Gastric Bypass and Type 2 Diabetes

Most people are aware that obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes. Shedding pounds can dramatically lower the risk for this condition arising. What many people may not realize is that losing weight may also help those who have developed weight-related diabetes better manage their condition. For those who undergo gastric bypass surgery, the evidence is mounting that this action may not only assist in controlling blood sugar levels it could also send the disease into remission.

One of the latest studies into this possible link between gastric bypass surgery and improve insulin sensitivity produced very positive results. The study followed nearly 50 obese women before and at 2 and 5 years out from gastric bypass surgery. Researchers not only noted dramatic loss of excess weight, after two years the patients’ insulin sensitivity rose markedly, as well. The improvements were noted at the five-year mark.

The study is just one of many that have been performed in recent years to gauge the impacts bypass can have on type 2 diabetes. The large body of evidence continues to grow that shows this procedure is an effective treatment when employed within a few years of diagnosis. Remission reports are also brisk, but patients need to be aware that this does not occur in every case.

The gastric bypass is one of the most commonly performed types of weight loss surgery. It involves the surgical shrinking of the stomach’s holding capacity and a rerouting of the digestive system to lower calorie absorption. Generally reserved for those considered morbidly obese, the procedure is gaining ground as beneficial for those with slightly lower body mass indexes who have presented with obesity-related health conditions.

People who are obese are urged to talk to their doctors about all their weight loss options. Losing weight can lower risks for a long list of serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

Why Weight Loss Surgery Has Such an Impact on Other Health Conditions

As obesity reaches epidemic proportions in the United States, many people are turning to weight loss surgery to help them shed pounds. As they do, not only is obesity being successfully addressed but so are such related conditions as weight-related forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes and so on.

Hoping to gain a better understanding of the trend, researchers recently looked at a large group of obese patients ages 18 to 74. All told, the group included nearly 49,000 people. Just under half had bariatric surgery. The other group did not. Researchers found the mortality rate in the group that did not have weight loss surgery had a 4.21 percentage increase in deaths within a five-year timespan versus the group that had surgery.

Researchers have found that one of the most common causes of death in obese people involved cardiovascular disease. That causation is followed closely by obesity-related cancer. The most common causes of death in the surgical group included accidents and suicide. Cardiovascular disease and cancer were also present. Overall, however, the morbidity rate in the surgical group was much lower than the non-surgical group.

A number of studies have shed light on the potential health benefits of bariatric weight loss surgery. Procedures like the gastric bypass can help regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol and may even assist in treating and/or eliminating the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. It is estimated, in fact, that between 30 to 63 percent of people who undergo weight loss surgery enjoy long-term remission from type 2 diabetes.

People who are obese are urged to talk to their doctors about weight loss options. Weight loss surgery might not be recommended in all cases, but when it is indicated it can have very positive results. This type of procedure, however, does require careful deliberation. In many cases, patients will find they have to make a long-term commitment to lifestyle changes to enjoy the greatest benefits from surgical intervention.

Bariatric Surgery on the Rise Worldwide

While obesity is known to affect about a third of the American population, this country isn’t the only one to suffer its complications. Obesity, in fact, has reached epidemic proportions in many countries around the world, leading to a boom in the international trade of bariatric surgery devices. Researchers estimate, in fact, that the global bariatric surgery device market will reach a value of about $2.8 billion by 2022.

The rise in this market’s size has been attributed to a number of factors. These include:

• Growing concerns related to obesity – Obesity has been linked to a wide variety of serious health conditions, including some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. As people begin to more clearly understand the impacts of being overweight, more are taking action to address their personal concerns. While diet and exercise may help many, those with a BMI of 40 or higher may find surgical intervention offers them the best long-term results.
Government programs – Governments across the globe are also grappling with the impacts of obesity on their citizens. With that in mind, many are launching programs to help their citizens effectively address their weight concerns.
• Increased understanding of the benefits – Bariatric surgery has been proven to be very useful in helping those who are obese shed weight. It has also been shown to help those who already have health concerns address those issues, as well. Weight loss can help reduce cholesterol, improve sleep, control type 2 diabetes or eliminate it, and may also assist with a reduction of pain, among other benefits.

As the dangers of obesity become more widely known, the benefits of bariatric surgery are also gaining attention. As more people seek surgical interventions to help them get control of their weight once and for all, the global market’s value is on the rise. People who are obese will find taking steps to address weight can greatly improve their overall health. To find out more about the options, consult with a licensed healthcare provider.

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.

Why Informational Seminars Matter Before Weight Loss Surgery

When the decision is made that weight loss surgery offers the best chance to shed pounds and beat obesity once and for all, many people are taken aback when their surgeons put on the brakes for a time. It’s not that they want patients to change their minds. They simply want to make 100 percent certain that people who choose this path know their options and exactly what to expect down the road.

To that end, many weight loss surgeons will recommend their patients attend workshops, classes or seminars related to surgery. In addition, they might be asked to attend a few counseling sessions before a date for an actual procedure is even put on the books.

Why all the pre-surgery fuss? Here are just a few of the things patients stand to learn about if they attend informational seminars before making their final decision to undergo bariatric surgery:

• Basics about all the options – Weight loss surgery isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. There are a number of surgical procedures available that can help patients shed pounds. Some choices are more invasive than others and some have proven themselves better at maintaining long-term results. Seminars generally go over the main options, how they are performed and what patients can anticipate as far as weight loss is concerned.
• The potential side effects – Weight loss surgery is a highly popular option for shedding pounds, but it is still surgery. Each procedure has its share of potential side effects that surgeons want their patients to be fully aware of.
• What to expect – Life after weight loss surgery can change rather dramatically. This is especially so for those who undergo more intense procedures, such as a gastric bypass. Counseling and information sessions are also staged to be certain patients know how their lives are likely to change.
• To provide support – The weight loss journey can be a long, tedious one that people should not walk alone. Oftentimes, seminars and counseling sessions are also designed to ensure people choosing this route have the support they need.

