Bariatric surgery should be considered as treatment for diabetics with severe obesity

Recently a friend at church, who is obese and has type 2 diabetes, asked if she should consider bariatric surgery. For my friend and the millions of Americans battling obesity and type 2 diabetes, here’s the stunning recent recommendation: Gastric bypass surgery may actually reverse type 2 diabetes almost instantly before patients lose an ounce of weight.

On its website, ABC News reported, “Surgery should be considered as a treatment for obese patients with diabetes, according to a position statement released” by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

MedPage Today  reported, “Patients with diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more should be treated with any of the various forms of bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass and gastric banding, the IDF said.”

In addition, “surgery should … be used in patients with a BMI of 30 to 35 whose diabetes is not adequately controlled by medications – especially among those with other major risk factors for heart disease, including hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and a history of myocardial infarction, according to the statement.”

Medscape reported, “Although such operations cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000, they will reduce healthcare expenditures in the long run,” the position paper noted.

“The surgery, the IDF explains, often normalizes blood glucose levels and reduces or avoids the need for medication.”

What’s more, “curbing diabetes can stave off costly complications, such as blindness, limb amputations, and dialysis, said Francesco Rubino, MD, director of the IDF’s 2nd World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes.”

So, if you are severely obese (BMI greater than or equal to 35) AND a type 2 diabetic who cannot bring your obesity or diabetes under control, this surgery may be an option to consider.

2 thoughts on “Bariatric surgery should be considered as treatment for diabetics with severe obesity

  • Walt,

    I had a gastric bypass and went from a BMI of 59 to one of 33. I feel great, do yoga or racquetball every day, and have a great new life. I highly recommend the surgery. (And American Family Physician did a Patient Close-Up on my surgery, with Jane Murray commenting!) Jan

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