Weight-Loss Surgery Can Cure Diabetes

Written by Dr. Timothy Custer

TYPE 2 DIABETES IS A SURGICAL DISEASE – WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?

When one considers the comorbidities associated with obesity, Diabetes is likely the worst. This is a devastating and progressive disease. Despite our efforts, diabetes continues to grow at an alarming and unsustainable rate.  The financial and medical consequences are astounding, affecting the lives of millions of Americans. However, Obesity Surgery stands alone in offering hope for those who suffer from this disease. Consider some of these facts:

DIABETES IS A MONUMENTAL AND GROWING HEALTH CARE PROBLEM:

  • 29.1 million people in the US are Diabetics, and another 86 million are pre-diabetes
  • The incidence has increased 10 fold in the last 25yrs – from 30 million to 330 million affected worldwide.
  • Currently, we spend $218 billion dollars a year on Diabetes, one of every 10 dollars spent on health care.
  • What’s really frightening: it is predicted that 1 out of every 3 Americans will be diabetic by 2050.

DIABETES AND OBESITY GO HAND IN HAND:

  • 80% of diabetics are obese.
  • 30% of those with morbid obesity are diabetic
  • A BMI of 40 or greater increases the risk of Diabetes by 400%

IF YOU ARE DIABETIC, IT PLACES YOU AT RISK FOR MULTIPLE COMPLICATIONS AND EARLY DEATH:

  • Diabetics are 2-3 times more likely to suffer Heart Disease or Stroke. In fact one of these is responsible for 2 of every 3 deaths in those with diabetes.
  • 1 in 3 Diabetics have Kidney Disease, and it is responsible for 44% of all new cases of Kidney Failure in the US. Over 200,000 Americans are on chronic Dialysis because of this.
  • 60% of Diabetics develop Retinopathy within 10 years of their diagnosis. 24,000 go blind each year, making it the leading cause ofBlindness in those less than 60 years old in the US.
  • 45% of adult diabetics will develop painful Neuropathy. This, along with the associated Vascular Disease results in Diabetes being responsible for 60% of Lower Extremity Amputations in the US.
  • Ultimately, the risk of Death for diabetics Doublethat of non-diabetics.

SUCCESS IN CONTROLLING THIS DISORDER AND ITS COMPLICATIONS REMAINS ELUSIVE FOR MANY PATIENTS:

  • This disease is characterized by a progressive downward spiral, demonstrated by continued resistance to the body’s insulin and worsening pancreas function
  • This results in the predictable onset of complications despite treatment with dietary control, medications, and ultimately insulin injections.
  • Currently, there is no medical “cure” for Diabetes

HOWEVER, WE HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS THAT WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY AFFECTS A PROFOUND AND DURABLE CURE FOR THIS DEVASTATING DISEASE:

  • Gastric Bypass results in resolution of DM in up to 85%, and Gastric Sleeve in up to 60%. (We at Central Ohio Bariatrics have actually experienced resolution or improvement in 100% of our diabetic patients.)
  • Remarkably, this occurs immediately, and independent of weight loss in the vast majority.
  • This transformation is truly miraculous, yet has been confirmed by a multitude of clinical studies.
  • It is believed it to be caused as a result of Hormonal and Metabolic shifts, which occur from the change in the GI tract anatomy.

The exact mechanism by which Bariatric surgery has such profound effects on Diabetes is still a mystery. This is an intense area of study, and there is much yet to learn.

However, the evidence is becoming clear: for those with Diabetes and Obesity, surgery, not medication, is proving to be the most effective therapy. Imagine That?