Weight Loss Surgery and Diabetes

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Story Updated: Jun 6, 2013

lifestyle management… Which treatment works better at controlling diabetes risk factors?

Can weight loss surgery provide a solution to controlling diabetes? Two new studies weigh in this week. The first, from the University of Minnesota, followed 120 mild to moderately obese patients with type 2 diabetes for a full year. Each participant was asked to follow a stringent, medically managed lifestyle program. Half were also randomly selected to have gastric bypass surgery.

The medical group lost between 7 and 8 percent of their total body weight and the surgical group lost around 26 to 27 percent of their weight.

The gastric bypass group also saw substantial improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol readings.

In the second study, researchers in California found limited evidence to support the use of gastric bypass to help control diabetes in obese people. After reviewing more than 50 studies... the data showed bariatric surgery resulted in greater improvements in short-term weight loss, intermediate blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and high cholesterol than nonsurgical interventions such as medications, diet, and behavioral changes.... But long-term data couldn't be tracked to prove the changes are sustainable.

The next step will be to study the topic long term...to see if gastric bypass surgery can help people with diabetes of all sizes...for life.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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