Did You Know Bariatric Surgery Can Help Control Type 2 Diabetes?

You likely know that managing type 2 diabetes requires nutritional and lifestyle changes. For many diabetes patients who are also seriously overweight or obese, bariatric surgery is also recommended. It may surprise you, but weight-loss surgery can actually benefit your diabetes even before you shed significant pounds. 

Studies show that gastric bypass, a type of bariatric surgery, leads to type 2 diabetes remission in 78% of individuals who have the procedure, and the change often begins long before you lose a significant amount of weight.

At Southern Nevada Bariatrics, in Las Vegas, NV, Dr. Mustafa Ahmed can attest to these benefits first-hand. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Ahmed is a leading bariatric surgeon who has helped countless men and women achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health with bariatric surgery. 

Weight loss surgery helps control diabetes even before weight loss begins

Dr. Ahmed performs several different types of bariatric surgeries, all of which can lead to successful weight loss. Two of these surgical approaches, however, also may have a significant impact on type 2 diabetes control even before weight loss begins – gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy

One reason for this added benefit of bariatric surgery lies in your small intestine and its spontaneous, postsurgical production of GLUT-1. This molecule helps your body absorb glucose, but is not typically present in the adult small intestine. Instead, GLUT-1 appears to occur in response to foods you consume bypassing the large intestine, which is exactly what happens after gastric bypass surgery.

The results are dramatic enough that the medical community is beginning to consider bariatric surgery as a treatment for diabetes, as well as obesity, when your body mass index (BMI) reaches 30, rather than the previously recommended BMI of 40.

Lower blood sugar and less medication after surgery

After gastric bypass surgery, about 90% of patients experience improved type 2 diabetes control with significantly lower blood sugars and reduced need for medication. And 78% of those individuals experience diabetes remission, indicated by normal blood sugars without the need for medication! Imagine undergoing bariatric surgery so you can lose weight, and alleviating diabetes symptoms as an added health bonus. 

Men and women who opt for a sleeve gastrectomy instead of gastric bypass experience a 60% diabetes remission rate. Other bariatric surgeries, such as LAP-BAND®, also lead to improved diabetic control as you lose weight, but don’t offer the same non-weight-related benefits as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.

Bariatric surgery is just the beginning of long-term type 2 diabetes control

While bariatric surgery for managing diabetes isn’t a magic, end-all-be-all solution, it certainly plays a very compelling role in the whole process. Any form of bariatric surgery helps control your appetite by making you feel fuller faster, so you eat less. But surgery is only the beginning. 

Weight loss and other lifestyle changes, such as improved diet and increased physical activity, are still essential to managing type 2 diabetes and other serious medical conditions associated with obesity. In other words, bariatric surgery is just the first step in your ongoing journey to become the healthiest version of yourself. When you continue to follow our guidelines to achieve your goals of healthier nutrition and improved fitness, you’ll continue to manage type 2 diabetes long term. 

At Southern Nevada Bariatrics, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Ready to learn more about the many types of bariatric surgery we offer and what it can mean for your overall health? Schedule a visit to our Las Vegas office today. Either call 702-637-1973 or use the online booking tool to request an appointment.

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