The year 2002 turned out to be a transitional year for me. The best that I can put it is that I always felt out of sorts, always at the perimeter of becoming ill but never crossing the line. I was also urinating frequently enough to remember it as being almost ridiculous.
This went on for a few months until I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I went to my primary care doctor who did blood testing and, upon review of those tests, admitted me to the hospital. A normal blood sugar level is about 100. Mine was 375.
Three days later I was discharged with an improved but still high blood sugar level. I collected my five new prescriptions (3 medications for diabetes and two more for hypertension) and headed home.
I was ignorant about what constituted a healthy diet and continued eating poorly. I exercised minimally and got minimum results. I continued to feel sick, was lethargic and always tired, and took to sneaking off to a private room at work for 45 minutes of sleep to relieve my exhaustion.
One year later I had gastric bypass surgery. The first 50 pounds came off relatively quickly and, following that initial loss, I was taken off of all medications for diabetes and hypertension. The A1C testing that measure blood sugar levels were in an acceptable range and remain so to this day.
I am A1C tested every three months with good results and have not needed medications for diabetes or hypertension for nine years.
Weight Loss Surgery as a Remedy for Diabetes
In a study that has been defined as groundbreaking, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic published research findings which found that bariatric surgery is more advantageous in the treatment of Type II diabetes than are medications.
A second study that supports the contentions of the Cleveland researchers was published along with the Cleveland Clinic trials in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Clinic’s study was a one year exercise, and the second study from the Universita Cattolic+ de Sacro Cuore in Rome was for two.
The revolution of the findings is due to the distinct advantage bariatric surgery may have when compared to medical therapy. Medications are intended to slow the progression of diabetes while a bariatric procedure can potentially reverse the illness.
Segments of the medical community who have been hesitant to endorse bariatric surgery as a treatment option because the procedure had not been compared directly to the effects of medical therapy. Concrete evidence has now been gathered to do just that.
The Goal of the Cleveland Clinic Study
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic selected as subjects individuals who had inadequately controlled diabetes diagnosed at least nine years prior. Blood sugar counts were measured using A1c testing and results were all above 9% as compared to the 6.1% or less of non-diabetics.
The purpose of the testing went beyond satisfaction with an improved and acceptable blood sugar count. The objective was to achieve a normal blood sugar.
Results From the Cleveland Clinic Study
Results were assessed one year after the patients had a bariatric procedure.
Those who had gastric bypass reached non-diabetic blood sugar levels 42% of the time while those who had sleeve gastrectomy reached non-diabetic blood sugar levels 37% of the time. At the conclusion of the study, 78% of the gastric bypass patients were drug free.
Those patients who received only intensive medical therapy had a return to non-diabetic blood sugar levels of 12%.
Cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2012/03/bariatric_surgery_helps_contro.html - accessed 6/4/12
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.
Published On: June 12, 2012