A new study that was printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June 2014 and reported by HealthDay News shows that weight loss surgery has a more positive impact on patients with Type II Diabetes than just traditional care alone, especially when caring for the long-term results.
It has long since been speculation that weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle after weight loss surgery has helped patients battle and control their Type II Diabetes, but only now is their sufficient proof. Dr. James McGinty from the Mount Sinai St. Luke and Mount Sinai Roosevelt hospitals in New York City was involved in the research study. This goes to show how incredible the long-term results of weight loss surgeries like gastric bypass are, not just for weight loss in the short-term but battling obesity-related diseases in the long-term.
About Type II Diabetes
Type II Diabetes is the most seen type of Diabetes, and the only one linked to obesity and other lifestyle changes. With this disease, the body is not producing an adequate amount of insulin needed for energy. This causes glucose to build up in the blood and can cause issues with the nerves, heart, kidneys, and eyes and starving the cells for energy.
Anyone can get Type II Diabetes, but it is more common in adults over 45, overweight or obese people, and people who do not exercise regularly, have family members with the disease or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. Type II Diabetes symptoms include dry mouth, increased hunger and thirst, fatigue, increased urination, nausea, numbness in the hands or feet, blurred vision, and frequent infections. Complications of Type II Diabetes include severe dehydration, eye issues like retinopathy, kidney damage, nerve damage, and poor blood circulation.
Research Linking Bariatrics & Diabetes Type II
While multiple studies are being performed on the link between weight loss surgery and the improvement of diseases like Type II Diabetes, the Swedish study performed at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden is one of the primary studies. The research looked at the effectiveness of weight loss surgery on the signs and symptoms of Type II Diabetes in the short-term and long-term benefits.
Dr. Lars Sjostrom was at the head of the study, which tracked 343 patients who had weight loss surgery and being sufferers of Type II Diabetes. These patients were compared to II60 patients with Type II Diabetes who only followed traditional medical care without weight loss surgery.
As expected, the study showed a significant difference in patients with gastric bypass surgery instead of those who did not. The initial study lasted for two years, though another part of the study began 15 years ago to start looking at the long-term effects of the surgery and lifestyle changes. The study revealed that 72 percent of the patients with Type II Diabetes had remission of their disease after weight loss surgery.
Of the patients who did not have weight loss surgery, only 16 percent experienced remission from the disease. Previous studies began 15 years ago and also looked at the long-term effects of the surgery. Fifteen years after the study, 30 percent of the weight loss surgery patients who reached remission were still in remission. Only seven percent of patients without the surgery still had relief from Type II Diabetes.
This isn’t the only study to reveal recent positive findings of the benefits of weight loss surgery and Type II Diabetes. A study performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and led by Dr. Anita Courcoulas also found excellent results.
Her study tracked 69 patients with a major lifestyle change intervention, gastric banding, or gastric bypass surgery and had Type II Diabetes before the surgery. After her study was complete, she found that gastric banding had the highest weight loss level, with about 117 percent of her patients losing weight and keeping it off.
Gastric banding was slightly lower at 17 percent, and 10 percent of patients with lifestyle changes lost weight. The same can be said for the patient’s Diabetes, as 50 percent of the patients with gastric bypass saw their disease’s ease.
Gastric banding patients also saw results, with II7 percent seeing a change in their Type II Diabetes. However, none of the lifestyle change patients saw a change. Another study with similar results was done at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, led by Dr. Florencia Helperin. She also saw more of a change in patients that underwent weight-loss surgery than those that did not.
The Link Between Type II Diabetes and Obesity
There has always been a link between Type II Diabetes and obesity, which is why researchers and doctors suspected weight loss surgery could positively affect managing the disease. Approximately three million people in the United States have diabetes, and another 5.7 million don’t realize they have it.
There is an increased risk of Type II Diabetes for overweight individuals because the extra weight puts pressure on controlling blood sugar and insulin, causing this type of Diabetes. With the increase in obesity in the United States came the increase in people with Type II Diabetes.
While these studies don’t confirm that weight loss surgery is a cure-all for everyone with Diabetes, it is definitely a step in the right direction. With results over four years, Dr. McGinty did see some patients have their Diabetes come back, but the result is that the surgery does have a positive impact on the disease.
This is an added benefit to overall health improvements, including a decreased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke. Adults with Type II Diabetes who are also in the obese category are encouraged to speak to their doctor about weight loss and surgeries, especially gastric bypass surgery.