May 30, 2023


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Bariatric Surgery Can Help You Come Off Insulin Long Term

One of the cardinal consequences or associations of obesity is type 2 diabetes Mellitus. These results from a decrease in sensitivity of body cells to the effects of insulin – referred to as increased resistance of body cells to insulin. Over time, it leads to a decrease in insulin production by the cells of the pancreas.

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic condition, characterized by a high blood glucose level. It is due to an absolute or relative insulin deficiency and is associated with defects of carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Diabetes Mellitus is a progressive disease with long term complications. Management modalities include lifestyle modifications, dieting, oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin.

It has been found out that diabetic individuals who were overweight or obese and had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss were also noticed, in addition to achieving weight loss, had better blood glucose control and with time and did not require insulin to manage their condition anymore. Many were even observed to have gone into remission.

It is a surgical procedure which makes use of bariatric techniques such as ileal interposition and transit bipartition. These methods are very effective in achieving rapid weight loss in obese individuals and help to improve other metabolic conditions such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia. These benefits have led to it being referred to as metabolic surgery, diabetes surgery or weight loss surgery.

The effect in modifying metabolic conditions while achieving weight loss is very beneficial in helping diabetic individuals who were overweight come off insulin and achieve remission in the long term. Some research studies have reported as high as 80% of obese diabetics who underwent Bariatric achieved remission over a decade. The exact mechanism to explain this phenomenon has not exactly been identified; however, many explanations exist as to how this occurs. Some of these include

• Effect of this surgery on hormones produced in the gut. Bariatric surgery affects the level of certain gut hormones. These play a role in increasing insulin secretion, increasing sensitivity of body cells to insulin and increasing satiety with smaller meals thus decreasing caloric intake.

• Achievement of rapid weight loss leads to a decrease in resistance and increased sensitivity of body cells to the effects of insulin which drives glucose into cells.

These help diabetic individuals to better regulate their blood glucose levels and in the long run, decrease dependence on insulin and eventual weaning off insulin in the long term. This can lead to clinical remission of the disease.

This effect of helping diabetics come off insulin over the long term makes bariatric surgery an effective treatment option for obese individuals who are also diabetic. It is advisable to contact your physician today to know whether or not you meet the criteria for this surgery and which of the options best suits you.