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Best Weight Loss Surgery for Diabetics

Like machines, our body too needs fuel for it to work optimally. Carbohydrate is considered is our primary source of energy. Carbohydrates are broken down into the simplest form of sugar known as glucose. In India, most of our staple foods contain carbohydrates. The glucose levels in our body are regulated by our pancreas using a hormone called insulin. When our pancreas does not produce qualitative and quantitative amounts of insulin to regulate the glucose levels in our body, it leads to a condition called Diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that causes increased glucose concentration in the blood. In India, over 30 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes which makes India the diabetic capital of the world. And the growing number of diabetic people in India makes it a prime, alarming healthcare issue of the country.

What are the causes of Diabetes?

Although genetic factors play a role in diabetes, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle seem to be the primary cause of type-2 diabetes among the Indians. In India, lifestyle changes due to rapid urbanization,  unhealthy diet,  obesity are some of the other reasons for diabetes. Being overweight can increase your risk of diabetes by manyfold. Studies show that obese people and inactive people with sedentary lifestyles are more prone to develop insulin resistance also. Also, obese people usually have abnormally high amounts of triglycerides in their blood. People with high triglyceride levels in the blood have an increased risk of diabetes.

Risks associated with Diabetes

  • Diabetic patients have a higher risk of having heart disease and stroke.
  • The excess glucose present in the blood can damage the blood vessels that nourish your nerves, especially the nerves in the legs. This can lead to gangrene formation which can lead to amputation of the leg.
  • Diabetes can also cause nerve damage. If left untreated, all sensation from the affected limb would be lost. If gone severe, it might even require limb amputation.
  • Kidneys can also get damaged due to the excessive glucose present in the blood. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to irreversible kidney damage and kidney failure.
  • High blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels that supply the eye and can even cause potential blindness.

How does weight loss surgery help obese diabetic patients?

Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery can be highly beneficial for severely obese patients with type-2 diabetes. Of all the bariatric surgery or weight reduction surgeries available, research has shown that gastric bypass is the gold standard procedure that offers the best results. Research shows significant improvement in people with diabetes after bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery can potentially treat diabetes altogether, called remission from diabetes. In such cases of remission, your surgeon can also advise you to withdraw diabetes medications under supervision. One study involving 400 people showed that almost 62% of people had no signs of diabetes even 6 years after receiving bariatric surgery. They showed better blood pressure and controlled cholesterol levels too. All the co-morbidities of obesity which include diabetes can be cured completely successfully by undergoing bariatric surgery.

What about non-obese diabetic patients who suffer from high levels of diabetes?

Metabolic surgery is a boon to such non-obese people who are suffering from chronic diabetes and no medications and diet have worked for them to bring their diabetes under control. In a Metabolic surgery, the distal (end part) part of the small intestine (ileum) is brought surgically nearer to the proximal (first part) part somewhere nearer to the stomach using advanced laparoscopic methods. It is basically a type of malabsorption procedure. In simple terms, the Ileal Interposition Surgery or Metabolic Surgery increases insulin sensitivity and decreases insulin resistance. This results in remission of diabetes.

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