A new medical study suggests that weight loss surgeries may be more effective at treating type 2 diabetes than improvements to diet or exercise patterns.
People with type 2 diabetes that undergo weight loss surgery are more likely to notice improvements to their quality of life than people who try to treat the disease by making changes to their diet and exercise patterns, new research suggests. According to a report from Reuters, the benefits of surgery over a three-year time period significantly improved the standard of living for type 2 diabetics.
According to Dr. Anita Courcoulas of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the study’s lead author, people who have weight loss surgery are more likely to stay in a state of remission, calling it a “durable” option.
Previous studies have shown a connection between weight loss and improved quality of life for type 2 diabetics, but the verdict is still out as to whether or not weight loss surgery is the best choice for some patients.
Bariatric surgeries are normally carried out on people with a body mass index of 40 or higher. About 29 million Americans currently suffer from diabetes, which accounts for about nine percent of the total population. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 percent of these cases are undiagnosed.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type that affects Americans, who are either unable to create enough insulin, or whose cells are resistant to it. Insulin helps cells use glucose for energy.
The new study looked at 61 patients aged 25 to 55. Each was randomly assigned one of three treatments to receive. The first treatment was an intensive lifestyle intervention where heavy emphasis was placed on maintaining healthy diet and exercise. The second and third treatments were either Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) surgeries. The surgeries were followed up by the same lifestyle intervention the first group received over a two-year period.
40 percent of patients who underwent RYGB surgeries, and 29 percent of patients who were given LAGB surgeries had at least a partial remission of their type 2 diabetes. Nobody in the first group experienced remission as a result of their lifestyle changes.
While it is still too soon to say whether or not weight loss surgeries are the most effective tool at battling type 2 diabetes, researchers will continue studying the connections to learn more about possible treatments for the disease.