News / Health

Stomach Surgery: Better Than Dieting to Control Diabetes

Multimedia

Carol Pearson

Doctors are turning to bariatric surgery, the kind that shrinks the stomach, to control type 2 diabetes.  A number of studies show this type of surgery drastically improves blood sugar levels, but researchers don't know why.  Now studies at two U.S. medical centers have uncovered a new clue for why a type of bariatric surgery works. 

Doctors have discovered something incredible, they have found a way to reverse type 2 diabetes.  Bariatric surgery is an umbrella term for different surgeries that make the stomach smaller.  One in particular, gastric bypass surgery, reverses type 2 diabetes in up to 80 percent of patients.

Dr. Phil Schauer at the Cleveland Clinic says afterwards patients can literally throw away their insulin. "Before they leave the hospital, they'll never use insulin again," he said.


Before her surgery, Katy Wiley suffered from complications from diabetes for 16 years.  "It was horrible. Diabetes controlled my life," she said.

Some doctors are now promoting gastric bypass surgery as a way to control diabetes.

“Bariatric surgery has been shown to bring blood sugar under control more effectively than other intervention such as dietary intervention and we don’t have a complete explanation for that phenomenon," said Professor Christopher Newgard at Duke University.

He and other researchers at Columbia University began looking for chemical changes in the body's metabolism. They looked at one group of diabetics who had the surgery and another group who lost weight through diet and exercise.  Both groups lost the same amount of weight.  Then the researchers analyzed the chemical differences in the patients' blood. “And we found there was a very clear difference in the chemical response to weight loss by those two different interventions," he said.

Those who had the surgery had fewer insulin-resisting amino acids in their blood.  Amino acids are building blocks for protein. But some types prevent the body from using insulin to control blood sugar levels. These particular amino acids are called branched-chain amino acids. "What we’ve found about branch chain amino acids in the last couple of years:  strongly associated with insulin resistance, strongly predictive of imminent diabetes risk and then strongly responsive to an intervention which we know to be very efficient for improving blood glucose homeostasis (blood glucose regulation) and that is bariatric surgery," he said.

At this time, bariatric surgery is the most effective way of reversing type 2 diabetes. But doctors hope, with more research, drugs can be developed to control these amino acids and reverse this disease.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More