According to a new study, weight-loss surgery has been shown to significantly lower an obese person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Study author Martin Gulliford, a professor of public health at King’s College London, England noted that being obese or even just overweight is “a major risk factor for diabetes.” As high as 3% of “severely obese people” get diabetes every year.
Gulliford also explained that people need to understand how weight loss surgery can be used, together with interventions to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating, as part of an overall diabetes prevention strategy. Moreover this risk is,undoubtedly, separate from other factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
The results, published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, showed an 80% reduction in type 2 diabetes in those having surgery. Doctors followed nearly 5,000 people as part of a trial to assess the health impact of the procedure. The UK NHS is considering offering the procedure to tens of thousands of people to prevent diabetes.
The study followed 2,167 obese adults who had weight loss, better known as bariatric surgery. They were compared to 2,167 fellow obese people who continued as they were. There were 38 cases of diabetes after surgery compared with 177 in people left as they were. This is a reduction of nearly 80%.
Bariatric surgery is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese and carrying an excessive amount of body fat. This type of surgery is available on the NHS only to treat people with potentially life-threatening obesity when other treatments have not worked.
Keep in mind that Type 2 diabetes leaves a person unable to control their blood sugar levels can result in blindness, amputations and nerve damage.
Gastric bypass, which involves redirecting the digestive system past the stomach, is the most common weight loss procedure. Gastric banding involves having an inflatable band placed around the top portion of the stomach, creating a smaller stomach, while sleeve gastrectomy involves removal of around 80% of the stomach.
“Our results suggest that bariatric surgery may be a highly effective method of preventing the onset of new diabetes in men and women with severe obesity. We need to understand how weight-loss surgery can be used, together with interventions to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating, as part of an overall diabetes prevention strategy,” Gulliford said.