Diabetes Remission after Weight-Loss Surgery

Obesity is associated with many chronic diseases that may shorten our lives as well as reduce the quality of our lives, but weight-loss surgery is highly effective at controlling or even eliminating a number of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Canada indicates “Bariatric surgery is a therapeutic option in the management of people with type 2 diabetes and obesity. Bariatric surgery may be considered for selected adults with type 2 diabetes and obesity with a BMI equal to or greater than 35.0 when healthy behavior interventions with or without weight management medication(s) are inadequate in achieving target glycemic control or healthy weight goals.” Diabetes Canada, along with the American Diabetes Association, the International Diabetes Federation and 43 other health organizations have endorsed weight-loss surgery as a treatment option for diabetes.

Metabolic surgery can reverse diabetes

You might know it as weight-loss surgery, but re-routing the digestive system with a gastric-bypass surgery (reducing stomach size and bypassing part of the small intestine) or with a sleeve gastrectomy (removing about 80 percent) is a big decision.

“People who have [weight-loss] surgery within five years of their diagnosis with type 2 diabetes have a 70 to 75 percent chance of a complete remission,” says Philip R. Schauer, MD, a professor of surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. Schauer led a landmark study tracking metabolic surgery results in people with diabetes. “Even those who don’t achieve remission are doing better than before. Long-term blood sugar control is much better, which reduces the risk for horrible complications like blindness, kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke.”

The link between weight and diabetes

Obesity is the most important factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, a lifelong disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. It occurs when the body loses its sensitivity to the effects of insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas. A person with mild obesity has doubled the risk of developing diabetes, and a person with severe obesity has 10 times the risk. The risk of developing diabetes increases with age, family history and when excess fat is localized in the abdomen (central obesity). Consuming foods high in carbohydrates leads to a buildup of fat in the liver and skeletal muscles, causing resistance to insulin and consequently diabetes. Over time, diabetes usually worsens and insulin production by the pancreas decreases or fails.

The primary treatments for type 2 diabetes are to take medications that trigger the pancreas to make more insulin, help insulin work better, decrease the absorption of carbohydrates in the gut, or decrease glucose production in the liver. If you have poor blood glucose control despite lifestyle changes and medication, you will need to take insulin. Rarely, people with type 2 diabetes can stop medications after dieting but achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is very challenging. If you have tried and been unsuccessful with a variety of diets, which unfortunately is the norm, surgically induced weight loss can be a lasting resolution.

Minimally invasive techniques

All procedures at SmartShape Weight Loss Centre – gastric sleeve, mini gastric bypass and Lap-Band – are performed using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques. Minimally invasive surgery means faster operations, less anesthesia, much smaller incisions and less scarring, all of which contribute to faster healing and recovery.

You may wish to speak with one of our surgeons to determine if a bariatric procedure could be of help to you in your overall journey to better physical and mental health, including if you have diabetes. Call us today for a free consultation to learn more – (888) 278-7952.