Weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetics who are overweight is safe and hugely beneficial in the fight against the condition, a new study has concluded.
A gastric band can play a vital role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight and not obese, according to the research carried out at Monash University in Australia.
The team of researchers, led by Professor Paul O’Brien from Monash University’s Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) has determined that gastric banding for overweight people with diabetes had a profound impact on the illness in the first study of its kind.
“This is the first randomised controlled trial demonstrating that treatment of type 2 diabetes in overweight people by substantial weight loss is safe and hugely beneficial,” said Professor O’Brien.
“As there are no alternative options that can achieve such a result, this study indicates a potentially attractive path for the overweight person with diabetes and for those providing the care,” he added.
The study looked at people who suffered diabetes and were overweight, but not obese. The connection between excessive body weight and diabetes is well known, but while the benefits of weight loss for obese people suffering type 2 diabetes have been well documented, it has not been clear if those who were overweight would enjoy the same benefits.
The study enrolled 50 people with diabetes who were overweight, but not obese, with a body mass index between 25 and 30.
“We provided a comprehensive programme of multi disciplinary care to all of the participants, but randomly allocated half of them to receive an additional treatment of adjustable gastric banding,” Professor O’Brien explained.
“The surgery was conducted as an outpatient procedure with no significant adverse effects. We were pleased to see was that after two years into the trial, more than half of the banded group were in remission of their diabetes while only eight per cent of the non banded group were in remission,” he pointed out.
The results showed a strong relationship between the amount of weight loss and remission of diabetes, clearly showing that successful ways of reducing weight such as gastric banding should have a high priority in the treatment of diabetes.
Professor O’Brien added that with over a million Australians suffering from type 2 diabetes, and an additional 270 people per day being diagnosed with the illness, the need to manage diabetes has never been greater.
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