Gastric bypass surgery helps cure diabetes - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Gastric bypass surgery helps cure diabetes

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UNDATED (WJRT) - (07/11/14) - Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese, and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis.

A popular surgery to lose weight is curing people with diabetes.

For years, we've heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes, but 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.    

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

Nothing worked - until Feree tried gastric bypass surgery.    

"By losing the weight, the patient's insulin resistance decreases and this results in a very rapid improvement in their blood sugar," said philip schauer, MD, Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Cleveland Clinic.

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," he said.
Arecent 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.    

Feree said goodbye completely to insulin and his other meds.  

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

A recent study 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.
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