Bariatric surgery may help those with diabetes

Nearly 90-percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese, and as more Americans gain weight, they are more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis.

In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one-in-three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050.

For years, we have heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes.

Now, a new study is showing just how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.

For most of his life, Tim Feree was overweight, tired and just plain frustrated with his health, especially his type-two diabetes.

Tim says, "I would take my blood sugar once or twice a day and take the pills and try to manage my diet."

Nothing worked, until Tim tried gastric bypass surgery.

Doctor Philip Schauer, Director of Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic says, "By losing the weight, the patient's insulin resistance decreases and this results in a very rapid improvement in their blood sugar.”

Dr. Schauer says gastric bypass also has an effect on a patient's hormones, which stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin.

"I have many patients who come to surgery who are on 100 units of insulin per day and before they leave the hospital, they are off all their insulin for the rest of their life," Dr. Schauer says.

A recent study found just five to 10-percent of patients who had bariatric surgery required insulin compared to 55-percent who received standard care. The surgery group also needed less blood pressure and cholesterol meds.

Tim said goodbye completely to insulin and his other meds.

Tim says, "The day of the surgery, I weighed 263 pounds. Today, I weigh about 195… For me the surgery has been miraculous, it really has been."

This is a weight-loss surgery that does much more.
A recent study that appeared in the journal diabetes care found for the first time that bariatric surgery can also improve type-one diabetes - with some patients reducing their insulin intake by more than 60-percent.


TOPIC: Bariatric Surgery for Diabetes
REPORT: #3803

BARIATRIC SURGERY: Bariatric surgery is a collection of surgeries that deal with removing weight from someone's body. One of the most common types of this surgery is gastric bypass, which makes changes to your digestive system in order to help you lose weight. Gastric bypass is typically the preferred bariatric surgery because it brings fewer complications from surgeons and has generated fewer complaints from patients compared to other weight loss surgeries. The first form of bariatric surgery was developed in 1954 which involved anastomosis of the upper and lower intestines. Over the last 50 years, bariatric surgery has changed drastically into a safer, more widely-known treatment for obesity. (Source:,
DIABETES: Diabetes is a disease that stems from high blood sugar levels. When the body gets a significant increase in blood sugar, insulin is released from the pancreas to lower the glucose level and normalize it. An insufficient production of insulin leads to hyperglycemia. Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. It can also lead to hardening of the arteries in the heart which can cause strokes and heart disease. Approximately 26 million Americans have diabetes while an estimated 7 million have diabetes and don't even know it. (Source:
NEW FINDING: Bariatric surgery is now doing more than just helping with weight loss; it's also helping to fight diabetes. New research has found that bariatric surgery not only helps eliminate type 2 diabetes symptoms in the short term but also causes remission for the disease in the long term. The new study tracked 343 patients with type 2 diabetes for two years and showed that 72 percent of those patients that had bariatric surgery were in remission for the disease. As the obesity epidemic grows in the United States, it's important to know that bariatric surgery can help fight both obesity and diabetes at the same time. (Source:

Andrea Pacetti
Media Relations Manager
Cleveland Clinic
Phone: (216) 316-3040
Phone: (216) 444-8168

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

MB #3803
JUL. '14

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