Doctors Say Weight Loss Surgery Very Effective Against Type 2 Diabetes
Surgery is recommended over medicine for some patients
People taking medicine cocktails to treat their diabetes may now have an alternative.
Two new studies support the notion that weight-loss surgery should be considered an option in combating Type 2 Diabetes. Doctors in Italy and the United States say that surgical procedures that shrink and reposition the stomach force diabetics to change eating habits, which leads to them living lifestyles where they don't need to take the medicines (including insulin shots) anymore.
"Such procedures might well be considered earlier in the treatment of obese patients with Type 2 diabetes," write diabetes specialists Paul Zimmet and K. George M.M. Alberti in one report.
Doctors are quick to note though, that weight-loss surgery shouldn't be considered the first line of defense against diabetes, but it shouldn't be a last resort either. The three suggested surgeries are biliopancreatic diversion, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.
Patients who underwent these procedures were found to have lost more weight and gotten their blood sugar levels under better control than they did while taking medicines. The popular "lap band" surgery was not included or suggested in this group.
[ALSO READ: Should We Be Mad At Paula Deen?]
Doctors say that 78% of those who had gastric bypass and 51% of those who had sleeve gastrectomy were off all diabetes medications completely after a year's time. By two years time, 95% of the people who had biliopancreatic diversion (stomach reduction and relocation) saw their diabetes go into remission. 75% of those who had Roux-en-Y also went into remission.
Be aware though, these procedures can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $40,000. To that doctors say that a lifetime of taking medicine can be just as costly. Also of note, the people used in the study were only tracked for two years, not an entire lifetime. So there still isn't any telling of complications down the road. During the two-year studies six out of 140 patients had to have corrective surgeries.