Bariatric Surgery: An Effective Treatment for Diabetes?

06.30.2012

New studies continue to support the claim that bariatric surgery may be an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes. An article published on June 10 and reviewed by the Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California reports findings in a recent clinical study of bypass patients. Eighty-eight percent of the 66 patients "had remission of their diabetes… even after coming off their anti-diabetic drugs."

The participants of this study, which was reported in Diabetes Care, shared an important common factor: they all had a BMI (body mass index) between 30 and 35. Bariatric surgery is usually only recommended for patients with a BMI over 40. Interestingly, the reduction in diabetes occurred prior to any significant weight loss. This points to unknown non-weight-related bariatric benefits.

Throughout five years of post-surgery observations, experts saw that the patients also had significantly lower risks of coronary heart disease and stroke.

This study, along with similar trials, are a ray of hope for mildly obese diabetic patients. Those slightly thinner folks who may have not previously qualified for bariatric surgery may be considered for the procedures more regularly in the future.