Results from two new studies were published in The Herald today proving that weight-loss surgery can reverse and possibly cure diabetes. In one of the studies, 150 people were given either a gastric bypass surgery or a sleeve gastrectomy (another type of surgery to reduce the size of the stomach). Results showed that blood sugar control was achieved even 12 months after surgery and the use of drugs to lower blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid levels were significantly reduced. The second study found that out of 60 people who had one of two weight-loss surgeries, 95% and 75% of the two surgery groups achieved and maintained the desired blood sugar levels without any use of drugs even after two years.
Although the results from these studies are amazing and I’m sure will have a huge effect on diabetes treatment in the future, does surgery really compare to the reversal of diabetes from good nutrition and daily physical activity??? Or is that simply put into the “too hard” basket?
For a lot of people, surgery is just not an option. Along with certain criteria that has to be met before any type of weight-loss surgery is even considered (such as BMI, age and psychological health to name a few) the COST of such surgery puts this “cure” for diabetes and weight-loss far out of reach for many people.
I know that there are some people out there that will swear by these surgeries. I do not doubt that they result in weight-loss and reverse diabetes and ultimately change lives. For a lot of patients however, this is just a QUICK FIX and TEMPORARY SOLUTION.
We must remember that the stomach is a muscle and is only the size of our fist. It has the amazing ability to stretch and expand according to the amount of food we put in, just like it has the ability to shrink when portion sizes are decreased. Many patients that get gastric bypass or band surgeries have disordered eating behaviours and tend to “overeat” past the feeling of fullness. If these behavioural patterns are not changed, a new and surgically resized stomach CAN AND WILL RE-STRETCH, and ultimately the patient will regain weight. It is important to know that these types of surgery will not change the state of mind.
In my personal opinion, nothing compares to good nutrition and regular physical activity. There is so much more to gain (except weight!) such as an increase in fitness, energy, muscle, and most importantly an increase in the quality and longevity of life!!