By Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, Medical Director, Sterling Surgicare, Holmdel, NJ
Most people assume the primary reason to have weight loss surgery is to lose weight, right?
Here’s what they’re saying:
“Sure, I’d like to drop the extra weight, but my first priority is to finally get my blood sugar under control so I’m not so tied to insulin injections.”
Who could blame diabetic patients who want to lessen or even eliminate the discomfort, inconvenience and expense of insulin shots along with the 24/7 anxiety that comes with constantly fluctuating blood sugar levels?
Type 2 diabetes and obesity
Here in the U.S., nearly 26 million people have diabetes and two-thirds of them are overweight or obese. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, eye problems and other serious chronic health issues.
A plethora of studies is finding that weight-loss surgery can put some patients' diabetes into remission for years and even forever, in some cases. These patients have BMIs as low as 30, in some cases.
“I didn’t fit the minimum BMI to be approved for weight loss surgery, but my increasingly uncontrolled diabetes was the reason my medical insurer approved me,” a recent patient explained. (Keep in mind, every insurer’s coverage stipulations are different.)
How can bariatric surgery help control blood sugar and diabetes?
Ironically, the exact reasons aren’t entirely clear but, simply stated, the surgery changes hormones in the stomach allowing the body to “reset” its normal way of functioning in the gut. Ultimately, this change can lead to blood sugar levels returning to manageable (and even normal) levels.
Keep in mind, diabetics who have weight loss surgery may no longer require the same volume of insulin but may need to continue other diabetic maintenance medications.
I’m diabetic but not extremely overweight. Where do I start?
If you or a loved one is battling diabetes and finding traditional medications are not achieving successful blood sugar management, consult with our Sterling Surgicare team to determine if a bariatric weight loss solution can help manage your disease so you can focus on family, work and life—not your diabetes.