Could Weight-Loss Surgery Hold a Cure for Diabetes?

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-09_375f365040.jpgIngram Publishing/Thinkstock (CLEVELAND) -- Obese patients with type 2 diabetes have been shown in past research to benefit quickly from bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass. But what about the long-term benefits?  A new study shows the weight-loss surgery may help these patients end their battle with diabetes.

Cleveland Clinic studied 200 patients for more than five years and found that the effects on diabetes, as well as a reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, are long-lasting.

Type 2 diabetes is a common medical problem, with 26 million Americans who have bodies that can't control blood sugar. While only half of U.S. diabetics are successful in controlling blood glucose, 80 percent of bariatric surgery patients still had control of blood glucose five years after surgery, according to the study.

Further, nearly one-third of gastric bypass surgery patients completely cured their diabetes.

It's the first time researchers have seen long-lasting benefits of weight-loss surgery, shedding not just pounds, but a life-threatening syndrome as well. The study's authors suggest bariatric surgery should be considered as an earlier treatment option for patients with diabetes.

This study's findings are published online in the journal Annals of Surgery.

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