Diabetes has become a prevalent disease in our society today. According to the American Diabetes Association, 8.3% of the population has been diagnosed with this disease. Diabetes does not limit itself to race, class or gender; affecting celebrities like Halle Berry, Bret Michaels, Nick Jonas, Paula Deen, Salma Hayek and Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler.
As podiatrists we see the impact that diabetes can have on a person’s mobility. Many serious foot complications and other medical complications can be reduced or eliminated with control of blood glucose (sugar) levels. This control of blood glucose is not easy to accomplish as evidenced by the explosion of numbers of people with type 2 diabetes in this country and in the world. Type 2 Diabetes has become a major public health concern in the United States, as 26 million people in this country alone have type 2 diabetes. A large number of these cases are caused by or worsened by obesity.
Weight loss has been shown in research studies to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce need for medication and insulin for control. Weight loss is usually difficult to attain, especially for those significantly overweight, who have difficulty exercising. Two recent studies have garnered new hope for those with diabetes caused by obesity. These studies examined the surgical treatment of obesity and it’s relationship to diabetes. The studies followed patients who underwent gastric bypass weight loss surgery. This type of surgery reduces the size of the stomach and redirects some of the intestine to cause weight loss. These studies showed that, not only did patients lose weight and keep it off, but their diabetes significantly improved! These studies showed over 80% of patients no longer need to take medication to control their diabetes.
Weight loss surgery has been shown to significantly improve other obesity related health problems as well, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea to name a few. Current NIH standards still only recommend weight loss surgery for those significantly overweight that have failed other approaches at weight loss. Recent advances in surgical techniques have made the procedure safer, with complication rates lower than other common abdominal surgery, such as gall bladder removal. Hopefully, the increased safety and the demonstrated effectiveness in managing disease will widen the NIH recommendations to give people better access to this life saving treatment.
Should you or a loved one need a recommendation for a weight loss surgeon, we can help you! Through our affiliation with Gramercy Surgery Center, we can refer you to some of the best Bariatric surgeons in New York. Give the office a call or mention it on your next visit to Midtown Podiatry , with locations in Midtown, Gramercy Park, Union Square, Wall Street or Glen Cove .