Diabetes is a very difficult condition to live with, it constricts your lifestyle, eating choices and almost every thought you have is about your blood sugar levels. An additional problem is if you’re diabetic and overweight. It’s recommended to keep your weight in the healthy weight range as recommended by the NHS, however this is not the case with certain diabetes patients.
Bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) is an operation that is recommended for diabetic patients who have severely overweight (i.e. having a BMI over 30-35) to help them lose weight quickly. Not only is this operation cholesterol and blood pressure reducing but it can also lower insulin resistance.
By losing weight via gastric bypass surgery, the patient’s insulin resistance decreases resulting in a good improvement on the patient’s blood sugar. Gastric bypass surgery rapidly has a positive effect on the body’s hormones; stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin which improves blood sugar levels.
Results coming from Dr Philip Schauer showed that patients who required insulin before the surgery: 5-10% of those who had the operation still required insulin/ diabetes tablets, compared to 55% of patients who received standard medical therapy, and they also took less cholesterol and blood pressure medications, proving that losing weight via surgery can ameliorate diabetes.
In another study, long term follow up after weight-loss surgery showed a greater rate of diabetes remission, especially in type 2 diabetes patients. Checking up with the patients who had gastric-band surgery after two years, they found that their diabetes, miraculously, didn't return, this was also with usual care, exercise and good diet.
Clearly not everyone will need to undergo surgery, even if they are diabetic. However it is essential for diabetics, type 1 or 2 to lose weight and stay in a healthy weight range, this will also help prevent insulin resistance and help the pancreas to work better for type 2 diabetics.
A study used a randomized trial on middle aged men and women and given a low-carbohydrate or low-fat Mediterranean diet. This trial measured their need for diabetes medication and the remission of type 2 diabetes. After 4 years they were reviewed for results; after 4 years the results showed that the patients who had been given a low-carbohydrate diet had a higher rate of diabetes remission, and delayed need for diabetes medication compared with a low-fat diet.
Overall, it is always recommended that you try to lose weight through a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and increased exercise.
Science daily (1) Science daily (2) Science daily (3) Science daily (4) NHS Weightloss