Obesity and Diabetes

Treating Diabetes through Weight Loss Surgery


Treating Diabetes through Weight Loss SurgeryType-2 diabetes is one of the most common obesity-related illnesses, and is something many people who choose weight loss surgery have had to deal with. Also known as adult onset diabetes, this condition affects the way your body metabolizes sugar, or glucose. When someone has type-2 diabetes, their body either does not produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar, or resists the effects of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose absorption from the blood into the liver, fat cells and muscles. Without proper insulin regulation, the body becomes susceptible to high blood sugar levels, which is an overabundance of glucose in the blood stream.

In 1981 an estimated 5.5 million American adults had type-2 diabetes. Twenty years later this number was greater than 20 million. The number of Americans with type-2 diabetes has steadily increased every year as more people struggle with obesity, which is one of the leading risk factors for the development of type-2 diabetes.

Certain lifestyle factors increase a person’s risk of developing this disease. These factors include:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Diet
  • Activity level

Someone who is overweight, does not exercise frequently and has a family history of diabetes is at an exceptionally high risk of developing the disease themselves.

Treatment for Diabetes

The most effective mode of treatment for diabetes is managing blood sugar levels. This can be done through insulin therapy and medication, as well as healthy lifestyle habits like following a nutritious diet and exercising regularly.

In recent years, a substantial amount of research has been published linking weight loss as a viable treatment option for type-2 diabetes. In fact, there are some who have found their diabetes completely resolved following weight loss surgery..

In 2011 the American Diabetes Association published a clinical study review on the effects of bariatric surgery on type-2 diabetes. They found unmistakable evidence that the development of diabetes and incidence of mortality as a result of diabetes significantly decline following weight loss surgery. Numerous studies reviewed by the American Diabetes Association found that improved insulin levels are noticed just days following weight loss surgery in some situations—before significant weight loss has occurred.

As research indicates, weight loss surgery can prevent and in some cases reverse the onset of type-2 diabetes. Since this form of surgery has such positive effects on the disease, those who are diagnosed with type-2 diabetes may be eligible for weight loss surgery at a lower BMI level than others.