Type 2 Two for One: The Next Diabetes Breakthrough

Some amazing findings have come out regarding diabetes. The New England Journal of Medicine has just recently published a study finding that diabetics who have gastric bypass surgery experience an added effect.

It is a change that happens almost in the blink of an eye. Patients go in to get gastric bypass to lose weight, but for type 2 diabetics, the surgery does more than help with weight loss. Within 90 minutes, the surgery completely wipes out the disease.

"I'll take a patient. They're on 50 units of insulin, and they go home off insulin," said Dr. Lloyd Stegemann, a metabolic and bariatric surgeon. "I mean, it happens that quickly."

It is not clear yet what causes the diabetes to vanish. Doctors know it is not the weight loss, because that can take time. Stegemann, who has been a bariatric surgeon for 10 years, believes it has to do with food bypassing the small intestine.

"There's something about food touching this area that increases the risk of diabetes," Stegemann said. "It's hard for people who are diabetic to understand that one day, you come in and you're on medicine, and the next day, you're off medicine; but it literally happens that fast."

Just a few years ago, a woman named America Mizes weighed just over 300 pounds. She was a size 22. Having gastric bypass helped her lose 189 pounds.

"I've made the best choice of my life. I really have," Mizes said. "It wasn't that I wasn't trying to exercise. It's just that I had become so sick even trying."

Mizes had fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, on top of being overweight. She was also a type-two diabetic. When she went in for gastric bypass to shed the excess weight, she came out losing more than just the pounds.

"Immediately after the surgery, I didn't need any medication," Mizes said. "I immediately felt the effect."

But as with any surgery, it is not for everybody. Different bariatric procedures will have different complications, "like leaks, and bleeds, and wound infections," Stegemann said.

Stegemann said those complications are not common, but you should do your research first. As for Mizes, it was the right choice for her, and she said her life has just begun.

As far as cost, bariatric surgery costs $15,000 on average. Stegemann said Medicare and Medicaid both cover the procedure, and most insurance companies will pay for it. Just check with your provider first.


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