Diabetes can be Surgically Cured, According to New Study
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I recently went to a new endocrinologist. He reviewed my health history and particularly was interested in my gastric bypass surgery. Allow me to explain the reason why.
Back in 2002, I had been hospitalized and diagnosed with diabetes type 2. I was put on three prescription medications: two oral anti-diabetics and injected insulin. My diabetes was never well-controlled with medication, likely because I did not make the necessary lifestyle changes, such as healthy diet and exercise.
Then in 2003 I underwent RNY gastric bypass surgery. Within two months I lost 50 lbs. and my diabetes went into remission. I’ve lost a total of 110 lbs. and my diabetes has been controlled with diet and exercise for more than a decade.
The endocrinologist told me that he informs all of his obese patients that bariatric surgery can put their diabetes into remission. I liked him instantly; many doctors will not suggest weight loss surgery to their patients. New research validates my endocrinologists’ clinical advice. Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic have published study results on the long-term metabolic effects of bariatric surgery in obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
See a summary of this research below.
Can Diabetes be Surgically Cured? Long Term Metabolic Effects of Bariatric Surgery in Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Stacy A Brethauer*, Ali Aminian*, Esam Batayyah*, Hector Romero-Talamas*, Hideharu Shimizu*, Andrea Zelisko*, Helen M Heneghan*, Bipan Chand*, Philip R Schauer Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
OBJECTIVE(S): Although the impressive anti-diabetic effects of bariatric surgery have been shown in short-term studies, its durability is unknown.
METHODS: Metabolic parameters and clinical outcomes of 150 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) who underwent bariatric surgery during 2004-2007 and had at least five-year follow-up were assessed. Complete remission was defined as glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) <6% and fasting glucose (FBG)<100 mg/dL off diabetic medications.
RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 6 years (range 5-8) after surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, n=107; gastric banding, n=28; sleeve gastrectomy, n=15), a mean excess weight loss (EWL) of 43% was associated with a mean reduction in HbA1c and FBG of 1.1% and 43.6 mg/dL, respectively. Long-term complete and partial remission rate was 28% and 25%, respectively. Longer duration of T2D (p<0.001), higher preoperative HbA1c (p=0.001), surgeries other than bypass (p<0.001), and lower long-term EWL (p=0.001) predicted lack of complete remission. Long-term recurrence of T2D after initial remission occurred in 14 patients (16%) and was associated with less EWL (p=0.007). Remission/improvement rate for co-existing dyslipidemia and hypertension was 53% and 69%, respectively.