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Weight loss surgery may prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus.

November 06, 2014

Steven Hurel

Dr Steven Hurel, consultant diabetologist at The Physicians' Clinic discusses a recent study about potential benefits of weight loss surgery.

A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal and cited by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29847059) has examined the effect of Bariatric surgery in the UK on the development of diabetes.  It is already known that Bariatric surgery in up to 78% of selected obese patients with diabetes can lead to reversal of diabetes, at least for a period of time, and that Bariatric surgery can be more effective than lifestyle measures.  However this new study looked at patients who were obese but had not yet developed diabetes.  Whilst this was a highly selected group of patients and collecting entirely accurate data in over 4000 patients was not easy, the authors found that surgery was associated with a significant reduction of 80% in the development of diabetes over the next 7 years.

This then confirms that Bariatric surgery may be able to prevent as well as reverse Type 2 diabetes in some patients.  For many patients the best way to manage their health may still be through lifestyle, looking at dietary habits and exercise and drug therapy to help manage weight.  There have been new developments in this area over the last few years and the drugs now available are much more effective than previously.  Patients should therefore possibly think about Bariatrics and discuss this and other options with their diabetes physician.

For more information, please contact one of our diabetes and endocrinology team via info@thephysiciansclinic.co.uk

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