In the fight against type 2 (adult) diabetes, the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation recently announced their unanimous support of weight loss surgery as a vitally important treatment. They hope that this announcement will help to educate doctors, other medical providers, and the public about this under-utilized and very effective treatment for diabetes.
The entire June 2016 issue of the American Diabetes Association’s journal Diabetes Care is devoted to a joint statement by these organizations and other articles that provide factual support for this recommendation.
“Weight loss surgeons have known for over 30 years that gastric bypass surgery is the safest and most effective treatment for type 2 diabetes,” explains Dr. Guilford Hartley, an internal medicine specialist and Medical Director for the Hennepin Bariatric Center. “This consensus has now been adopted by those who provide non-surgical treatment for diabetes as well, including endocrinologists and other medical specialists involved in the care of diabetes.”
Dr. Hartley won’t refer to the absence of diabetes symptoms as a “cure,” but it comes close.
“When weight loss surgery patients achieve normal blood glucose (sugar) and can go off their diabetes medications, it sure looks like we’ve found a cure for this deadly disease, but we prefer to say that their diabetes is in remission. No matter what you call it — the absence of having to manage diabetes and being able to avoid its life-threatening complications makes a tremendous difference in the lives of patients.”
When the surgery is done as soon as possible after a diabetes diagnosis, the likelihood of remission is greatest and is most likely to last many years. In most cases, weight loss surgery is appropriate in severely overweight people even before diabetes develops and can reduce the likelihood that a person will ever develop diabetes.
In addition to reducing or avoiding the complications associated with diabetes, studies show that severely overweight people who have weight loss surgery live longer and with better quality of life than they would if they did not have surgery.
Despite all this good news, many people are reluctant to consider weight loss surgery. If you would like to learn more about whether weight loss surgery is a good treatment for you or a loved one, please, call 612-873-5479 to schedule a consultation.