Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by elevation of blood sugar levels with a disturbance in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.
As a disease entity, it is broadly divided into Type 1 and Type 2. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a complex metabolic condition associated with resistance to insulin by cells of the body with a gradual decrease in insulin production by the Pancreas over time. As of today, the exact etiology has not been identified; however, there are some risk factors which have been adduced which include the interplay between genetics, lack of exercise, poor dieting choices and sedentary lifestyles.
Although the conventional approach to the management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus includes the change in lifestyle habits, dietary modifications, exercise and pharmaceuticals including insulin in late stages, outcomes have not been satisfactory, hence the designation of diabetes Mellitus as both a chronic and progressive disease. This begs the question; are there any other novel interventions that can be explored?
Thankfully, there is an exciting new treatment option in the management of diabetes. This is called Diabetes surgery, metabolic surgery or Bariatric surgery and results have been quite phenomenal. Following multiple clinical trials, diabetes surgery has been shown to effectively improve sugar levels in the blood much more effectively compared to lifestyle modifications and drug therapy and over the long term have led to remission in some patients.
Diabetes surgery also called metabolic surgery or bariatric surgery makes use of bariatric techniques such as ileal interposition, transit bipartition, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass surgery, adjustable gastric banding. This comes about from the serendipitous discovery that Diabetes Mellitus patients who underwent these procedures had better post-op regulation of sugar levels without the need for drugs and had long-term remission. It has been found out that the gastrointestinal tract plays important roles in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
Some of the mechanisms which have been proposed to explain how Diabetes surgery helps to ‘cure’ Type 2 diabetes and lead to sugar control include:
All these add up to excellent outcomes. What’s more, diabetes surgeries are mostly done laparoscopically or endoscopically. These are minimal access surgery methods which involve minimal incisions, faster recovery time, less complication and quicker return to normal health. As with every other surgical option, there are side effects although these are very minimal due to the very nature of the procedure. The astounding results recorded from diabetes surgery led the international Diabetes foundation in 2011, at the 2nd world Congress on interventional therapies for type 2 diabetes Mellitus to release a statement recognizing and endorsing Diabetes surgery as a ‘powerful option’ in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes in severely obese patients. It went on to state the guidelines on who qualifies for this surgery option.
From the foregoing, the future of diabetes treatment is diabetes surgery and diabetes surgery can help to solve diabetes as opposed to the present therapeutic options which have proven inefficient and unsatisfactory over the long term.
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