Weight Loss Surgery Stops Diabetes


According to a report from Swedish researchers, a weight loss surgery decreased the 10-year risk of obese patients from suffering type-2 diabetes by almost 80 percent.

The research, started in 1987, has already proven that weight loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) can enhance blood sugar levels in the obese patients. The research has also proved that this surgery works even better than exercise and diet in lowering the heart disease risk of obese patients.

Now, Lars Sjostrom from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and his colleagues have shown much better reduction in the risk of first-time diagnosis of diabetes in obese patients.

Sjostrom believes that the reduction of risk is even stronger here. In the control group that got usual care, around 28 percent of the patients were diagnosed with diabetes over 10 years against 7 percent of patients in surgery group. Looking at it after 15 years, it is 38 percent versus 13 percent in surgery group. These figures relate to reduction of risk by about 80 percent with bariatric surgery.

In individuals who already developed increasing blood sugar levels, those who went through weight loss surgery, diabetes risk was lowered by 87 percent. For every thirteen such individuals who went through this surgery, ten would be diabetes-free after 10 years.

Diabetes and Weight Loss Surgery

Danny O. Jacobs, a bariatric surgery expert at the Duke University wrote that the results were exciting and provocative in an editorial supplementing the New England Journal of Medicine report.

Sjostrom states that the research is not a clinical experiment. Patients were not prescribed to undergo bariatric surgery or standard treatment randomly for ethical reasons- this had a death risk of 5 percent at the time. However, the techniques of today are safer. The 1,658 obese individuals without diabetes who wanted to go for bariatric surgery were compared with 1,771 matched obese individuals who did not prefer the surgery.

Jacobs and Sjostrom consent that further researches are required before recommending weight loss surgery to stay away from diabetes.

Furthermore, Jacob notes that there’s no info on the kind of weight loss surgery that would be best to prevent diabetes.

As per the accepted NIH prinicples, weight loss surgery is suitable only for individuals whose body mass index (BMI) is greater than or equal to 40, or 35 or even higher for people with a serious obesity-associated condition like heart disease or diabetes.

Sjostrom and his colleagues concluded that weight loss surgery could prevent diabetes irrespective of the individual’s BMI during the time of surgery.


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