Diabetics Is a Smart Trigger for Weight Loss Surgery, Study Says

Insurance companies often wrestle with the decision of whether to cover a patient’s weight loss surgery or not. After all, this type of procedure is sometimes considered “elective,” and may provide some patients greater benefits than others. If the overarching goal is to improve a patient’s health, effectively lowering their overall healthcare costs, diabetes should be a marker for making the decision to go ahead, a new study reveals.

To arrive at these findings, researchers in Sweden tracked a large group of obese patients over the course of 15 years. The researchers found that in patients who had type 2 diabetes, especially relatively new cases, the overall costs of care following surgery went down dramatically. The savings, researchers say were realized in the draw on future health care and also in the need for medications to control the disease.

Other research has supported these findings. Some studies have found a high percentage of type 2 diabetes who witnesses a reversal of their symptoms after undergoing surgery. In some cases, a full reversal wasn’t obtained, but a partial one was.

The bottom line, researchers say, is that BMI might not be the only measure insurance companies want to use to determine if surgery is a good call or not. The presence of type 2 diabetes may also serve as a wise signal for authorizing bariatric procedures.

People who are overweight or are considered morbidly obese will find the status puts them at a much higher risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Losing weight in a safe and effective manner can greatly reduce those risks. To learn more about bariatric surgery options, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider. Keep in mind, that surgery is often the preferred weight loss method after all other options have been exercised and exhausted.

Magnets Might Hold Key to Fighting Acid Reflux for Some

Acid reflux is a painful condition that can leave the body damaged if it’s left unchecked over time. The discomfort and pain associated with this problem, however, can often be tackled using a new surgical procedure that’s a bit less invasive than other options to keep stomach acid where it belongs.

The procedure involves the placement of magnetic beads around the esophagus. Known as the Linx system, the beads work by creating a one-way path. Food can still pass down the esophagus with ease, but dangerous stomach acid is kept where it belongs. The magnetic beads prevent the esophagus from opening in reverse, essentially forcing acid to stay out of the passage.

Performed laparoscopically, the Linx procedure has produced tremendous results for many people. Those who once found themselves unable to eat anything but bland foods are finding almost anything is now back on the menu.

Acid reflux is typically treated with medications, but these don’t work for everyone. Furthermore, chronic reflux medications may also come with their share of side effects. While other surgical options exist, the Linx system is a bit less invasive and has proven quite successful in treating the condition effectively and permanently in many people.

Treating acid reflux by any effective means is considered vital for a number of reasons. A continuous exposure to stomach acid may leave the esophagus scarred and create other medical concerns. In addition, some patients develop pre-cancerous growths courtesy of reflux, making treatment critical.

If acid reflux is a concern, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider. Occasional heartburn generally isn’t a cause to panic, but repeat episodes that are severe should be investigated by a medical professional. There simply is no reason to live with the pain of repeat reflux when options exist to treat it effectively.