Can Bariatric Surgery Treat Type 2 Diabetes?

It is estimated that, on average, 462 million individuals are affected by type 2 diabetes worldwide. This corresponds to 6.28% of the world’s population. It mainly affects adults over 45, but people younger, including children, can also have it. 

Type 02 diabetes (T2D) is a condition that happens due to insulin resistance- a condition where the cells in muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond to insulin as they are expected to. Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas that is essential for general well-being and, most importantly, for regulating blood sugar levels in your body. 

Some of the common reasons contributing to type 02 diabetes are as follows. 

1. Genetics. 
2. Excess body fat, especially in the belly and around organs (visceral fat).
3. Physical inactivity
4. Eating highly processed, high-carbohydrate foods and saturated fats frequently.
5. Certain medications, like long-term corticosteroid use.
6. Hormonal disorders, like hypothyroidism and Cushing syndrome.
7. Continuous stress and a lack of quality sleep.

Among the many reasons contributing to T2D, excess body fat, obesity, or physical inactivity seems to take center stage. This means that you are more likely to develop T2D if you are overweight or physically inactive. 

Although it may come as a surprise, type 02 diabetes is a condition that can be reversed with proper interventions and lifestyle changes. In fact, reducing weight and adopting a more active lifestyle can help eliminate TD2 effectively. 

This article will give a clear breakdown of how the famous bariatric surgery weight loss treatment can be a promising option for people with T2D to manage and, in the long run, reverse the condition altogether. 

What Is Bariatric Surgery? 

It is a weight loss surgery for people dealing with obesity who are unable to lose weight with just diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and medication. 

This is a type of surgery that supports weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach, helping to limit the amount of food it can hold. It also contributes to changing hormonal compositions to help reduce hunger and increase the feeling of fullness.

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are the two common weight loss surgeries recommended for treating type 2 diabetes.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

This weight loss procedure reduces the size of the stomach by making a small pouch on top of the stomach. This makes you feel full after eating just a small amount of food. Studies show that gastric bypass weight loss surgery can cause remission of type 2 diabetes in 80 per cent of patients.

Gastric Sleeve

This type of bariatric surgery removes around 80% of the stomach. The remaining part is made into a tube-like sleeve. The reduced smaller stomach can hold only about two ounces at any given time, compared to an average stomach, which can hold up to two quarts. Gastric sleeve as a diabetes weight loss treatment has shown a remission rate of 60% for T2D post-procedure. 

Almost all types of bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, focus on removing and changing the stomach anatomy to reduce food intake and regulate the hormones connected to hunger, reducing appetite. 

Effectiveness Of The Treatment 

Reliable studies have confirmed that type 02 diabetes has resolved or improved in the greater majority of patients after bariatric surgery. The results are stronger in profiles linked to a greater percentage of excess body weight loss and those who maintain the progress for two years or more. 

The surgery is suitable and safe for adults who : 

Have a BMI of 40 or more. 
Have a BMI between 35 and 39, or those experiencing chronic health problems related to obesity, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease or severe sleep apnea.

However, remember that bariatric surgeries are not advised as the first choice for weight loss. It is generally an option for people with obesity who can’t lose weight through effective diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Only if these efforts have failed, bariatric surgery is recommended as the next best alternative. So, make sure to talk to your doctor before making an informed decision. 

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