Growing Evidence Shows Weight Loss Surgery May Be Considered Valuable Treatment for Type II Diabetes

According to new research, weight loss surgery may help in the treatment and achieving remission of Type II Diabetes. Obesity is a major risk factor for Type II Diabetes, which is about 90-95% of all diabetes in the United States. A new study claims that obese patients who have weight loss surgery may dramatically reduce their risk of developing the disease.

The research team of Professor Martin Gulliford of King’s College London in the UK recently published their findings in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. While past studies have shown that weight loss surgery may be an effective way to treat Type II Diabetes, Gulliford and his research team say there have been few studies that look at whether surgery can prevent development of the disease.

Type II Diabetes: Gastric Sleeve Cure?

The research team looked at health records directly from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink. They found 2,167 obese adults without diabetes who had three different types of surgeries: gastric sleeve, gastric banding or gastric bypass. The team also found 2,167 obese individuals with similar age, sex, body mass indexes and blood sugar levels who had not had weight loss surgery. The participants of this study were followed up with for up to 7 years.

Researchers found that 177 of the control individuals studied developed Type II Diabetes during the follow-up period compared to just 38 individuals who had weight loss surgery. Some things that factored into the development of the disease were high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking. They report that weight loss surgery reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes by up to 80% for those studied.iStock_000037564964_MediumCompressed

“Our results suggest that bariatric surgery may be a highly effective method of preventing the onset of new diabetes in men and women with severe obesity,” Gulliford said. “We need to understand how weight loss surgery can be used, together with interventions to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating, as part of an overall diabetes prevention strategy.”

The researchers realize that there are some limitations associated with their study. For instance, they do not include patients who had other weight loss surgeries such as duodenal switch, which combines gastric bypass as well as a smaller stomach pouch creation. This makes it unclear whether that type of surgery will affect the development of Type II Diabetes in the same way.iStock_000015617798_MediumCompressed

The team also believes that the patient may have been more adverse to diabetes prevention with a healthy diet and exercise than the control patients. However some of the antihypertensive drugs given to surgery patients are associated with diabetes.

Ultimately, more evidence is needed in order to convince endocrinologists about the nature of this effect overall.