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Best Diabetes Treatment for Obese: Some Doctors Say It's Surgery

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 04:52 PM

The symptoms and risks of diabetes are traditionally managed with a healthy diet, lifestyle changes that include adequate exercise, and prescription medications. However, some doctors say the best treatment for obese patients with diabetes is surgery.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study "Bariatric Surgery versus Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes" that examined the potential for surgery as a useful treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The study sample consisted of 150 patients between the ages of 20 and 60 years. Women comprised 68 percent of the sample and 74 percent of the patients were white. Due to study variables, 13 patients were removed from the study leaving a sample of 137 obese patients with diabetes.

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The study sample was divided into three groups, each of which received either traditional medical therapy for diabetes, gastric bypass, or a sleeve gastrectomy. After a three year follow-up, researchers found, "bariatric surgery, as compared with intensive medical therapy alone, was associated with superior and sustained glycemic control and weight reduction."

Many doctors offer bariatric surgery to their patients as an option for medical weight loss and consider it an effective treatment for obese patients with diabetes. The Cleveland Clinic states, "Studies have shown that bariatric surgery (also known as gastric bypass, or weight-loss surgery) is not only an effective tool for treating obesity, but also for preventing, treating, and even resolving diabetes in some cases."

There seems to be increased confidence in the medical community that bariatric surgery for obese diabetes patients is standing the test of time. Dr. Stacy A. Brethauer says, "We see sustained weight loss, particularly in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients, five to nine years after surgery," reports ACS Surgery News.

The International Diabetes Federation considers diabetes
an urgent global public health issue that must be addressed by "governments, healthcare systems, and the medical community."

In a recent report on diabetes management via bariatric surgery the IDF wrote, "There is increasing evidence that the health of obese people with Type 2 diabetes, including the metabolic control of diabetes and its associated risk factors, can benefit substantially from bariatric surgery – that is, surgical procedures to produce substantial weight loss."

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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The symptoms and risks of diabetes are traditionally managed with a healthy diet, lifestyle changes that include adequate exercise, and prescription medications. However, some doctors say the best treatment for obese patients with diabetes is surgery.
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Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 04:52 PM
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