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Weight Loss Surgery and Type 2 Diabetes

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Are you looking into weight loss surgery to help manage your type 2 diabetes?

These operations, also called "metabolic and bariatric" surgery, can make a big difference.

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For some people, blood sugar levels get back to normal fast -- sometimes days after surgery. That could mean you need less medication or none at all.

Research shows improvements in type 2 diabetes after weight loss surgery. One long-term study tracked 400 people with type 2 diabetes. Six years after bariatric surgery, 62% showed no signs of diabetes. They also had better blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

In comparison, only 6% to 8% of people who took medicine, but didn’t have surgery, showed similar results.

Surgery may not be right for you. It's a big commitment that lasts long after the operation is over.

Find out about the different operations, who they're for, and the pros and cons.

Are You a Candidate?

Before you get serious about having surgery, your doctor will consider two things:  

  1. Is your BMI 35 or higher?
  2. Have you tried to lose weight and keep it off without success?

If so, he will give you a thorough checkup and ask you questions to see if you are physically and mentally ready for the operation and the major changes you'll need to make.

For example, you'll need to eat a lot less and make a healthy diet and exercise part of your life forever.

Depending on your particular case, other doctors may also need to get involved. For instance, if you have heart disease, your cardiologist would also need to approve you getting bariatric surgery.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are different kinds of operations. Some help you lose weight by shrinking the size of your stomach so you feel full after small meals. Others help with weight loss by changing the way your body absorbs calories, nutrients, and vitamins. Still other surgeries do both.

Bariatric surgeries include:

1. Gastric bypass (also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass)

The surgeon makes a small stomach pouch by dividing the top of the stomach from the rest of it. When you eat, food goes to the small pouch and bypasses the top of the small intestine. The result: You get full faster and absorb fewer calories and nutrients.

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One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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