You can't change whether heart disease runs in your family, but you can take steps to control other risk factors. Several years ago, surgeons realized that when they performed weight-loss surgery to reduce the stomach's capacity, some people were able to go off insulin or other diabetes medications within days of surgery. The type of bariatric surgery procedure appears to be one of the main factors that affect diabetes resolution.
Gastric bypass surgery leads to diabetes resolution very quickly in many patients even before significant weight loss has been realized. The procedure effectively bypasses the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) which does not "see" food any longer, leading to hormonal changes that affect insulin secretion and sensitivity. Other common bariatric procedures such as the gastric sleeve or gastric banding also lead to improvement of diabetes but have been shown to be less effective than the gastric bypass.
Besides the type of bariatric procedure, other determinants of diabetes resolution after surgery include how long the patient has had diabetes and the level of treatment required. The longer diabetes has been present and the more medications required to control it, the less likely its resolution becomes after weight loss surgery. Still, the majority of patients benefit from bariatric or metabolic surgery which represents the only currently available cure for diabetes.
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism--the way our bodies use digested food for energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose is the body's main source of fuel. After digestion, glucose enters the bloodstream and goes to cells throughout the body where it is used for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, must be present to allow glucose to enter the cells.
The pancreas automatically produces the right amount of insulin to move glucose from blood into the cells. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly, or both. As a result, the amount of glucose in the blood increases and the cells are starved of energy.
Having diabetes or prediabetes puts you at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. You can lower your risk by keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol close to the recommended target numbers suggested by diabetes experts for good health. Over time, high blood glucose levels damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death among people with diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can eventually lead to other health problems as well, such as vision loss, kidney failure, and amputations.
Central obesity means carrying extra weight around the waist, as opposed to the hips. A waist measurement of more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women means you have central obesity. Your risk of heart disease is higher because abdominal fat can increase the production of LDL (bad) cholesterol, the type of blood fat that can be deposited on the inside of blood vessel walls.
The majority of diabetic patients do not have to take medications after surgery to control their disease and their blood sugars normalize. This profound effect of weight loss surgery on diabetes has brought significant enthusiasm among physicians about its positive effect on metabolism and has led to the renaming of the American Society of Bariatric Surgery to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the introduction of the term metabolic surgery.
Although you can't change your family's medical history, you can take control of your health by giving your body the fuel it needs for optimum energy levels. If obesity is putting your health at risk, weight loss surgery can resolve Type II Diabetes and help prevent heart disease.
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For more information on bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery and to register for an online or in person weight loss surgery seminar in Mount Kisco, NY visit nwhsurgicalweightloss.org . NWH offers state-of-the-art technology and award winning patient care in White Plains, Mt. Kisco, New York and surrounding areas.
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