Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Can Bariatric Surgery Treat Type 2 Diabetes?

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
Can Bariatric Surgery Treat Type 2 Diabetes?

Are you or someone you know struggling with both obesity and diabetes? You may be surprised to learn that there is a potential solution that could treat both of these conditions simultaneously: bariatric surgery. In this article, we will explore the link between bariatric surgery and diabetes remission, and how this procedure has become an increasingly popular option for those looking to improve their health outcomes.

Understanding the Link Between Obesity and Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), leading to high levels of sugar in the blood. Obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, as it increases the body's resistance to insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.

When you consume food, your body breaks it down into glucose, which is then transported into cells to provide energy. Insulin helps move glucose from the bloodstream into cells, where it can be used for energy. However, when you're obese, your cells become less sensitive to insulin, causing glucose to build up in the bloodstream. Over time, this can lead to type 2 diabetes.

The link between obesity and type 2 diabetes is well-established, with studies showing that obese individuals are at a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes than those who maintain a healthy weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.

How Can Bariatric Surgery Help With Diabetes Remission

Bariatric surgery is a weight loss procedure that involves making changes to the digestive system to reduce the amount of food the body can consume or absorb. While the primary goal of bariatric surgery is to help individuals achieve significant and sustainable weight loss, research has shown that it can also be an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Bariatric surgery can help induce diabetes remission by improving the body's sensitivity to insulin, reducing inflammation, and altering the gut microbiome. The exact mechanisms by which bariatric surgery improves blood sugar control are not yet fully understood, but several theories have been proposed.

One theory is that the surgery helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. By reducing inflammation, the body becomes more sensitive to insulin, allowing glucose to enter cells more efficiently.

Another theory is that bariatric surgery alters the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Studies have shown that changes in the gut microbiome following bariatric surgery can lead to improvements in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, which can help induce diabetes remission.

It's important to note that not all individuals who undergo bariatric surgery will achieve diabetes remission, and the degree of diabetes improvement can vary depending on individual factors such as the duration and severity of diabetes prior to surgery.

Can Bariatric Surgery Be a Permanent Cure for Type 2 Diabetes

As we mentioned earlier, studies have shown that bariatric surgery can lead to significant improvements in blood sugar control and even diabetes remission in some individuals, with remission rates ranging from 30% to 80%. However, the degree and duration of diabetes remission can vary depending on individual factors such as the duration and severity of diabetes prior to surgery, as well as the type of surgery performed.

It is also important to note that bariatric surgery is not a magic solution and requires significant lifestyle changes and ongoing medical management to maintain long-term success. This includes following a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and adhering to medical recommendations such as taking medication and monitoring blood sugar levels.

What Surgical Options Do I Have?

There are several types of bariatric surgery options available, including:

Gastric bypass: This procedure involves creating a small stomach pouch and rerouting the small intestine to bypass a portion of the digestive tract.

Sleeve gastrectomy: In a sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon will remove a portion of the stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch.

Gastric banding: This surgery involves placing a band around the upper portion of the stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch.

Duodenal switch: This procedure involves removing a portion of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to bypass a larger portion of the digestive tract.

The type of surgery your doctor recommends you will depend on individual factors such as weight, overall health, and medical history. It is important to discuss the different surgical options with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for you.

At BASS Bariatric Surgery Center, we offer a comprehensive range of bariatric surgery options and provide personalized care to help you achieve your weight loss and diabetes management goals. Our experienced team of surgeons, nurses, and dietitians are dedicated to helping you achieve long-term success and improved health.

If you're interested in learning more about bariatric surgery and how it can help with diabetes remission, we invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you to achieve your weight loss and health goals.

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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