Weight loss surgery for diabetes

Dr Mark Porter / 28 November 2016

Dr Mark Porter on the benefits of weight loss surgery for diabetes.

Q: I’ve read that weight-loss surgery can cure some people with diabetes. Is this simply due to the weight loss?

A: Being overweight is the main cause of Type 2 diabetes. The combination of sheer bulk and metabolic changes induced by fat stores (especially around the midriff) means the body can’t maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Losing weight can restore that equilibrium and there is a good chance that an obese person with Type 2 diabetes can be cured (around half of those who have weight-loss surgery will be) if they reach a healthier weight.

But it can take months to lose weight and we often see instant benefits after the operation, suggesting the surgery itself helps – perhaps through calorie restriction and because food no longer lingers in the stomach.

Weight loss through diet alone can achieve similar results but not as rapidly or as predictably. 

Read more about the health risks of being overweight or obese

This article was first published in the November 2016 issue of Saga Magazine.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.