diabetes-doctor-and-patientManaging type 2 diabetes can be difficult, and usually includes a regimen of insulin and dietary restriction to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, according to a new study called Stampede, conducted by Cleveland Clinic researchers and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, weight loss surgery can effectively eliminate the need for diabetes medications, including insulin, just three years post-op.
 

While weight loss surgeons, including our team here at WeightWise, have observed a strong link between long-term management of type-2 diabetes and weight loss surgery, conclusive findings have remained elusive – until now.

Findings

The study included 150 obese individuals who had poorly controlled their diabetes for eight years or more. Researchers compared two types of weight loss surgeries against losses earned through diet, exercise, and nutritional counseling, as well as additional diabetes medications that encourage weight loss, including Victoza and Novo Nordisk. Participants were already taking three or more diabetes drugs and three heart medicines, as well.

Findings from the study indicate that 37.5 percent of patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery and one quarter of those who chose a sleeve gastrectomy procedure were able to achieve blood sugar levels at below the target set by the American Diabetes Association.

In addition, these participants no longer required diabetes medications. Patients in the medical therapy group were able to reduce their A1c blood sugar levels down to 6 percent or below, based upon ADA recommendations of A1c levels of 7 or less. However, after three years, 55 percent of the medical therapy patients were using insulin, compared with only 5 to 10 percent of the surgery patients.

What It All Means

Findings of this kind, indicating a reversal of diabetes, are unprecedented and give hope to patients who previously had fewer options. With one third of Americans considered obese and obesity contributing dramatic numbers to the spread of type-2 diabetes, statistics like those from Stampede have the power to change the way the medical industry views weight loss surgery and dramatically improve the outlook for patients coping with both type-2 diabetes and obesity.

In addition, because type-2 diabetes can cause further co-morbid complications, some patients may place an even higher value on this life-changing procedure. Heart disease, kidney disease, and vascular issues – all associated with chronic type-2 diabetes- can result in amputations or blindness and severely threaten patient quality of life. Stampede’s findings indicate that obese individuals can avoid these side effects and their associated diseases entirely.

If you are considering weight loss surgery, evidence from the Stampede study provides further motivation to take control of your health. Sign up for our free seminar to learn more about how bariatric surgery can transform your life!