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.


Sleeve Gastrectomy Becomes Most Popular Surgical Weight Loss Option

For years people who have struggled with their weight have found the gastric bypass the most popular option for weight loss surgery. That’s not the case any longer. According to a recently released study from the Cleveland Clinic, sleeve gastrectomy procedures now account for nearly half of all weight loss procedures performed in the United States.

The clinic’s findings were based on a study of some 72,000 patients who underwent bariatric surgery between 2010 and 2013. Back in 2010, the sleeve procedure amounted to only about 9.3 percent of all those performed while the gastric bypass held the lion’s share at 58.4 percent. By 2013, however, the tables turned with sleeve procedures accounting for 49 percent and bypasses only about 43.8 percent. Gastric banding was also counted, but it accounted for only 6 percent of all procedures in 2013.

The rise in popularity of sleeve procedures is being attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, this procedure has come into its own as far as research related to its safety and effectiveness are concerned. Secondly, the procedure is considered slightly less invasive than a gastric bypass. While both procedures involve the surgical removal of a portion of the stomach, the sleeve procedure does not involve the same intensity as the gastric bypass, which reroutes the digestive system a bit to promote weight loss.

The sleeve procedure involves the removal of a portion of the stomach. The remaining piece of the organ is then shaped into a sleeve with a banana-like appearance. This permanent alteration of the stomach is meant to promote weight loss by lowering the holding capacity of the stomach.

Bariatric procedures, such as the sleeve gastrectomy, are generally reserved for people who are considered severely obese or who have weight-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. To learn more about all the options, consult with a healthcare provider.

Eating Disorders a Concern After Bariatric Surgery

While many people who undergo bariatric surgery and follow post-operative instructions well tend to flourish as they race toward their weight-loss goals, some patients may develop a whole new set of problems. For some, eating disorders may complicate post-operative days leading to aew set of concerns for patients and their doctors.

The Johns Hopkins Eating Disorder Program reports that up to 10 percent of its patients are now post-surgical. Some patients suffered eating disorders, such as binge eating, prior to surgery. Others, however, develop anorexia or bulimia following their surgeries. These individuals tend to obsess over every bite of food taken and may sometimes turn post-surgical vomiting into a habit, doctors warn.

Although post-surgical eating disorders are relatively rare, the numbers are high enough for Johns Hopkins’ doctors to warn that potential weight-loss surgery patients should be carefully screened and those who undergo such procedures should have enhanced post-surgical follow-up. Support groups designed to extend care to patients after surgery can be especially helpful, as well.

People who are morbidly obese may find that weight-loss surgery provides them the assistance they need to shed pounds and keep them off. Patients, however, are urged to carefully explore the options and understand the potential pros and cons of such surgery. While research has shown bariatric surgery can lower the risks of such conditions as diabetes and heart disease, it is import for patients to understand surgical procedures are not magic bullets. Patients need to do their part to ensure a healthy recovery. Surgery isn’t a diet – it’s meant to help make diets more effective.

If you or a loved one is considering weight loss surgery, it’s recommended that advice from a qualified bariatric surgeon be sought out. Patients are generally screened closely to ensure they are good candidates for procedures. Reputable weight-loss surgeons also make sure their patients have access to the follow-up care and support required to successfully transition into post-surgical life. When patients go into this type of surgery with their eyes wide open, guided by a reputable medical team, the results can make a difference in health and patients’ lives.

Tips for Avoiding Gains After Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery is an excellent way to promote long-term weight loss. Having a procedure done, however, isn’t enough to ensure permanent losses. While it’s likely a smart routine will be followed during the recovery period, some patients fall back into poor routines in the years following surgery. This can result in the weight that was lost coming back while undoing the health benefits weight loss surgery can provide.

Here are a few tips that can help those in the post-surgical stage keep the weight off that they’ve lost:
• Get support – Weight loss surgery can be a grueling ordeal, especially as the body adjusts to its new self. To promote healthy choices in the weeks, months and years after surgery, enlist support. Whether it’s from support groups or family and friends, having a little help along the way can make a big difference.
• Put together a team – Work not only with a bariatric surgeon to promote weight loss, but also other medical professionals that can assist. Nutritionists, for example, can help with proper diet while family doctors might offer assistance with launching a healthy exercise routine.
• Rethink food –Work to develop healthier ideas about food and focus on breaking any dependencies that may be present.
• Create smart habits – Try working to break bad eating habits by substituting healthier choices into the mix. Before long, munching on fresh fruit instead of candy will become a habit when the sweet tooth strikes.
• Exercise – Getting physical once medical clearance is given is an excellent way to keep pounds away. Work with your physician for advice in establishing and sticking to a routine.

