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Defeating Diabetes with Bariatric Surgery

New studies conducted both in the United States and Europe further confirm previous research findings: Surgery trumps medicine in derailing diabetes. But more importantly, the new data suggest that the procedure’s effects upon the disease may be long-lasting; i.e., enduring at least five years.

“For overweight people with diabetes, bariatric surgery isn’t just for weight loss,” says Timothy Koch, MD, a gastroenterologist and specialist in bariatric procedures at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. “It can be a cure—and a life-saver.”

That’s good news for the U.S., which has been hard-hit by the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes.  Currently, one out of every three Americans is obese and an estimated 29.1 million are diabetic, raising their risk of blindness, kidney disease and other serious complications.  In fact, people with diabetes are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke than others, contributing to the disease’s status as the 7th leading cause of death nationwide—a ranking that some experts suspect is higher, given diabetes leading role in so many potentially fatal conditions.

Bariatric surgery may be one way to help improve such statistics, especially among certain patients with Type 2 diabetes, strongly associated with obesity.

“Following bariatric surgery, blood sugar levels may lower or normalize, reducing the need for medication,” explains Dr. Koch. “In fact, multiple studies show that 89 percent of patients saw their diabetes significantly improve or even completely disappear after weight loss surgery.”

Substantially lower hospitalization rates for related conditions were also observed.

While more and larger studies are needed to corroborate long-term results, Dr. Koch is already an advocate of considering bariatric surgery for its potential contribution to diabetes control.

“Of all the benefits of weight loss, curing diabetes is truly the most life-changing reason to see if you qualify.”

For more information on weight-loss surgery options and qualifications click here or call 855-546-1056.