Is Bariatric Surgery for My Type 2 Diabetes?

My experience with weight loss surgery.

kalimah bioBy Kalimah Johnson

The online version of The New England Journal of Medicine revealed in April 2012 that there has been promising results for those of us that have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes when we undergo bariatric surgery. The results were from a small sample and presented at a medical conference in Chicago, Illinois. For more information about the study, the article, the results, and the details, please click here.

They go on to say that the surgery should be used to address type 2 diabetes because it causes the body to regulate blood glucose better than oral medications or injected insulin ever could. In my opinion, it appears as though researchers are espousing that the surgery could help anyone, regardless of whether or not a person would need the surgery for overall weight management. In other words, they are suggesting that bariatric surgery could be given to those who do not have a weight problem in order to help regulate blood sugar and "cure" type 2 diabetes. The researchers are hesitant to use the term "cure" but, based on the findings, they believe that the surgery could be the "best" option. I must add that the results were impressive to say the least.

I remember a while back I had suggested that I would consider bariatric surgery in one of my dLife articles and that I was going to attend an informational meeting to determine if bariatric surgery would be right for me. That was in April 2011. I attended the meeting, weighed in at 268 pounds, had an A1C of 10.1, and committed to cutting caffeine, carbonated beverages, fast food, and alcohol out of my diet, which is a requirement of all patients at the Henry Ford Hospital Center for Excellence for Bariatric Surgery. I had told only one person at that time that I was contemplating getting the surgery. My partner was very supportive and had lots of questions regarding the surgery. My family was reserved about the treatment because they don't look at obesity as a disease, but more like an issue of me not trying hard enough to lose the weight on my own (another long story I will save for later). However, I spent some time educating them and they were open to the process and possibility that I would have the surgery.

Prior to considering the surgery, I had tried every diet in the book, with some success for specific plans (Weight Watchers — 40 pound weight loss, but gained all but ten pounds back) and utter failure for some others (Master Cleanse, The Cookie Diet, Seattle Sutton, Atkins, and a few more I won't mention here). Meanwhile, my type 2 diabetes was on a roller coaster ride between good and even better monitor readings and horrible numbers as high as 320 on some mornings. I had become depressed and discouraged and I wanted and needed help.

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Last Modified Date: February 15, 2013

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