract after weight loss surgery. 

​​Interesting studies on how bariatric surgery improves diabetes are ongoing with new evidence that weight loss surgery may be helpful for individuals who are moderately obese or non-obese with Type 2 diabetes. 

​Adams  TD,  Gress  RE, Smith  SC, et al. "Long-term mortality after gastric bypass surgery," New England Journal of Medicine, 2007; 357:753–761, pmid:1771540.
Diabetes Journal: "Bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetes: the risks." 
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: "Surgery for Diabetes."