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Weight-loss Surgery Increases Pancreatic Function

| Date Posted: 3/13/2013 | Author: Mandy McCue

Affecting 25.8 million people in the U.S. Type 2 diabetes is becoming an increasingly common disease. Diabetes is a disease in which one has high blood sugar. Diabetes can occur for three different reasons. One, the body does not produce enough insulin. Two, the cells aren’t responding to the insulin, or three, a mix of both. Insulin is a hormone in the body that helps store and use sugar. It is produced by cells in the pancreas called beta-cells.  With the body not being able to handle sugar to fuel the body, patients with diabetes can get very sick without treatment.  diabetes

Recent studies show that weight-loss surgery is more effective in helping cure diabetes compared to medication only based solutions. Striking metabolic changes have been observed in the recent study conducted by Cleveland Clinic researcher Sangeeta Kashyap, M.D. an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute and her colleagues.

The Study

In a sub-study of the STAMPEDE (Surgical Therapy and Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently) trial, researchers evaluated the effects of bariatric surgery and intensive medical therapy on bloods levels, body composition and pancreatic beta-cell function.

There were sixty patients in the study divided into three groups of twenty: patients who received medical therapy for diabetes, patients who received medical therapy for diabetes and gastric bypass surgery, and patients that received medical therapy for diabetes and sleeve gastrectomy. The patients had their metabolic parameters measured at baseline, at 12 and 24 months.

After 24 months, the study showed the group that underwent medical therapy for diabetes and gastric bypass surgery had the greatest increases in pancreatic function. 41 percent of patients who underwent gastric bypass saw their blood sugar return to near normal. Only 10 percent of patients who underwent gastric sleeve and 6 percent who received intensive medical therapy saw the same results.

“The sub-study results extended the findings from our initial 12 month report that showed bariatric surgery can eliminate the need for diabetes medication in many obese patients with uncontrolled diabetes.” Said lead investigator Sangeeta Kashyap, M.D. “Furthermore, we observed that gastric bypass can resurrect a failing pancreas.”

Moreover, researchers saw that patients who underwent gastric bypass saw a greater reduction in belly fat compared to patients who underwent sleeve gastrectomy. Results indicate a correlation between a decrease in belly fat and the ability of the pancreas to start working again. The sub-study results show that gastric bypass is a viable option for the treatment of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes in moderately obese patients.

It is important to keep diabetes under control whether it’s through diet and exercise, medication, or gastric bypass. FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers a Diabetes Self-Management program that offers one-on-one counseling and group classes to help patients understand the disease. To learn more about gastric bypass surgery and other weight-loss surgeries to see if there is a viable option for you, please visit or attend a free weight-loss surgery information session on the first Thursday or the third Wednesday of every month.

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital offers weight-loss treatments and support to patients in the Pinehurst, Raeford, Sanford, Lumberton, Laurinburg, Rockingham, and Troy regions of North Carolina and beyond.

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