THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — As many as 7 out of 10 people with type 2 diabetes can achieve long-term disease remission by having weight-loss surgery called gastric bypass, according to a new Danish study.
The surgery isn’t necessarily a cure for type 2 diabetes. Some people who go into remission and appear to no longer have the disease can relapse and start having symptoms again. In this study, 27 percent of people who were in remission relapsed during the five-year follow-up.
“Patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes should be offered bariatric surgery early on in the course of their disease, while there is still a great chance of diabetes remission,” said study lead author Dr. Lene Ring Madsen, from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.
There are several types of weight-loss, or bariatric, surgery, including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve.
Gastric bypass, also called Roux-en-Y, involves making the stomach smaller and bypassing part of the small intestine, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). After this surgery, people get fuller on much less food, and the body doesn’t absorb as many calories.
Gastric sleeve surgery (or sleeve gastrectomy) involves removing a portion of your stomach so you get fuller faster, according to NIDDK. This type of surgery has been gaining in popularity, but Madsen said the procedure is newer, so researchers don’t yet have long-term data on it.
Although this study didn’t look at the reasons gastric bypass can lead to type 2 diabetes remission, Madsen said other studies have suggested that weight loss is one factor. She added that calorie restriction and hormone changes also likely play a role.
Dr. Mitchell Roslin, director of bariatric surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., reviewed the findings.
“Patients with the best weight loss have the best resolution of type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms are much more complex than just weight loss,” he said.