Friday, April 15, 2011

Weight Loss Could Help Ward Off Diabetes!

Insulin resistance sometimes combined with absolute insulin deficiency cause Type-2 diabetes to develop. Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells cannot use insulin properly. Type-1 and gestational diabetes are the other two main types of diabetes.

Of the many risk factors identified for Type-2 diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are somewhat associated with weight gain. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history and genetics, and increased age can also raise the likelihood of getting Type-2 diabetes.

A study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that Type-2 diabetes could possibly be reversed if obese diabetics go for a weight-loss surgery. Their findings published on August 16, 2010 in the medical journal, ‘Archives of Surgery’ indicated that 75 percent of obese diabetics who had undergone weight-loss surgery (bariatric surgery) could actually stop taking diabetes medications within 6 months of their operation.

Researchers carried out one of the few studies examining how surgery can affect health cost in Type-2 diabetics by analyzing insurance claims data from 2,235 patients who underwent bariatric surgery during a 4-year period.

The results showed that among the diabetic patients who had bariatric surgery, only one quarter were still taking diabetes drugs 6 months later. In fact, the number kept falling: 12 months after the surgery, less than 20 percent of patients were taking medications and 24 months after surgery, only 15 percent were still been prescribed with medications.

It has long been known that diabetes and obesity can rarely be reversed once they are developed. This is definitely good news for obese Type-2 diabetics since the need for chronic medications can be eliminated and the overall medical cost could be reduced too. More importantly, this can greatly reduce the risk of developing heart considering the fact that diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease.

Nevertheless, it seems that bariatric surgery would be the only solution that most of the obese diabetics can opt for in order to substantially reverse both obesity and Type-2 diabetes, at least for the time being until experts can find a successful non-surgical methods.

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