Diabetes Risk Reduced by Weight Loss Surgery

Developing type 2 diabetes can often be related to obesity in many patients. Individuals that are obese often are at risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Recent studies indicate that weight loss surgery procedures could reduce the risk of diabetes in patients. There seems to be some direct correlation between type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Diabetes Type II – The Pancreas in patients with this disease is not producing enough insulin or the body is insensitive to insulin.

weight loss for diabetes

Study Results

In a study published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal, an 80% reduction in type 2 diabetes for those having weight loss surgery was revealed. These results were so profound that the NHS of the UK is deciding whether they should offer the surgery to many individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes. The concept is that by reducing obesity, there would be a reduction in the necessary care involved with type 2 diabetes conditions. A lack of control over blood sugar can result in blindness, nerve damage, and amputation. Approximately 3 percent of individuals that are morbidly obese end up with type 2 diabetes each year. This figure is reduced to an estimated 0.5 percent with the surgery.

Study Parameters

The results were from a study that followed 2,167 obese adults that underwent weight loss surgery. These individuals were compared to another 2,167 obese adults that did not have the surgery. The results showed that there were 38 cases of type 2 diabetes after surgery and 177 cases in individuals that did not have the surgery. This was a reduction of 80% across the board.

Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is a major surgery conducted when individuals have tried other efforts to reach weight loss and failed and when the individual is in danger from related health issues due to obesity. In the UK, there are approximately 8,000 individuals undergoing weight loss surgery annually. The most popular surgeries are gastric band surgery and gastric bypass surgery.

Gastric Band and Gastric Bypass

Gastric band surgery uses a band to reduce the size of the stomach and make the opening for food to pass much smaller. This gives the patient the feeling of being fuller. Gastric bypass surgery is the process of re-routing food through the digestive system to allow for less absorption of calories and nutrients to the body. It also reduces the stomach size to help the patient feel fuller faster, thereby reducing the amount of food that is taken in.

weight loss guide for diabetes patients, bariatric surgery

Increasing Recommendations for Weight Loss Surgery

Because of the information provided in the study, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence is thought to be considering expanding the number of obesity surgeries in the NHS to help cut back on the type 2 diabetes onset rate and thereby reduce funds being spent on the care of these individuals. In most cases, the surgery is acceptable and recommended for individuals that have a body mass index over 35. These people most likely have tried other methods of weight loss and failed while being next in line for major health problems due to obesity.

According to Diabetes UK, there are 460,000 individuals that would meet this criterion and would make potentially good candidates for the surgery. If the body mass index is reduced to 30, the number of individuals to meet the criteria will skyrocket to 850,000. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence will need to assess the difference between the cost of the many surgeries and the cost of treatment for those developing health-related issues due to obesity.

While weight loss surgery is not for everyone, there does seem to be a significant benefit for patients seeking treatment. The cost of the surgery is high, but the offset is there when a reduction in patients with type 2 diabetes is considered.


National Institute of Health and Care Excellence
Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal