While bariatric surgeries have been typically associated with treating obesity, it is now recognized that the same procedures are resolving diabetes, hypertension, and other co-morbid conditions
associated with obesity. Dr. Faruq M. Badiuddin, General, Laparoscopic, and Bariatric Surgeon explains more…
Bariatric surgeries, explains Dr. Badiuddin, refers to surgical procedures on the gastrointestinal tract designed to promote weight loss in the obese. More recently, they are starting to refer to this group of surgeries as “Metabolic Surgery” and redefine them as “a set of gastrointestinal operations used with the intent to treat diabetes and metabolic dysfunctions.”
Dr. Badiuddin points out that 95 percent of diabetics are either overweight or obese. “Having said that, there are ‘lean’ diabetics and ‘healthy’ obese,” he says. “The risk of diabetes and heart disease associated with obesity directly correlates with the proportion of ‘visceral fat’, which is found in the abdomen.” So, one’s overall weight may be normal, but if the visceral fat content is in higher proportion, then that person is at a higher risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease than the one who may be overtly “obese”, but has a lower proportion of visceral fat. This is true especially in people from the Indian subcontinent, where the incidence of diabetes is one of the highest in the world.
It’s quite surprising, tells Dr. Badiuddin, how quickly the high blood sugar in diabetics normalizes after a bariatric/metabolic surgery. He explains, “This happens even before there is any significant weight loss and scientific studies have confirmed that the correction of diabetes is independent of the weight loss. This occurs due the changes in the gut hormones such as insulin, ghrelin, glucagon like peptide, PYY, and so on, which regulate glucose metabolism.”
Top Tips to Help Individuals Suffering from Diabetes Type 2 or those at High Risk Due to Family History:
- Eat a protein rich, high fiber, low carb diet.
- Stay away from soft drinks and foods with a high glycemic index.
- Be aware of the nature and content of the foods that you are consuming. Healthy foods need not be expensive, if chosen and prepared creatively.
- Exercise is not an option; at least 120 to 150 minutes of active exercise is mandatory for the effective management of diabetes.
- Very importantly-be consistent, whether it’s with diet, medication, or exercise. Many people live in denial of their disease. Starting treatment or seeking surgery early in the disease has the best outcome in terms of preventing the complications of diabetes. High vigilance is essential to fight diabetes.