Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard thousands of times, “There’s no such thing as a magic bullet cure.” But weight loss surgery comes as close to that mythic ammo you can find; particularly when it comes to diabetes! I’d go as far to say that weight loss surgery is a whole clip of magic bullets if it cures diabetes!
Ticking Time Bomb
When I was checking into the various kinds of weight loss surgeries available – I watched hours of YouTube videos and read hundreds of Internet posts and medical web sites on weight loss surgery. Many of the medical web sites list ‘co-morbidities’ – or factors that are considered in determining the eligibility for weight loss surgery. Looming foremost on the list for me was type 2 diabetes. I had just been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic – which basically meant; I was diabetic. I have a family history of diabetes, particularly my mother’s side of the family. My father was diabetic and had a history of heart disease and colon cancer on his mother’s side. Some of the other things I could put a check mark next to on the list was very high cholesterol, fatty liver, GERD, and sleep apnea. As for the other items on the list, it was only a matter of time before I could probably check them off as well.
All I knew was: I was most definitely a candidate for weight loss surgery! Then something in all the research caught my attention. The research all seemed to indicate that weight loss surgery could virtually eliminate my diabetes! I thought, “Wow, can this be true?” As I dug deeper into the medical information I found that it was true; weight loss surgery can virtually put type-2 diabetes into permanent remission!
The Science: More or Less?
Well here’s the interesting thing: Doctors know that weight loss surgery works at reversing type 2 diabetes, but there’s not really enough information at this time to really know how it works. There are lots of theories out there and the one idea that seems to be the most popular is: (here’s the scientific stuff!), that making the food route directly to the lower intestine makes your body produce more of a substance called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is an appetite suppressing substance found in the brain and intestine. In the brain, GLP-1 acts as an “I am full” signal. In the intestine it slows emptying of the stomach and stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas. At the same time grehlin the “I am hungry” hormone which resides in the stomach and communicates to the brain, is reduced by the weight loss procedures, so you crave less sugar, and you are able to manage your blood sugar levels better – thus sending type-2 diabetes into remission.
The Final Weigh In
So is bariatric surgery truly a magic bullet? And here’s the truth of it – it is only as magical as I make it! My diabetes is in full remission! Will it stay in remission? Only if I work at keeping the weight off. If I regain the weight, the diabetes will come back. Diabetes is always lurking, and remission lasts as long as the weight loss lasts. So I want the magic to continue – so I will do whatever I have to do to keep the magic working!