Bariatric surgery is only the first step on a journey to lose weight and keep it off. In order to ensure the pounds shed don’t return, it’s important to develop a post-surgical plan and stick with it.

Talking to Others About Weight Loss Surgery

Preparing for weight loss surgery is a big deal and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Anyone preparing for surgery of this kind has certainly done their homework with regard to all the details surrounding this procedure. We do our research to find the best doctor, learn everything we need to know about the weight loss surgery we have chosen, and start putting together a plan for our new after-surgery lifestyle. But there’s one big component that can make the biggest difference when it comes to preparing for surgery and that is talking to others who have been through the very same experience.

Reaching out to others who have undergone weight loss surgery can offer unique insight into what you can expect from the procedure. In fact, this is probably the best information you can get prior to having the surgery.

So how do you go about finding someone to talk to about your upcoming weight loss surgery?

Support groups are a big part of the weight loss surgery community. There is tremendous transformation that goes along with such a procedure – both physically and emotionally – and it’s important to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through and what you’re feeling. That’s why support groups play such an integral role in the process. Your weight loss surgery center should be able to recommend a local support group that can help you:

  • Prepare for surgery. You certainly have plenty of questions about what is to come. It can be scary to sign up for surgery of any kind especially one as life changing as weight loss surgery. Starting a support group prior to surgery can provide you with a starting point to a new life and give you an outlet for asking the questions you want answered before you enter the operating room.
  • Understand what to expect immediately following surgery. Right after surgery, things happen very fast. You’re following a doctor-prescribed diet, you’re likely sore from the surgery itself, and you’re probably overwhelmed by it all. A support group can help you navigate these new waters.

Provide you support in the longterm. Ongoing success means adopting a new lifestyle and remaining committed to that life. A support group can help hold you accountable and provide insight into what to expect weeks, months, and even years down the road from surgery.

Fatty Liver Disease and Obesity

Most of us understand how much pressure obesity puts on the body as a whole. This type of extra weight causes the body to work much harder than it was meant to just to perform simple functions. As a result, the organs of the body can suffer significant damage, including the liver.

The second largest organ in the body, the liver is also one of the most important, charged with processing everything we ingest so that it can be converted to the nutrients that our body uses for energy. The liver is also responsible for “cleaning” our blood, filtering any toxins from our system.

While a small amount of fat always exists in the liver, with increased weight comes increased fat accumulation in the liver. As fat accumulates to the point where 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight consists of fat, this is a condition known as fatty liver disease. Left untreated, fatty liver disease can cause the liver to swell and could result in a condition known as cirrhosis. Eventually this can lead to liver failure and even death.

Symptoms of fatty liver disease include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, itching, jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and skin, and swelling of the abdomen or legs.

The good news is that fatty liver disease can be reversed if addressed in the early stages and it can be done through a reduction of weight, a healthy diet, and exercise.

As one of the conditions that often results from obesity, fatty liver disease may propel someone to consider weight loss surgery in an effort to take back control of their life. As weight loss happens and a healthy diet and exercise regime is followed, the fat in the liver decreases and balance is restored. There is no time to waste when it comes to protecting your liver – and, as a result, your life – so if you are struggling with obesity, it may be time to consider some serious measures including weight loss surgery.

Managing Diabetes with Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity, in and of itself, is a physical and emotional challenge. But what many people don’t remember is that obesity is also connected to an extensive range of conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes, just to name a few. Those who make the decision to have weight loss surgery often do so – not just because of the weight itself – but because of a condition that they have developed because of the weight. When weighing the decision to undergo a surgery – not a small thing – against the risk of living with a potentially damaging and life-threatening condition, many people find that surgery is the right decision. Diabetes is a common condition associated with obesity and can leave sufferers with a host of problems. And as the epidemic of obesity continues to rise in this country, the cases of diabetes grows right beside it. In fact, out of the millions of people diagnosed with type II diabetes – the most common form of diabetes that is defined by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood – approximately 80% to 90% of those people are also considered obese.

Carrying extra weight puts stress on the body; stress that our bodies are not meant to manage. This includes regulating our blood glucose level. When our body becomes unable to do this, diabetes can develop. Weight loss takes this stress off the body and allows for blood sugar to settle into a normal range which may allow you to reduce and even eliminate medications under the supervision of your doctor.

Left unchecked, however, diabetes can affect eyesight and damage vital organs such as your heart and kidneys.

If you’re dealing with diabetes or any other weight-related condition, consider talking with your doctor about your candidacy for weight loss surgery. By taking the steps to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, you can potentially eliminate a variety of life-changing and even life-threatening conditions.