Gastric Bypass can be an effective treatment for patients who have diabesity.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes are heavily linked conditions, so much so that those with both are often regarded by health professionals as having diabesity. Whilst a variety of genetic and lifestyle factors can cause type 2 diabetes, obesity is the primary cause.
What does type 2 diabetes do to the body?
In those who have developed type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance is built by the body. As a consequence, the body’s ability to regulate its blood glucose levels is impaired. This is because a type 2 diabetic’s pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to keep up with the body’s demands. This results in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream and eventually creates disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes often appear over a long period of time, as opposed to doing so suddenly like in those with type 1 diabetes. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Infections that frequently occur
- Sores that are slow to heal
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Frequent urination
- Unintended weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Darkened skin around the neck and armpits
How weight loss surgery can treat diabetes
Whilst there is no surefire cure to type 2 diabetes, an informed approach and a physically active healthy lifestyle can assist in easing the issues caused by the disease or its progression, or even put type 2 diabetes in remission. There are also medications and insulin therapy available for those who are unable to manage their blood sugar levels just through diet and exercise.
Should none of these solutions provide an adequate solution to type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery is the recommended path to take. Whilst changes to one’s lifestyle are an economic, effective and safe means to control type 2 diabetes, it is not easily achievable. In those who have diabesity, bariatric surgery has been shown to be a more successful course of treatment for long-term weight loss.
The bariatric surgery procedure for diabesity
Bariatric surgery is a solution that can assist with the treatment of both obesity and type 2 diabetes. The main form of bariatric surgery used to treat type 2 diabetes is the gastric bypass procedure, though there are also other options such as gastric sleeves. To learn more about what options are available, have a look here.
What is gastric bypass surgery?
A traditional gastric bypass (also known as a roux-en-y gastric bypass) performed on those with diabesity is a procedure that involves the creation of a small pouch from the stomach that connects directly to the small intestine. After its completion, swallowed food goes into the small intestine only via this small stomach pouch, bypassing the first section of the small intestine and most of one’s stomach.
A gastric bypass helps patients feel fuller for a longer period of time and promotes the production of molecules within the body that help the body use glucose. After this form of laparoscopic surgery is performed, these two effects result in better management of sugar intake and consuming less food. Additionally, it also results in patients no longer requiring medication for diabetes after losing weight from obesity surgery.
The procedure will also assist other obesity-related chronic conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux disease, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea, strokes, infertility and certain cancers.
Educating others about type 2 diabetes
Diabetes and its three types (type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes) can affect anyone. Whilst there are lifestyle factors that are the leading cause of diabetes, other factors can also be at play. As a result, it is very easy to feel misunderstood, judged, guilty or blamed for their condition. This in turn can have a large impact on how one manages their diabetes, which in turn affects their emotional and physical health.
National Diabetes Week 2022
This National Diabetes Week, Dr Kevin Dolan is joining the many health professionals who have teamed up with Diabetes Australia to provide diabetes education to help people rethink how they see diabetes and have a conversation about the impact diabetes can have on one’s emotional wellbeing. The aim of National Diabetes Week 2022 is to reduce the burden faced as a consequence of the condition with more compassion, to reduce the blame with a greater level of understanding, and to reduce the barriers to support for those suffering from the condition.
Learn more about type 2 diabetes in Perth
Dr Kevin Dolan is a Perth-based laparoscopic surgeon who is able to inform and educate people living with diabetes and help with preventing type 2 diabetes. He also wants to remind people that they are not alone in their battle with diabetes.
He specialises in bariatric surgery and has assessed over 20,000 patients with weight issues. He also works with a suite of healthcare professionals including nurses, dietitians and counsellors who all share a common goal, giving you the best health possible and easing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.