Weight-Loss Surgery: A Cure for Diabetes?
Reported December 15, 2008
TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Cheryl Bishop’s weight has been a life long battle. Gastric bypass surgery helps thousands lose weight, but it may also be a cure for type 2 diabetes. The drastic weight loss approach means some diabetics never need insulin again.
“I was always the chunky kid and it just got progressively worse and worse and worse until it was out of control,” Cheryl Bishop recalled to Ivanhoe.
At 44, she weighed 350 pounds and struggled with type 2 diabetes.
“It was horrible,” she said. “It got to the point where I knew I had to have the surgery or I wasn’t going to live.”
Bishop had bariatric surgery. Surgeons sectioned off a small pouch of her stomach and attached it to her intestine. The goal is weight loss, but surgeons like Michel M. Murr, M.D., director of bariatric surgery at Tampa General Hospital in Fla., discovered another dramatic effect: Bishop’s type 2 diabetes disappeared. Studies show up to 90 percent of diabetics go into remission after bariatric surgery.
“There’s a function of the stomach that we don’t understand very well, but as soon as we divert food away from it, the diabetics control their blood sugar much, much easier,” Dr. Murr explained to Ivanhoe.
“I went from taking 100 units of insulin three times a day with blood sugar still 200, 300 plus within a week after surgery, probably none,” Bishop said.
Right now bariatric surgery is only for the extremely obese, but doctors believe it could be the key to reversing type 2 diabetes, regardless of a person’s weight.
One-hundred-thirty pounds lighter, Bishop is enjoying her new life one that’s healthier and diabetes free.
“It’s gone,” Bishop said. “The diabetes is gone.”
Almost 18 million Americans are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and roughly six million others have it, but don’t know. Researchers in Brazil are studying whether bariatric surgery is safe and effective for type two diabetics who are not severely overweight.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Tampa General Hospital
Ellen Fiss, Public Relations Manager