New research arising from the famous Cleveland Clinic shows that diabetic patients who are overweight might experience very positive benefits from bariatric surgery. While Doctors Health Press doesn’t typically report on surgical health breakthroughs, this was too big to pass up.
Essentially, researchers found that these patients had significant improvement or remission of their diabetes. And that is pretty exciting news.
Some surgery patients achieved normal blood sugar levels without any medication help. For others, they no longer had to take insulin to control blood sugar. Other studies had found that bariatric surgery could reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. And improve life for patients.
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The researchers said that, after one year, both gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy led to significant loss in weight, and much greater control over diabetes. This study will not go unnoticed, having just been published in the world-renowned “New England Journal of Medicine.”
Obesity and diabetes go hand-in-hand. The idea here is that surgically removing fat could actually repair the diabetic state. The study involved 150 patients with obesity and poorly controlled diabetes. They received intensive medical therapy, the same plus gastric bypass surgery, or the same plus sleeve gastrectomy.
Results show that diabetic patients may not need drugs any longer to control their insulin or blood sugar levels. After 12 months, a normal blood sugar range was achieved in 42% of those who had gastric bypass and 36% of those who had sleeve surgery. That compares to 12% for those who had only the medical therapy.
In all patients on gastric bypass, there was no use of any diabetic drugs. In the sleeve surgery group, 72% of patients achieved normal blood sugar levels without the use of drugs.
And, of course, there is that little thing about shedding pounds. After a year had passed, bariatric surgery led to an average weight loss of 64.7 pounds, while the stomach reduction surgery (sleeve) led to an average drop of 55.2 pounds. This compared to 12 pounds on average for those on medications.
There were some complications to surgery, but most not serious. Four people did, though, need a second operation. Longer-term studies that exceed 12 months are needed to conclusively show this works to help diabetics.
But, for now, the results speak significant volumes. And suddenly bariatric surgery has dual benefits for obese patients: excavating the waistline and fixing diabetes.