Weight loss surgery 'doesn't cure diabetes'
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Does Weight Loss Surgery Cure Diabetes?
More than 30 studies say yes, according to the ASMBS. One recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 73 percent of people with diabetes who underwent gastric banding combined with conventional therapy achieved remission, which is defined as normal blood sugar levels and no need for diabetes medication. By contrast, just 13 percent of those people who received only conventional therapy went into remission. In this study, conventional therapy comprised lifestyle modificatons such as diet and increased physical activity, along with medication.
The people in the nonsurgical group lost just 1.7 percent of their body weight, compared with almost 21 percent among those who underwent gastric banding.
A landmark 2004 study in JAMA of more than 22,000 people who underwent bariatric surgery showed that type 2 diabetes was completely resolved in 76.8 percent of people, and it improved in 86 percent of people. The bariatric surgery procedures performed in this study included gastric banding, gastric bypass, gastroplasty, biliopancreatic diversion or duodenal switch, and others (such as jejunoileal bypass, a bypass of a section of the small intestine).
What's more, a study in the Annals of Surgery showed that 83 percent of 240 people who underwent gastric bypass were cured of their diabetes. Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine found that bariatric surgery reduces the long-term mortality associated with obesity. In one of the two studies, the researchers found that long-term total mortality after gastric bypass surgery was significantly reduced, particularly deaths from diabetes.
Hutcher thinks the surgeries may benefit even people with diabetes who are not overweight or obese.