Bariatric Solution for Curing Diabetes and Obesity - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

Bariatric Solution for Curing Diabetes and Obesity

Dr.M.G. Bhat profile Authored by Dr.M.G. Bhat on 15 Oct 2014 - 13:17.

Forty three-year-old S. Nair had been obese and diabetic for 15 years. His disease was uncontrollable and had turned him blind. Just when he had given up all hope, doctors suggested bariatric surgery to cure the condition. Just 12 days after the procedure, his insulin was back to normal and he was taken off, all medication for diabetes.

The twin epidemics - type 2 diabetes and obesity - are emerging as a big public health challenge for India. There are over 65 million diabetes patients in the country, with another 30 million or so in the pre-diabetes group. Obesity has also reached alarming proportions with morbid obesity affecting 5% of India’s population. Indians have been shown to be genetically susceptible to gaining weight, especially around the waist.

Both the conditions feed on each other and are a result of the modern, sedentary lifestyle, fuelled by a high-fat, energy-rich diet which can lead to increased  risk of premature death. Serious health conditions may arise, reducing the overall quality of life. Diabetes can cause serious problems like heart disease, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and amputation. Obesity is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, respiratory problems and certain types of cancer.

Treatment Solutions for Obesity:

For obese people who have an imbalance of blood sugar levels, bariatric surgery offers a new ray of hope. The procedure is designed to make patients lose weight by making changes to their digestive system so that they eat less, and absorption of nutrients by the body is drastically reduced. It can provide a more effective and long-lasting treatment for diabetes and obesity than the standard therapies of drugs, diet and exercise.

Gastric Sleeve Resection is the most popular type of bariatric surgery because it generally has fewer complications than other weight loss surgeries. In this, the size of the stomach is made smaller. As a result, the person feels full after eating much smaller quantities of food, leading to weight loss. Bariatric surgery is performed by laparoscopy or keyhole surgery.

The other procedure for weight loss is the gastric bypass. In this the stomach is not only made smaller but also bypassed. The person eats less and the eaten food is less absorbed. With advances in science, it is today considered one of the safest medical procedures of the abdomen. The patient is usually discharged 24 hours after surgery.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the US Government has recognized bariatric surgery as the only effective treatment to combat severe obesity and maintain weight loss in the long term. It is recommended if the body mass index (BMI) is 36 or higher, or if it is more than 32 with uncontrolled diabetes.

Bariatric surgery results in significant weight loss (up to 97% of the excess weight) that can be sustained over years. Only 10% of the patients gain excess weight after bariatric surgery compared to 98% who reduce weight through diet and exercise.

Research reveals that bariatric surgery can also keep diabetes at bay for many years and even reverse some of the health complications. The improvement in diabetes control is usually long lasting, with normal insulin levels returning within days of the surgery, long before any significant weight loss takes place. Many medical experts are now recommending bariatric surgery as an early treatment option for people with uncontrolled diabetes.

Advantages of Bariatric Surgery:

  • Improve or reverse Diabetes and lower cardiovascular risk factors : A study by Cleveland Clinic published in September 2013 in the journal, Annals of Surgery, showed beneficial long-term effects of bariatric surgery for people with diabetes. It discovered that obese patients with type 2 diabetes continue to experience the benefits of bariatric surgery up to nine years after the procedure. During this period, they continued to improve or reverse their diabetes, as well as lower their cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Long-term Diabetes remission: The researchers identified long-term weight loss and a short duration of diabetes before surgery as among the main factors that resulted in higher rate of long-term diabetes remission. They concluded that bariatric surgery can offer durable remission of diabetes in some patients and should be considered as an earlier treatment option for patients having problems in controlling their diabetes.
  • Sugar control and weight loss: Surgical cure of obesity and diabetes is now in the realm of reality. Thousands of patients have benefited by drastically reducing weight and naturally controlling their blood sugar levels through bariatric surgery.
  • Reimbursements for Bariatric Surgery: It is heartening to know that the Government of India has recognized Bariatric Surgery and passed an order in November 2013, accepting reimbursements for Bariatric Surgery. Hopefully, in due course, health insurance will also cover Bariatric Surgery.
*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.