Obesity leads to numerous health problems, including type 2 diabetes, which is a condition that limits your body’s ability to process sugar. Can bariatric surgery improve type 2 diabetes? Since obesity and diabetes are linked, treating obesity through bariatric surgery can improve type 2 diabetes symptoms to the point where medication is no longer necessary.
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
With type 2 diabetes, your body is less able to produce and make use of insulin, which is a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose. As your body becomes resistant to insulin, you’re less able to regulate blood sugar levels on your own, leading to various health issues such as nerve damage, kidney failure, and heart disease.
Obesity causes increased inflammation and insulin resistance, which in turn leads to type 2 diabetes. When you lose weight, your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels starts to return to normal.
How Does Bariatric Surgery Improve Type 2 Diabetes?
Bariatric surgery can help with weight loss, and that can help improve type 2 diabetes. Its effectiveness depends on the type of surgery performed.
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that reroutes your digestive tract to avoid most of your stomach and a part of your intestine (called the duodenum). This not only reduces your food intake, but it also limits calorie absorption.
Gastric bypass patients can lose up to 80% of their excess weight. On top of that, recent studies hint at the possibility that the surgery causes the small intestine to produce a chemical that helps with glucose absorption, potentially making it even more effective at combatting diabetes.
While more research is needed, it has been shown that about 80% of diabetic patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery eventually show no symptoms afterward.
In gastric sleeve surgery—also called sleeve gastrectomy—part of your stomach is removed, leaving only a sleeve. Patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery typically lose about half of their excess weight, and over 60% of patients show no signs of diabetes after the operation.
Adjustable gastric band surgery places a small band around the stomach to limit its capacity. When it comes to weight loss, it has helped patients lose between 40% and 50% of their excess weight, and as many as 60% of those who undergo this operation come away free of diabetes. That said, this surgery has proved problematic in the past, and it’s the least effective when it comes to fighting obesity and diabetes.
Are You a Bariatric Surgery Candidate?
For obese individuals who are struggling with type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery can be a highly beneficial option. We’ve had patients who have used weight loss surgery to overcome this life-threatening condition.
If you are a diabetic, have a BMI of over 35, and have been unable to reach a healthy body weight on your own, you may qualify for bariatric surgery. To learn more about how surgical procedures can help you, contact Dr. Malladi today.