A new study has found that weigh-loss surgery does not help all diabetes patients keep their blood sugar levels in check and save money spent on meds.
• Which diabetes patients might benefit from weigh-loss surgery and which might not.
• Pros and cons of weigh-loss surgery.
• A summary of type 2 diabetes and the dangers it poses.
A team of researchers from Sweden say that while healthcare costs don’t rise in the years after the weight-loss surgery, this is only because type 2 diabetes patients with high blood sugar levels required less healthcare and meds after the surgery.
However, type 2 diabetes patients who only have slightly elevated blood sugar levels will actually require higher healthcare costs after the surgery.
While previous studies have shown that weight-loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) can lower the blood sugar levels of diabetes patients to the point where they are practically free of the disease, health experts typically only recommend the procedure to those patients who are severely obese.
Martin Neovius, study co-author and field expert from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, gave a statement in an email saying that “Greater weight should be given to preoperative blood sugar status to help identify the patients who have the most benefit from bariatric surgery”.
He went on to add that researchers have previously shown that “this makes sense from a health outcomes perspective, and now we show that it makes sense also from an economic perspective”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) informs that 1.9 billion adults across the planet are either obese or overweight. Being in poor physical condition makes people vulnerable to developing heart disease, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and joint disorders.
The World Health Organization also informs that about one (1) in nine (9) adults are diagnosed with diabetes. Most of them have type 2 diabetes, meaning that their bodies can’t make enough or can’t properly use a hormone commonly known as insulin. This in turn keeps their bodies from converting blood sugar into energy.
If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to several complications such as heart disease, strokes, amputations, nerve damage, and even blindness.
Many severely obese type 2 diabetes patients find it impossible to lose a significant amount of weight all on their own, so they turn to bariatric surgery for help. Some health experts have theorized that severely obese individuals have such a hard time getting in shape using healthy diets, physical exercise program and meds due to the fact that their bodies are already used to being fat.
But bariatric surgery may end up helping, or move people from one problem to another as the procedure has a risk of malnutrition attached to it.
This is precisely why the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommend that only adults that have a body mass index (BDI) higher than 40 should be instructed to get bariatric surgery. However, if the individual also suffers from type 2 diabetes, they may be considered for the procedure even if they only have a body mass index of 35.
The findings were published just last week, on September 16, 2015, in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
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