In their study, the Cleveland Clinic doctors followed 150 patients with type 2 diabetes for a year, and found those who had undergone one of two types of weight-loss surgeries were much more likely than those on traditional therapies to get their blood sugar levels lowered to an optimal point and reduce their use of diabetes medications.
The Italian study authors pointed out that standard medicinal therapies, while effective, can pose their own set of problems. For one, insulin therapy can cause patients to gain weight, which itself can have a negative impact on diabetes.
To explore the comparative benefit of surgical options, the team focused on 60 diabetic patients who had a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more (BMI is a measurement that takes into account height and weight, and over 30 is considered obese); all had a minimal five-year history of struggling with diabetes.
Undergoing treatment in Rome, the patients were randomly divided into three groups. The first was treated with conventional insulin therapy and a range of other hypoglycemic drugs, alongside what was described as "rigorous" dietary and exercise counseling. The second and third group had one of the two types of bariatric surgery, and were placed on a daily regimen of vitamin and mineral supplementation.
The research team found that all of the surgical patients were able to stop taking all diabetes medications within just 15 days.
What's more, at the two-year mark, three-quarters of those who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery had entered diabetes remission, meaning that for a minimum of one year they had a fasting glucose level under 100 milligrams/deciliter and a hemoglobin A1c count of less than 6.5 percent.
The same was true among 95 percent of the biliopancreatic surgery group. By contrast, none of the patients in the standard treatment group had entered remission.
The team observed that BMI l
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