A new set of studies out says bariatric surgery completely reversed Type 2 diabetes in 75 percent of patients. In cases where the bariatric surgery was more extreme, the percentage for people who completely reversed the disease rose to 95 percent. In fact, the results were so immediate; doctors say some people were able to stop taking insulin as early as three days following the surgery.
Who Took Part in the Bariatric Surgery Study?
The studies were done by the Cleveland Clinic and published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The study tested a total of 210 patients in two different locations, Cleveland, Ohio and Rome, Italy.
How Did Bariatric Surgery Help the Patients?
Each study had the same scenario. Patients were split into three groups.
Group One: This group was given gastric sleeve surgery and diabetes medications. Gastric sleeve surgery is done by a bariatric surgeon who surgically removes part of the stomach making it into the shape of a tube or a sleeve, so your stomach can’t hold more than a certain amount of food or liquid at any given time.
Group Two: This group was given gastric bypass surgery and diabetes medications. Gastric bypass surgery is a little more intense than gastric sleeve surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is done by a bariatric surgeon who reduces the size of your stomach by placing a plastic band around it and stapling it. The stomach is separated into two and the patient uses the smaller pouch for ingestion, bypassing the lower remaining portion of the stomach. This is done so that only a small amount of food is absorbed at each meal.
Group Three: This group was not given any surgery and was only given medication to treat diabetes.
What Were the Results?
The results were pretty dramatic. Only, twelve percent of those who were on medications alone were at healthy levels. In fact, the use of medication for high cholesterol and other heart risks climbed with the medication only group. Seventy Five percent of gastric sleeve patients and Ninety five percent of gastric bypass patients stopped taking insulin and reversed the Type Two diabetes. In fact, some stopped taking the insulin within days of the surgery.
What Can I Do if I Have Type Two Diabetes?
If you have Type Two Diabetes and have a body mass index of 33 percent or more, you might be eligible for the same kind of surgery the patients had in the study above. (Calculate your body mass index here)
Your best bet is to contact a local bariatric doctor who can explain your options and many times will show you how to get your insurance company to cover the surgery.
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