According to new guidelines, weight loss surgery is now a viable and recommended means of treatment for diabetes — including some patients with mild obesity.
Obesity and diabetes are a disastrous pair of diseases. A recent Harvard study found that obesity increased the risk of diabetes by as much as 20 times. But numerous studies show that weight loss surgery can improve diabetes. For example, there can be up to 80% resolution of diabetes after an individual undergoes gastric bypass surgery.
But the recently released guidelines indicate the first time surgery is specifically recommended for diabetes treatment, as opposed to obesity treatment with added benefits of diabetes improvement as bariatric surgery side effects.
What Do These Recommendations Mean?
According to CBS News, the recommendation will allow for the expansion of eligible candidates for weight loss surgery. More than 200,000 weight loss surgeries are performed annually in the U.S.; changing the guidelines would enable more people to have access to the treatment.
The recommendations were backed by more than 43 health groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation. It was also published in the journal Diabetes Care.
While senior guideline author and endocrinologist Dr. David E. Cummings does not “claim that surgery should be first-line therapy,” he does believe that standard care is no longer enough and that “it’s time for something new.”
Who Meets the New Guidelines?
Under the new guidelines, patients whose body mass index (BMI) is at least 40 and patients with a BMI of 35 whose diabetes is not controlled, may meet the qualifications for a gastric sleeve or other weight loss surgery options with lifestyle changes and medications.
The new guidelines even say that gastric bypass requirements and other weight loss surgery can be considered with a BMI as low as 30 for patients who have poor control.
And while weight loss is usually a direct effect of the different types of weight loss surgery available, medical weight loss is not what makes the big difference. In fact, it’s how hormones, gut bacteria, and other body chemicals in the body are affected by the surgery.
Want to know more about gastric sleeve qualifications and how medical weight loss programs and surgery can affect your health? Leave us questions in the comment section below.