Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) can be life-changing in so many ways. It gives patients a new, positive outlook on the future and more energy and motivation to face the day.
Plus, the significant weight loss that comes after bariatric surgery can substantially reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 Diabetes.
This article is the first in Perth Weight Loss’s new series exploring how weight loss surgery can combat a whole range of health issues that may stem from being overweight.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Around 85-90% of diabetes cases are classified as Type 2.
A person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes when their body starts to resist the normal effects of insulin and gradually their pancreas stops producing enough insulin for them to function correctly.
It is most commonly found in adults over the age of 45 and in people with a family history of Type 2 diabetes. Currently being overweight or obese is considered the most common risk factor for type two Diabetes
How Weight Loss Surgery can Help Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Within their Type 2 Diabetes prevention campaign, the American Diabetes Association succinctly suggests: “Extra Weight, Extra Risk.”
This is a simplified way of looking at the cause of type 2 Diabetes. Still, it does cut straight to the point that the weight loss that results from having bariatric surgery can significantly reduce your risk of developing type two Diabetes. For those who are already suffering from the disease, it can lead to a significant reduction in usage of the diabetic medication or even induce remission of the disease.
The biological reason for obesity leading to Type 2 diabetes is somewhat complicated for those without medical knowledge. Research suggests that when people are overweight, fat builds up around the abdomen and organs, which releases ‘pro-inflammatory’ chemicals that work to desensitise the body to insulin. The function of the insulin-responsive cells is damaged, affecting the ability of insulin to work effectively to reduce blood sugar levels.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that lets your body know how to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream. Without insulin or reduced function of insulin your blood sugar levels start to rise and lead to a myriad of damage to organs like your eye, kidneys, and blood vessels. To read further on why obesity causes diabetes and the importance of healthy insulin levels, click here.
Ultimately, those that have a BMI over 30 have a much greater risk of developing the disease. In conjunction with other health factors, a person also becomes eligible for weight loss surgery when their BMI is over 30. Therefore, weight loss surgery can act as a preventative measure to stop Type 2 diabetes in its tracks by bringing down a patient’s BMI.
Essentially, decades of research have proven that obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are significantly linked. When a person undergoes weight loss surgery, such as sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery, they can expect to see over 50% excess weight loss. This percentage may even increase depending on the type of bariatric surgery. Therefore, the patient will soon no longer be considered obese, and the risk of Type 2 diabetes will be significantly reduced.
If your GP has expressed concerns that you may be at risk for Type 2 diabetes, or if you suffer from type 2 diabetes and would like to explore weight loss surgery as an option to treat obesity and Diabetes, book a chat with our friendly team today.