Friday, November 29, 2013

Sleeve Gastrectomy May Be As Effective As Gastric Bypass Surgery in Resolving Type 2 Diabetes

Bariatric or weight loss surgery has been determined to be an effective weight loss tool, because the surgery can enable a person to lose weight and maintain the weight loss for a long period of time. Furthermore, the surgery has been found to resolve a number of harmful comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes. This is especially true for gastric bypass surgery (GB). Now, a recent study has concluded that sleeve gastrectomy (SG) is as successful at resolving type 2 diabetes as gastric bypass surgery.

Sleeve gastrectomy (SG) is a form of weight loss surgery where a small stomach pouch, similar in shape to a banana, is created to restrict food intake. When first utilized, the surgery was commonly one stage of a two stage weight loss surgical procedure, with GB sometimes being the second stage.

An advantage of sleeve gastrectomy is that the gastrointestinal tract anatomy remains unaltered, unlike in GB. Therefore, some of the complications associated with GB -- and other procedures where the small intestine is modified -- are lessened. This means that SG could become a more viable option for treating type 2 diabetes than gastric bypass, provided the study referenced above is valid.

The above mentioned study was done in Israel. In the study, researchers looked at 41 obese type 2 diabetes patients who had bariatric surgery. The researchers followed 37 of the patients for twelve months. Nineteen of the patients underwent GB, and eighteen of the patients underwent SG. And as early as three months post-surgery, both the GB and the SG patients had similar healthy HbA1c levels: 6.37 ± 0.71% for the gastric bypass patients and 6.23 ± 0.69% for the SG patients.

SG is now considered to be an effective bariatric surgical procedure for weight loss. Indeed, past research has shown that "In severely obese and high-risk patients, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy provides superior total weight loss at 2 years."

And with good type 2 diabetes research results, SG will likely become a more utilized form of bariatric surgery.  Offering this surgery could give a surgical bariatric center a competitive advantage.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Statins Plus Fitness Can Lower Mortality in Persons with Diabetes

Statins are often prescribed to patients to lower their cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol can help prevent strokes and heart attacks. And while statins can raise the risk of diabetes in some people who don’t have the disease, a study indicates that when combined with cardiorespiratory fitness, statins can lower mortality in those persons with diabetes.
Our bodies naturally produce cholesterol, and cholesterol is necessary for some bodily functions. Cholesterol is required in the coating of cells, it is necessary in bile acid composition (bile is used in food digestion.), and cholesterol is necessary in the production of Vitamin D and hormones, such as estrogen in women and testosterone in men.

But too much cholesterol is harmful in the form of the so called bad cholesterol, LDL. "[If] you have too much LDL in the bloodstream, it deposits the cholesterol into the arteries, which can cause blockages and lead to heart attacks." Statins reduce the amount of cholesterol that the liver produces. So statins are helpful because they can lower LDL. Statins can also slightly raise HDL, the good cholesterol.

And while some statins can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, a recent study has concluded that when statins and cardiorespiratory fitness are combined in patients who already have type 2 diabetes, the risks of mortality are lowered for all BMI levels. (Cardiorespiratory fitness is a measure of how well the body gets oxygen, and how well the body uses the oxygen.)

In the above mentioned study, over 3000 U.S. type 2 male veterans were examined over a period of approximately ten years. And the researchers concluded that "Statin therapy was associated with increased survival in diabetic veterans, which was further enhanced when fitness and statin therapy were combined."

Weight loss and weight control experts continue to explore the potential effectiveness of appropriate medication on weight and metabolic conditions. As with statins, some medication can be useful in helping to attain a healthy state. But deliberate physical activity is also essential.

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