Bariatric Surgery: Weight Loss technique could help to CONTROL potentially deadly diabetes


Dr John Wentworth, researcher said: “We had people who were feeling better, moving better and who were happier because of the surgery.

“Their diabetes was better controlled and they needed fewer diabetic medications to control their blood sugar levels.”

He said few experienced negative side effects from the surgery and the improvement in quality of life made it cost effective.

He urged guidelines should be revised so it can be offered to those currently not eligible for the surgery.

The NHS offers the procedure to patients with potentially life-threatening obesity, including those with a BMI of over 40, or with a BMI over 35 with a serious health condition such as type 2 or high blood pressure.Adults recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may also be considered for an assessment for weight loss surgery if they have a BMI of 30 to 34.9.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly and can be linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight.

Figures suggest nine in ten people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese and require medication to control blood glucose levels.

Diabetes: Symptoms of the condition include increased thirst

Diabetes: Symptoms of the condition include increased thirst

However, there is a waiting list for gastric band surgery on the NHS and it can cost between £5,000 to £8,000 to have it done privately.It costs more than £10billion a year to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from Monash’s Centre for Obesity Research and Education randomly assigned 22 to receive gastric banding combined with medical care, and 23 who received medical care alone.

Both groups received help with lifestyle factors such as exercise and healthy eating.

It found the average weight loss of 12.2 per cent of body weight in the gastric band group compared with 1.8 per cent in the other group.

Diabetes: Diabetes costs the NHS more than £10 billion a year

Diabetes: Diabetes costs the NHS more than £10 billion a year

Almost a quarter of the gastric band group showed diabetes remission at five years, compared to nine per cent of the medical care-only group.Dr Wentworth added the results provided “reasonably strong evidence” that gastric banding, as a safe and effective weight loss operation, was an acceptable alternative for people who wanted it.

He said: “It’s an important point because lap banding is criticised by some people saying it is far too drastic to be used as a diabetes treatment and that it doesn’t work in the longer term.

“I think it’s a matter of just looking at the best ways of managing diabetes and preventing diabetes complications.

“We’re interested in making life easier for these people and reducing the risk of the main complications, mainly heart attack, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

“Although we’d be delighted if people could lose over 10 per cent of their weight through lifestyle modification, the reality is that the vast majority of people can’t manage that.”

The study was published in Diabetes Care.


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