Two studies released in March compare stomach-reducing operations to medicines alone for treating Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity.
Weight-loss surgery can reverse and possibly cure diabetes, and doctors say the operation should be offered sooner to more people with the disease.
Both studies found that surgery helped far more patients achieve normal blood-sugar levels than medicines alone did. Some people were able to stop taking insulin as soon as three days after their operations. Other heart risk factors also improved.
More than a third of American adults are obese, and more than 8 percent have diabetes, a major cause of heart disease, strokes and kidney failure. For a century, doctors have been treating diabetes with pills and insulin, and encouraging weight loss and exercise with limited success.
An adult who has a body mass index of 30 or more is considered obese. The government recently lowered the criteria for use of gastric bands from a BMI of 35 down to 30 in diabetics or people with heart disease.
I am not a big fan of surgery. To me once you open up a body cavity things are never the same. But that's me being in healthcare for 25+ years. Certainly these studies are encouraging. And diabetes and obesity are epidemics.
So of course talk with your physician if you are contemplating this surgery as a cure for your diabetes.