Obesity and Diabetes
Over 23 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, one fourth of whom have not yet been diagnosed. Another 79 million have Pre-diabetes. Diabetes causes many serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the small arteries in the lower legs and feet), which can lead to amputations. Diabetes causes kidney disease (Diabetic Nephropathy), causing pain. Over 60% of diabetics have some damage to the nerves of their arms or legs (Diabetic Neuropathy). Diabetes also causes eye disease (Diabetic Retinopathy) and is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
About 50% of all men and 70% of all women with Type 2 diabetes have obesity (BMI > 30). Since 2009, the American Diabetes Association has recommended considering bariatric surgery for patients with Type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 35 or greater as not only a treatment for their obesity but also for their diabetes.
After Gastric Bypass, over 75% of patients with Type 2 Diabetes will experience complete remission and 84% will experience either remission or significant improvement of their diabetes. An important article published in early 2013 revealed that “Bariatric surgery provides durable glycemic control compared with intensive medical therapy at 2 years. Despite similar weight loss as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass uniquely restores pancreatic B-cell (the cells that produce insulin) function and reduces truncal fat, thus reversing the core defects in diabetes.” In addition, in patients with severe obesity, gastric bypass results in a significant reduction in the likelihood of death from any cause within just 7 years of the surgery. Death specifically related to diabetes is reduced by 90%.
Bariatric surgery remains the ONLY treatment currently available to achieve complete REMISSION of Type 2 diabetes.