The surprising reasons why gastric surgery may be better than diet or exercise for diabetes

The surprising reasons why gastric surgery may be better than diet or exercise for diabetes

Doctors generally recommend lifestyle changes for those with moderate type 2 diabetes, but a new study came to some surprising conclusions -- and here's why.

A recent study published in the journal JAMA Surgery indicated that for those suffering from type 2 diabetes, gastric surgery may be a more effective option than lifestyle changes — but what are the reasons why, and what does it mean for those currently struggling with mild to moderate obesity from diabetes?

Doctors typically recommend weight loss surgery for individuals who are considered morbidly obese, which means that their body mass index is 40 or more. For those with mild to moderate obesity — a BMI of between 30 and 39 — the recommendation is generally lifestyle changes.

But for the millions of United States citizens — an estimated 9 percent of the population — that suffer from diabetes, perhaps you should be more quick to get gastric surgery, the study suggests.

The reason gastric bypass surgery works is that doctors essentially divide the stomach into an small upper pouch and a larger remnant pouch, and then use the small intestine to connect the two. This reduces the functional volume of the stomach, altering the physiological and physical responses to food.

Generally, this is only recommended for morbid obesity. But if someone is truly looking to get rid of the weight for good, gastric surgery is far superior to lifestyle change, the study found — in fact, 30-40 percent of people were able to keep the weight off after the surgery versus none of the respondents who chose lifestyle changes.

Of course, it’s advisable that people attempt to adjust their lifestyle to a healthier one anyway, but in terms of effectiveness, surgery appears to be the better option for those desperate to get rid of the weight.

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