November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time when the world unites to shed light on the global diabetes epidemic. Over 463 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, and this number is projected to reach 700 million by 2045.
Here at Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery in Snellville, Georgia, Dr. Aliu O. Sanni and our team understand that diabetes is a complex and chronic condition that can affect every aspect of your life — but there’s hope.
Recent medical advances have shown that weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, can significantly affect diabetes management and, in some cases, even lead to its reversal.
The diabetes-obesity connection
The relationship between obesity and Type 2 diabetes is compelling. Excess body fat, especially around the abdomen, contributes to insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing diabetes.
This is why managing your weight is an essential aspect of diabetes prevention and control.
In many cases, lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, are effective in managing blood sugar levels. But for those with severe obesity, these methods may not be enough.
How weight loss surgery works
Weight loss surgery is a series of procedures designed to help individuals with severe obesity lose weight by altering the digestive process.
Though there are several types of bariatric surgery, the two most common are gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. Both procedures restrict the amount of food you can eat and reduce nutrient absorption, resulting in weight loss.
While weight loss surgery primarily aims to address obesity, it can have a profound impact on diabetes management.
Many patients with Type 2 diabetes experience significant improvements in their blood sugar control after surgery. Some even achieve remission, which means they no longer require medication to manage their diabetes.
Benefits of weight loss surgery on diabetes
Bariatric surgery can have a profound effect on your body and diabetes in several ways, including:
Rapid weight loss
Weight loss surgery can lead to significant weight loss within the first year, which directly improves insulin sensitivity. This quick weight reduction can lead to a remarkable drop in your blood sugar levels.
Improved insulin sensitivity
Weight loss surgery can enhance your body's ability to use insulin effectively. This means that the insulin produced by the body or administered through medication works more efficiently in regulating blood sugar levels.
Reduced medication dependency
Many patients who undergo bariatric surgery find themselves needing fewer or no diabetes medications. This not only lowers your health care costs but also reduces the risk of medication-related side effects.
Enhanced quality of life
Weight loss surgery can improve your overall health and well-being. If you have diabetes, it reduces your risk of diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and neuropathy.
Potential for diabetes remission
Some patients experience complete diabetes remission, meaning they maintain healthy blood sugar levels without medication. But not all patients achieve this level of success.
Is weight loss surgery right for you?
Weight loss surgery isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, and it may not be the best choice for everyone with diabetes. We typically recommend it if you have severe obesity (usually a body mass index of 35 or higher) and have been unable to achieve meaningful weight loss through other methods.
Before considering weight loss surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanni. He can assess your individual circumstances and discuss the risks and benefits. He’ll help you determine if this is a viable option for you.
Weight loss surgery isn’t a quick fix. It requires a significant commitment to lifestyle changes and ongoing medical monitoring.
If you’re living with diabetes, weight loss surgery may be a life-changing solution for you. Book a consultation to explore your options. Call our friendly staff at 201-565-0876 or contact us online to request an appointment.