A new study published in the JAMA Surgery journal points out that Type 2 diabetes patients who choose to have weight loss surgery register improvements in the state of the disease compared to those who try non-surgical options over the span of three years.
The study was done on 61 Type 2 diabetes sufferers between the ages of 25 and 55, all of which had one form or another of obesity. They were randomly administered three different diabetes treatments.
The first of them was a lifestyle change which consisted in a one year program with exercise and diet, followed-up by two years of behavioral counseling very month. The other two consisted in different types of weight loss surgeries: one which consisted in a gastric bypass, and another of adjustable gastric banding. The patients who underwent surgery were also subjected to the two year counseling program.
When examined three years after the beginning of their respective treatment, the results showed that none of the patients who made lifestyle changes presented any remission of the disease, at least partially. Instead, this was observed in 40 percent of those who underwent gastric bypass and 29 percent of patients administered an adjustable gastric banding. Also, three of the former and one of the latter had their disease completely disappear.
The latter groups showed better results in blood sugar control compared to the lifestyle change one, which at some point would make them more likely to stop needing medication for Type 2 diabetes at all.
However, due to the low scale of the study and the randomized aspect, researchers said that drawing definite conclusions is impossible at the moment. Lead researcher Dr. Anita Courcoulas, from the University of Pittsburgh, said that a more extensive study is needed before they can consider this as a medical reality, while also studying the patients on a longer time frame.
Other medical specialists cautioned current Type 2 diabetes patients no to “get overly excited” with the tests’ results, and discuss the best possibility with their doctors when setting a course on their treatment. It was also pointed out that lifestyle intervention were proven to have positive effects in some cases during a longer timespan than the one tried by the study.
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