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Diabetes and Weight Loss Surgery

Posted On : April 06, 2020

The scientific literature is riddled with evidence pointing to the benefit of early metabolic surgery as a superior treatment, remission and possible cure option for diabetes.  Unfortunately, the medical education, pharmaceutical companies, primary care healthcare delivery systems and third party payers (health insurance companies) have not caught up with the published data. The American Diabetes Association has changed their guidelines to reflected the benefit for combating diabetes with weight loss surgery.

There is ample evidence of the superior outcome of surgery as a treatment option for diabetes when compared to medical managment. Cummings et.al, in a published article in Diabetes Care, showed sustained stabilization of the Hemoglobin A1C six years after surgery. In contrast, there was no significant changes noted in the non-surgical group.

 

 

Jans et.al. , in November of 2019 showed that the patients who had NOT been on Insulin,  and had metabolic surgery had the highest long term success for resolution and remission of the diabetes. This identifies that having a patient be proactive in their care by having metabolic surgery improves success rates.

 

The exact mechanism by which the diabetes is resolved is unclear. The weight loss may play a role. There are numerous hormones and neuroendocrine modulators which control the complex metabolic pathways. Batterham et.al., in Diabetes Care (2016),  published a summary overview of the possible mechanism involved in diabetes improvement following metabolic surgery.

 

Neuroendocrine pathways involved with regulation of blood sugars.

 

There are a number of overlapping and sequential layers for possible reasons why diabetes resolves after weight loss/metabolic surgery. These may be directly related to surgery and the reduction of the calorie intake or absorption. It may also involve the neuroendocrine modulators.

 

What can be said definitively is that early surgical intervention is best and most likely the only permanent solution to type II diabetic resolution. There is no medical justification in not considering metabolic surgery in diabetic patients who may also have difficulty with meaning a BMI< 35.

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