Will Gastric Bypass Surgery Treat Diabetes?

Of the different types of bariatric surgeries, gastric bypass surgery involves substantial change to the patient’s digestive system. As a result, it typically leads to a greater loss of the patient’s excess weight compared to other approaches. Endocrinologists may sometimes refer their patients to a bariatric surgeon because drastic weight loss is often necessary to manage type 2 diabetes.

How Weight Loss Improves Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with obesity, as obesity can lead to unstable blood glucose levels. Significant weight loss in people with obesity or morbid obesity facilitates consistently lower blood sugar levels, reduces insulin resistance, and can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These last two benefits are important for managing the risk of diabetes-related complications, like heart disease and stroke. Many diabetic patients who have bariatric surgery experience tremendous improvements in their health. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, a scientific study revealed that 42% of gastric bypass patients were able to successfully control their type 2 diabetes following surgery.

What Changes Occur with Gut Hormones

Curiously, bariatric surgeons have noticed that patients with diabetes can manage their disease better after the surgery, but before most of the weight loss occurs. It’s now known that gastric bypass surgery also adjusts gut hormone levels, causing significant metabolic changes that help control diabetes. These metabolic changes also improve feelings of fullness after a meal, which supports long-term weight maintenance.

Who Should Consider Bariatric Surgery

As beneficial as the surgery can be, it isn’t necessarily right for all patients with diabetes. However, surgery as a possible treatment option is worth exploring if you have obesity or morbid obesity, along with diabetes or other weight-related medical problems. Patients might consider having the surgery if they have trouble controlling their blood glucose with medications and lifestyle changes, or if they have problems losing weight through diet and exercise alone.

Dr. Brian Mirza is one of the Houston area’s foremost gastric bypass surgery specialists. He can help you determine whether you may be a good candidate for gastric surgery during your consultation. You can call Bariatric Care Centers at (713) 339-1353 to request our next available appointment.

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

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  • Surgeon Qualifications-Board Certified Fellowship Trained in Bariatric Surgery
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