If you’re contemplating weight loss surgery, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for information about seminars or counseling. The better prepared you are, the more successful your journey is likely to be.

When is it Time for Bariatric Surgery?

Making the decision to undergo weight loss surgery is a very big step to take. While these procedures have proven themselves time and again to be highly effective, most involve the permanent alteration of the body. With that in mind, those who are obese may find themselves asking how to tell when the time is right to consider this option.

Here are a few signs, courtesy of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, that can help people gauge if this type of procedure might be right for them:

• An excessively high BMI – In most cases, surgeons recommend bariatric surgery for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher.
• A lower BMI with obesity-related health conditions – People with weight-related health concerns, such as diabetes, may find themselves candidates for procedures, such as a gastric bypass, if they have a BMI of 35 or higher.

Gastric bypass procedures and sleeve gastrostomies are generally only recommended in the above circumstances. People with BMIs of 35 or less and health-related concerns, however, may find themselves eligible for a different type of procedure. Gastric banding may be indicated in cases where obesity levels are not in the severe range.

While the above are general rules of thumb for those seeking gastric surgical procedures to promote weight loss, other factors should also generally go into play. Some surgeons prefer their patients also:

• Undergo counseling – Pre-surgical counseling is often highly recommended to ensure patients understand the full scope of the procedures, what to expect and the potential side effects that may crop up.
• Exhaust other methods – Many surgeons prefer their patients try exercise and health eating plans prior to moving forward with surgical procedures. Gastric bypasses, for example, are often seen as a last resort effort.

Obesity is connected with a number of serious illnesses and may even prove to be life-limiting. Those who are considering surgical options to lower weight are urged to discuss all their options directly with their healthcare providers.

Can Bariatric Surgery Change Your Life?

Carrying around an extra 100 or more pounds on a daily basis can take its toll on a person’s life in the present and future. When those pounds come off, however, some people find they feel better, look better and are much less likely to develop serious weight-related medical conditions. With that in mind, many seriously obese people consider the solution that bariatric surgery can provide for them.

While bariatric surgery has proven itself incredibly helpful for assisting those who struggle with excess weight, there are some things patients need to understand. Bariatric surgery is not a magic solution that will guarantee weight lost is kept off forever. It can have dramatic impacts in helping diets become much more successful, but it is up to the patient – not the surgeon – to produce effects that truly change lives.

What Patients Need to Know

Bariatric surgery has been the focus of much study in recent years with most studies finding it can truly prove to be the boost those suffering from obesity need to shed the pounds. That said, however, patients need to understand that:

• Bariatric surgery alone won’t do the trick – In order for patients to experience success, they must follow post-surgical diets and even begin exercise routines.
• Bariatric surgery is often permanent – While it’s not always the case, many types of bariatric surgery involved the permanent alteration of the stomach. Patients who opt to go in that direction will find what is done cannot be undone.
• Support following surgery must continue – Bariatric surgery patients often seek out and receive a great deal of support in the first few months to years after surgery. After about the three-year mark, however, some drop up from obtaining continued support and see their weight climb as a result. The struggle with weight is often a life-long concern, even if surgery is performed.
• The surgery is not the diet – Weight loss surgery is not a diet. It is meant to help make diets more effective.

People who are considering weight loss surgery are urged to speak with a licensed healthcare provider. This option can help the pounds come off, but it’s up to patients to ensure that the results are truly life-changing.

Bariatric Surgery Isn’t the Easy Way Out

For the estimated one-third of American adults who are obese or morbidly obese, the struggle with weight is a daily occurrence. When complications begin to set in, such as depression, diabetes or heart disease, the knee-jerk reaction might be to see the easiest, fastest solution. While weight loss surgery can provide the necessary boost to promote healthy, permanent weight loss, it’s not an easy road to take.

While popular misconceptions surrounding weight loss surgery make it seem like the “fast track” to a thinner, healthier body, there’s nothing simple involved in taking this path. While it is highly viable and largely safe courtesy of newer, less-invasive techniques, the reality is those who undergo bariatric surgery need to do so with their eyes wide open. This alternative weight loss options demands a lifelong commitment to produce results in a safe and healthy way.

What do bariatric surgery patients need to know?

•    Insurance coverage isn’t guaranteed – While many private insurers understand bariatric surgery has long-term cost-savings benefits, not all companies have come on board. Patients are urged to check with their insurance providers to understand their costs. Many bariatric surgeons, however, offer assistance in this area to help make navigating insurance regulations easier.
•    Dietary changes are a must – Once surgery is performed, the true benefits will hinge on how well patients keep up with necessary dietary changes. Meals will need to become much smaller and more nutrition dense to maintain health and weight loss.
•    Exercise is critical – Patients who undergo weight loss surgery need to become active to realize the true benefits.
•    Results aren’t permanent unless patients commit – The simple truth is weight loss surgery promotes eating less, but that doesn’t mean everyone follows the plan. Unless there is a real commitment, patients will find their weight can come back. It’s critical to follow a post-surgi8cal plan in the days, weeks, months and years after surgery.

Weight loss surgery can produce results where other options have failed. It is not, however, an easy alternative that will provide instant gratification.