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Can Gastric Bypass Surgery Improve Diabetes?

Diabetes is an extremely common health condition, estimated to affect 34.2 million Americans. An additional 88 million are estimated to have pre-diabetes, meaning that they are exceptionally close to developing not only type 2 diabetes but also conditions such as heart disease. Diabetes affects how your body turns food into energy, and this can cause your blood sugar levels to be too high. While this may not necessarily sound concerning, it can actually have a detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing.


There are different types of diabetes, but the two that are best known are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is much less common, accounting for around just 8% of cases. It’s known exactly why some people develop type 1, but the biggest difference between it and type 2 is that your lifestyle choices don’t make any difference to your condition. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes, which accounts for most cases, is more likely to occur when patients are overweight or obese, smoke, don’t eat a healthy, balanced diet, and consume too much alcohol.


Since obesity is a common factor in patients who are diagnosed with diabetes, it’s not surprising that many people with the condition are recommended to lose weight as doing so could help to get their symptoms under control and reduce their need for medications. However, you will probably be surprised to learn that gastric bypass surgery can actually help to improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, even before the patient has lost any weight.


How Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Improve Diabetes?


When a patient has a gastric bypass, their small intestine automatically starts to produce a molecule called GLUT-1 that helps the body to use glucose more efficiently. This is believed to happen because the intestine has to work harder to move the food through the intestinal tract and absorb nutrients.


Gastric bypass surgery can also:


  • Make you feel fuller more quickly, which helps you to eat less and will help you to lose weight

  • Change how the hormones in your stomach work, which affects how your body makes insulin

  • Increase the number of bile acids that your body makes, which makes your body more sensitive to insulin


What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?


Gastric bypass surgery is just one type of bariatric surgery which aims to help patients to lose weight more easily than through conventional diet and exercise alone. In a gastric bypass, the digestive system is re-routed to bypass most of the stomach, except for a small pouch at the top. This smaller stomach causes you to feel fuller after significantly less food, as well as ensuring that you absorb fewer calories from your food. A gastric bypass is a major surgery that has to be performed under general anesthetic. It is also permanent, meaning that the way that you eat will be altered forever. Undergoing gastric bypass surgery offers numerous benefits, but also requires an adjustment to your day-to-day life, and so it is essential that you talk it through with your bariatric surgeon before going ahead with your procedure.



To learn more about how gastric bypass surgery can help to improve diabetes, contact Clarity Surgical and Weight Loss Solutions in Long Island, NY at (516) 259-2525