September 2, 2014

Metabolic Surgery. What Does It Mean?

For years, bariatric surgeons have seen gastric bypass patients lose a significant amount of weight and in turn improve or resolve many of their obesity related diseases. What we have not fully understood is how, in many patients, type 2 diabetes is often resolved within a few days or weeks of surgery – well before any significant weight loss has been achieved. Recent research into the phenomenon has yielded interesting results. It seems that gastric bypass surgery, specifically the portion that affects the small intestine, may actually rebalance the microbial composition of our gut to regulate insulin. The result is an incredible and beneficial effect on blood sugar.

As a result of this phenomenon, there has been a significant push to study the gastric bypass specifically for those that have type-2 diabetes, but who may not be obese. This would be a very welcome development owing to the meteoric rise in type-2 diabetes in the US population. Type-2 diabetes is an insidious disease that can go unnoticed and under treated for years. The result can be devastating and left untreated can ultimately cause blindness, limb amputation and even death.

Metabolic surgery, as it is called, is an exciting development in the treatment of diseases such as type-2 diabetes. While it is still not an FDA-approved treatment option, there is promise for the future. Check out the video below as Dr. Enochs explains metabolic surgery and how it can affect type-2 diabetes.

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