Diabetes and Weight-Loss Surgery

We have known for many years that diabetes and obesity run a similar tract, healthcare professionals are now coming to understand the increased risk involving obesity and the direct effect it has to the cause of diabetes. As a result of this strong connection, many healthcare professionals have even begun grouping the conditions together, using the term "diabesity." Healthcare professionals are also beginning to understand that considerable weight loss can improve or completely eliminate diabetes in many obese patients. Diet and exercise is often very difficult for those suffering from diabetes and obesity, doctors and health professionals have also begun studying the effects of weight-loss surgery options such as LAP-BAND on these conditions. While LAP-BAND helps patients lose more weight over the long term than traditional diet and exercise programs, the LAP-BAND's success in treating diabetes has become one of the most popular procedures this year.

A two-year study by the Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2008 was able to determine that not only does weight loss aid in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but the LAP-BAND procedure is remarkably more effective than non-surgical weight-loss procedures in treating the disease. The two-year trial included 60 individuals recently diagnosed with type II diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) between 30-40. 50% of the group received the LAP-BAND, while the other half was given a specific structured diet plan to follow, they increased exercise and other lifestyle choices. While 4 of 30 of the traditional diet and exercise patients were able to effectively treat their type 2 diabetes after two years, an astonishing 22 of the 30 of those receiving the LAP-BAND procedure saw their diabetes completely eliminated.

LAP-BAND patients also succeeded in losing far more weight over the two-year trial period than those using non-surgical methods. The non-surgical group lost on average only 1.7% of their total body weight. The participants that received the LAP-BAND lost on average 20.7% of their total body weight after two years, an amount over 10 times greater than the non-surgical group. LAP-BAND recipients succeeded in losing 62.5% of their excess body weight after only two years, versus only 4.3% with traditional dieting methods.

Based on the results, researchers concluded that the "degree of weight loss, not the method, appears to be the major driver of glycemic improvement and diabetes remission in obese participants." In other words, the more body weight that is lost, the greater the chance diabetes will go into remission. The study also points out that "few participants achieved remission with a body weight loss of less than 10 percent, a level expected to produce important health benefits." While any amount of weight loss for an obese individual can be healthy, it is now more evident that weight loss can resolve diabetes and other obesity-related ailments such as sleep apnea or high blood pressure.

Substantial weight loss is often very difficult to achieve for obese and diabetic individuals, regardless of lifestyle. Weight-loss surgery options such as the LAP-BAND may be the best treatment for many people that have tried, but failed to lose substantial amounts of weight. There is "strong evidence to support the early consideration of surgically-induced loss of weight in the treatment of obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Despite the numerous benefits of substantial weight loss and the success of LAP-BAND in recent studies, it is important to remember that weight-loss surgery is designed for those unable to lose weight from healthy eating and exercise. Ask your doctor about the options for weight loss and diabetes treatment. If you feel like you are a good candidate for weight-loss surgery, make an appointment with an experienced weight-loss surgeon and find out how LAP-BAND can improve your own weight loss, diabetes and overall life.