Surgery for weight loss: A standard treatment for type 2 diabetes?
Gastric bypass procedure should be used more often, experts say
Weight-loss surgery not only leads to dramatic weight loss, it also reverses type 2 diabetes in most people who undergo these stomach-shrinking procedures. In fact, international diabetes organizations now say that surgery for weight loss should become a more routine treatment option for people with type 2 diabetes—even those who are only mildly obese.
Many of the estimated 29 million Americans with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Marked by high levels of sugar in the blood, type 2 diabetes boosts the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, eye and nerve complications, and other serious health problems.
Currently, weight-loss surgery is considered appropriate for two groups of people: those with extreme obesity (a body mass index, or BMI, of 40 or higher; see www.health.harvard.edu/bmi for a calculator) or those only with moderate obesity (BMI of 35 or higher) who also have an obesity-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.
But even people with mild obesity (a BMI between 30 and 35) who have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels should be considered candidates for weight-loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery). That's according to a joint statement endorsed by 45 international diabetes organizations, published in the June 2016 issue of Diabetes Care.
Weight-loss surgeries: What are they?
The two most common weight-loss procedures are the gastric bypass procedure and the gastric sleeve. Most are done through several small belly incisions.
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