New study shows bariatric surgery can help lower blood sugar levels


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on June 1, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 1 at 4:40 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Type 2 diabetes, which affects 26 million Americans, may have met its match.

A new study reveals that a controversial type of surgery may actually cure type 2 diabetes.

It is providing new hope for millions suffering from obesity and this disease.

Three years ago Delissa Minge was more than 200 pounds overweight and suffering from a number of health problems. She was fighting a losing battle. Then her doctor told her she had type 2 diabetes.

"That was the last straw for me. I had quit drinking, I quit smoking. I did everything possible and the weight was just not going anywhere. That diabetes diagnosis just did it,” said Delissa Minge.

With nothing to lose, she met with Dr. Jeff Allen at Norton Health and Wellness Center and decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery.

"I wouldn't trade it for the world. I would tell anyone to look at an alternative route cause I couldn't take any of the prescriptions due to the other health illnesses," says Minge.

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, it revealed that bariatric surgery can lower blood sugar levels immediately in patients with type 2 diabetes, even before the weight comes off. The surgery limits the amount of food a person can eat, and the amount of calories they absorb.

"We tell people this is their last resort. It is always better not to be operated on in any kind of disease. So it is certainly true they can do this on their own, theoretically, but they can't. They are unable to because they have tried absolutely everything and they have been unable to do it,  " says Dr. Jeff Allen.

A similar study from the Cleveland Clinic found that 42 percent of patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery showed no evidence of diabetes one year later.

That was the case for Minge. In the two years since her surgery, she has lost more than 200 pounds. Now, two years later, she no longer takes medications for cholesterol and high blood pressure or diabetes. While surgery helped, she says she keeps it off with a strict regimen of diet and exercise.

"I'm rigorous with a weekly weigh in. It can come back but I work very diligently to make sure it doesn't come back. I do not want none of it back, "says Minge.

For more info on this surgery you can call the Norton Health and Wellness Center at 629-1234.