New study: Bariatric Surgery More Accomplished For Weight Loss Than Diet

A new research, led by Dr. Anita Courcoulas of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center suggests that people with type 2 diabetes undergoing weight loss surgery are more likely to have improvements in their diabetes three years on than those who just stick with change in lifestyle. “One of the most important things to take away is that there is durability of remission over time.” he says. These results of the study are considered as the “gold standard” of medical research.

About 9% of the U.S. population (about 29 million) are diabetic and as per the reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 30% of them remain undiagnosed.

Previous researches back the view that weight loss surgeries have resulted in improvement for people with type 2 diabetes. Scientists are still waiting to find if surgeries work better than changing lifestyles in treating the condition, as published in the JAMA surgery.

Diabetes type 2 (formerly noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes) is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in the context of insulin resistance and relative lack of insulin. This contrasts with DM type 1, in which there is absolute lack of insulin due to breakdown of islet cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary changes. If not managed, then medications such as Metformin are prescribed.

Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90% of cases of diabetes, with the other 10% due primarily to diabetes mellitus type 1 and gestational diabetes. Obesity is thought to be the primary cause of type 2 DM.

The study involved 61 random participants between an age range of 25 to 55-year-olds with type 2 diabetes and 50% of the participants had class 1 obesity while the rest were heavier than average. The participants had been assigned to receive one of three treatments that were intensive lifestyle intervention for a year for helping them to lose weight with diet, exercise and behavior changes, which had been followed by a lower-intensity lifestyle intervention that involved behavioral counseling a few times a month for 2 consecutive years.

Alternatively, the participants had been assigned one of the two weight loss surgeries, either Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). The surgeries had been followed by the same low-intensity lifestyle intervention the non-surgery group got, for two years.

Following three years, 40% of the RYGB group, 29% in the LAGB group and 0% in the lifestyle intervention group had at least a partial remission of their type 2 diabetes. 3 people from the RYGB group and one person in the LAGB group had their diabetes disappear completely whereas no such thing happened for anyone in the group that altered their lifestyle.

Courcoulas said that it is vital to observe more patients at several medical colleges for an extended period of time in order to reach more concrete conclusions.The data of similar data are being pooled from all over the nation, said Courcoulas.

“We’ll be able to see what the remissions look like at five and seven years. I think that’s the next step in this field.” Courcoulas said.

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