Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Surgery Reverses Type 2 Diabetes in Teens

Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Surgery May Halt Diabetes in Obese Youths
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 29, 2008 -- A popular type of weight loss surgery among adults may reverse the course of type 2 diabetes in extremely obese adolescents.

A small new study shows Roux-en-Y gastric bypass weight loss surgery halted the use of medications for type 2 diabetes in 10 out of 11 obese adolescents treated with the procedure. And the surgery reduced their risk factors for heart disease.

"Although the long-term efficacy of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is not known, these findings suggest that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is an effective treatment option for the treatment of extremely obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes," write researcher Thomas H. Inge, MD, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and colleagues in Pediatrics.

Researchers say type 2 diabetes has traditionally been considered an adult disease. But with the rise of childhood obesity, the rate of type 2 diabetes among children has increased more than tenfold in the last two decades, from 3% to nearly half of all new pediatric diabetes cases.

Weight Loss Surgery for Diabetes

Previous studies have shown that weight loss surgery can prompt the remission of type 2 diabetes in adults, but this is the first to show that the treatment may have the same effect in adolescents.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common form of weight loss surgery.

In the study, researchers examined the effects of the gastric bypass surgery on 11 extremely obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes and numerous heart disease risk factors.

A year after the weight loss surgery, researchers found evidence of remission of type 2 diabetes in all but one of the patients.

Specifically, the average BMI (body mass index, a measure of obesity) was reduced by 34% and fasting blood glucose and insulin concentrations decreased by 41% and 81%, respectively. Improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two major risk factors for heart disease, were also found.

In comparison, a group of 67 similarly obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes who were treated medically without surgery for one year did not lose weight and did not experience any beneficial drop in blood pressure or need for diabetes medication.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

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

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article