Excess weight is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, a condition where an onset of insulin resistance causes high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes has serious health consequences, including eye and foot problems, kidney damage, and even cardiovascular disease. The good news is that type 2 diabetes is preventable as well as reversible.
Several published studies have found that weight-loss surgery can improve or even resolve type 2 diabetes. Although being overweight does not directly cause diabetes, it has been demonstrated that weight loss can improve or even resolve diabetes completely.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition marked by high blood sugar levels. While there are multiple reasons why and how your sugar levels may spike out of proportion, the general cause is the body’s failure to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Doctors recognize three types of diabetes:
- ✔ Type 1 diabetes – This type of diabetes results when the body does not produce insulin, the hormone responsible for glucose uptake from the bloodstream. The cause for type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetic factors. Individuals with type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.
- ✔ Type 2 diabetes – Also called non-insulin dependent diabetes, type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by insulin resistance or insulin deficiency. The onset of type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Most often, it is associated with a sedentary lifestyle and a diet high in fat and sugars. Of the varieties of diabetes, type 2 is the most common. It can happen at any age and is often preventable.
- ✔ Gestational diabetes – This type of diabetes is diagnosed in pregnant women who show high blood sugar levels despite no such symptoms prior to pregnancy.
THE CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS OF DIABETES
If you think you may have diabetes, you should contact your primary doctor to test your blood for sugar levels and make a final diagnosis. While some people with diabetes don’t experience overt symptoms, most show symptoms such as:
- ✔ Increased thirst
- ✔ Increased hunger
- ✔ Frequent urination
- ✔ Weight loss
- ✔ Fatigue
- ✔ Sores
- ✔ Blurry vision
- ✔ Frequent infection
- ✔ Darkened skin
To determine whether you have diabetes, your doctor will most likely order a fasting blood glucose test, which is currently the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to diagnose diabetes. The fasting glucose test checks your blood glucose levels after you’ve gone without food for at least eight hours. Because of mandatory eight hour fasting, it’s best to schedule your doctor’s appointment first thing in the morning.
Depending on the levels of glucose in your blood and any other symptoms, your primary care doctor will determine if you have diabetes. Or, your doctor may diagnose you as pre-diabetic. This means that your sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. If you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, remember that now is the best time to act. With some weight loss and moderate physical activity, you can significantly delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
RISKS OF DIABETES
If not controlled, diabetes can cause serious health complications, including:
- ✔ Eye damage
- ✔ Foot damage
- ✔ Skin, mouth, bone, and joint problems
- ✔ Nerve damage, which can lead to foot or leg amputations
- ✔ Cardiovascular disease
- ✔ Kidney damage
- ✔ Various conditions in the fetus and the mother for those who contract gestational diabetes
To avoid serious health complications, it is important to take measures to control your diabetes, even if you have only been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Losing weight through bariatric surgery can help reduce your risk of these and other health problems related to diabetes. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our surgeons to get started.
Lap-BAnd AND DIABETES
Did you know that weight-loss surgery may significantly improve or even resolve type 2 diabetes? According to recent studies, as many as 72% of patients taking oral medication for diabetes were able to discontinue their medication within a year after undergoing adjustable gastric banding. Among those who participated in the study, 64% had their type 2 diabetes completely resolve, while 26% noted a significant improvement in their symptoms. Overall, type 2 diabetes improved in 90% of LAP-BAND® patients who participated in the study.*
Gastric Sleeve and Diabetes
Frida Leonetti, MD, PhD, from the Policlinico Umberto University of Rome Sapienza, Italy, and colleagues conducted a study involving 60 morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes. The study was aimed at comparing effectiveness of traditional weight loss methods and gastric sleeve in their effectiveness in treatment of type 2 diabetes. The results clearly showed superiority of a gastric sleeve over traditional weight loss methods. The group of patients who tried to combat type 2 diabetes without surgical intervention were significantly less successful than gastric sleeve patients. In 80% of gastric sleeve patients type 2 diabetes went into remission, compared to only 20% in the traditional weight loss group.
TYPE 2 DIABETES AND EXCESS WEIGHT
The connection between pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and excess weight is still not well understood. Nevertheless, doctors agree that if you are significantly overweight, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is ten times higher than someone without weight problems. The good news is that early stages of type 2 diabetes, as well as pre-diabetes, can be easily treated with weight loss. Because both the LAP-BAND and gastric sleeve has have been so successful in helping thousands of patients to lose weight and keep it off, it’s no wonder it is these procedures are so effective in treating diabetes. How exactly does weight-loss surgery help with your diabetes? After you have the procedure and begin losing weight, your body will become more sensitive to the insulin you naturally produce. Therefore, the uptake of sugar circulating in your bloodstream will increase, directly improving your type 2 diabetes. In addition, depending on how long you have had diabetes, having weight-loss surgery may actually help your body produce more insulin. The less advanced your diabetes is, the less likely it is to cause permanent damage to the cells that produce insulin. For the past decade, hundreds of people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes have experienced how effective weight-loss surgery can be in controlling or beating their diabetes. Call us today at 312-239-3838 to find out how DayOne Health can help.
When correcting diabetes, diet and exercise are fundamental. It’s no accident that these are also the necessary steps to treat obesity — and for diet modification, weight-loss can make all the difference in helping patients control their portion sizes. Diabetes treatment can include:
- ✔ Diet modification: Meal plans are a very important step.
- ✔ More exercise: Increased activity can help lessen the effects or slow the progression of diabetes, as more exercise will help your body process sugar more efficiently.
- ✔ Blood sugar monitoring to ensure the disease is under control
- ✔ Insulin injections: mostly for type 1 diabetes, although some type 2 diabetes patients require insulin as well as medication to help your body respond to insulin more effectively
*Dixon JB, O’Brien PE. “Health outcomes of severely obese type 2 diabetic subjects 1 year after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.” Diabetes Care. 2002; 25:358-363.