Bariatric Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, it can be challenging to navigate weight loss or live a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there is a solution you may want to consider: bariatric surgery.

At ProCare Health, we realize it can be challenging to make a lifestyle change as significant as weight loss surgery. However, we know the results are worth it, which is why we provide you with the products and resources to help you feel healthier than ever before.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition where sugar, or glucose, builds in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin moves the glucose from your blood into your cells so that it can store energy.

As one of the most common forms of diabetes, type 2 diabetes makes up approximately 95% of all cases. It is a condition that affects how a body metabolizes blood sugar (glucose), an essential source of fuel for your body.

When you have type 2 diabetes, your body is resistant to the effects of insulin, which regulates sugar movement in your cells, or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels.

Instead of moving in your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. As your blood sugar levels increase, insulin-producing cells in the pancreas release more insulin. However, as the cells become impaired, they are unable to produce enough insulin to meet the demands of your body.

How Does Insulin Normally Work?

The hormone insulin is produced in the pancreas, which can be found behind and below the stomach. The pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream, so the insulin can enable sugar to enter your cells.

Additionally, insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. As your blood levels decrease, so do your insulin levels.

How Does Glucose Normally Work?

Glucose, or blood sugar, is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. It can be found in two primary sources: your liver and food.

Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin. When glucose levels are low, the liver turns stored glycogen into glucose, so your glucose levels stay within a normal range.

Type 2 diabetes leads to various health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, amputations, cognitive decline, and cancer.

The Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

Typically found in adults, type 2 diabetes is also common in children. It develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin.

Although the direct causes of type 2 diabetes are unknown, there are specific factors that may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • Weight
  • Insulin resistance
  • Fat distribution
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Family history
  • Race
  • Age

The Risks of Type 2 Diabetes

Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can cause chronically high blood glucose levels, which can lead to serious complications. Other risks of type 2 diabetes may include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Depression
  • Cancer
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Bariatric Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes: How Does It Help?

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may benefit from one of the most effective treatments for people affected by obesity: bariatric surgery.

After bariatric surgery, glycemic control is restored by a combination of enforced caloric restriction, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and increased insulin secretion. It can result in significant weight loss, as well as remission of diabetes in some patients.

The Types of Bariatric Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes

Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve procedure removes approximately 80% of the stomach and causes weight loss. The remaining portion of the stomach is narrow and provides a smaller pouch for food.

Gastric sleeve reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold (restricts), which results in gut hormone changes that suppress hunger and decrease overall appetite.

bariatric surgery for diabetes

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

As one of the most popular weight loss procedures, roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RNY) alters the GI tract to bypass the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.

The Gastric Bypass operation results in significant long-term weight loss, as well as increased energy levels and a decrease in overall food consumption.

Duodenal Switch

As a malabsorptive and restrictive procedure, the duodenal switch (DS) is performed less frequently than other bariatric procedures, including gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, or the adjustable band. The duodenal switch is a complex procedure, which means the risk of complications is greater.

The duodenal switch can induce early or sustained remission of type 2 diabetes and results in greater weight loss than other procedures. It also allows patients to eat “normal meals” and reduces the absorption of fat by 70% or more.

Adjustable Band

The adjustable band is a weight loss procedure that involves an inflatable band, which is placed around the upper part of the stomach and creates a small stomach pouch above the band, as well as the lower portion of the stomach.

The adjustable band operation reduces the amount of food the stomach can hold, which reduces hunger. It also induces excess weight loss, involves no cutting of the stomach, and has the lowest rate of postoperative complications.

The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery for Type 2 Diabetes

While there are risks to bariatric surgery, the long-term risk of type 2 diabetes typically outweighs the surgical risks for most patients. Bariatric surgery can improve health problems associated with diabetes, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduce blood sugar levels to normal levels
  • Increased cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Less medication
  • Diabetes remission
bariatric surgery for diabetes
bariatric surgery for diabetes
bariatric surgery for diabetes

Are You a Candidate for Bariatric Surgery?

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. The following are recommendations from the American Diabetes Association:

  • If you have type 2 diabetes and a BMI of more than 40 kg/m2, even if your diabetes is well-controlled on medications.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 35 to 39.9, and your diabetes is not controlled by medications.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes and a BMI between 30 and 35, and your diabetes is not controlled by medications, especially in the presence of other major cardiovascular disease risk factors.

To discuss your health concerns and to get more information to find out if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, contact your primary care physician or reach out to your local bariatric center. If you don’t know where to begin, The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has resources for finding a trusted provider in your area as well as other information.

ProCare Health Is Here to Help You on your Journey Toward Improved Health

At ProCare Health, we know what a life-changing decision weight loss surgery is and how complicated it can be. Before and after surgery we want to make getting the proper nutrition easy and affordable.  Having the most complete nutrition in as few supplements as possible and removing the unknowns when it comes to knowing what to take is what we do best. We even offer a free sample to help you get started!