Gastric Bypass and Diabetes
Gastric Bypass and Diabetes
Gastric bypass is one of the types of weight loss surgery also referred to as bariatric surgery. Gastric bypass surgeries usually involve creating a small stomach pouch to restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold at any one time as well as bypassing the parts of the small intestine where most of food absorption occurs (this causes malabsorption). The restriction of food intake and the malabsorption of nutrients together cause significant weight loss. There are several types of gastric bypass surgeries that can be performed according to the particular case at hand. Fortunately, most bypass surgeries of today are much less invasive and have less complications than even ten or fifteen years ago.
Gastric bypass and diabetes are closely connected. One reason is that diabetes is one of the co-morbid conditions that cause a candidate to qualify for gastric bypass and other weight loss surgeries when they have a BMI (body mass index) of less than 40 but greater than 35. Weight loss surgery is indicated for people with a BMI greater than 40 but is considered a viable option for people with co-morbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea and heart disease.
There is also a connection between gastric bypass and diabetes in that majority of people who need gastric bypass surgery have type II diabetes. This is thought to be because being seriously overweight can trigger diabetes. This is perhaps due to the fact that the excess weight can result in insulin resistance as well as put such strain on your body so that it cannot keep proper glucose levels. People who already have diabetes will therefore need to take in more insulin due to the resistance the body has developed towards it. This is why gastric bypass and diabetes are intertwined.
There is also a reverse relationship between insulin and diabetes. Intake of insulin quite commonly causes weight gain due to the fact that insulin intake causes higher levels of glucose to be absorbed into the body. The higher levels of glucose cause weight gain.
Gastric bypass and diabetes therefore go hand in hand due to the fact that since the gastric bypass causes weight reduction, it therefore follows that diabetes is therefore kept under control. Gastric bypass is a very effective weight loss method with people reporting more than 50% weight loss within the two years after surgery.
Weight loss is not the only outcome of gastric bypass surgery. Studies have shown that person with diabetes quite often report a disappearance of the disease within weeks of the surgery, even before they begin to experience any weight loss. This is one of the reasons that gastric bypass and diabetes are linked together. Even though surgery does not completely lead the type II diabetes to remission, it does reduce or eliminate a person’s dependence on insulin.
But how do gastric bypass and diabetes go hand in hand? Besides leading to the weight loss that reduces the resistance to insulin, gastric bypass surgeries have been shown to reduce the levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) that circulate in the blood. The reduction in the levels of these amino acids reverses the body’s tolerance to insulin (which is the cause of type II diabetes).