Over 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes. That’s according to a report released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the blood glucose or sugar is too high. It can happen either because your body doesn’t produce insulin (type 1 diabetes), the hormone that helps glucose get into the cells for energy, or your body doesn’t utilize insulin well (type 2 diabetes).

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. Usually common in middle aged and older people, type 2 diabetes is often a result of unhealthy eating habits including a diet high in processed food and a sedentary lifestyle.

How Bariatric Surgery Can Help

It’s not a new notion that bariatric or weight loss surgeries can make a big difference in the lives of those with type 2 diabetes. “Of the thousands of bariatric procedures Dr. Jonathan Ray and I have done over the past decade at Foothills, probably 80 percent of those patients have been diabetic,” says Dr. Mark Colquitt, bariatric surgeon.

Bariatric surgery can help by lowering the blood sugar level, reducing the medication required, and reducing the risk or improving existing diabetes-related conditions that are often brought-on by obesity and excessive weight.

In many cases, bariatric surgery patients have achieved significant weight loss, and in turn, remission of their diabetes. But the remission in diabetes isn’t just due to the weight loss, explains Dr. Colquitt.  There are metabolic changes that take place when the small intestine is rerouted. “Within a just a few days of surgery (or sometimes sooner), the majority of diabetic patients are off their insulin and experiencing a drastic improvement in their pancreas function,” Colquitt says. “The hope is that in the near future, severely diabetic patients will have a viable and accepted treatment for stopping this deadly disease.”

Wondering if Bariatric Surgery Right for You?

If you feel like you’ve tried everything to lose excess weight but haven’t been successful, bariatric surgery may be right for you. Take our simple self-assessment to see if you are a candidate.

Want to learn more? Attending a free bariatric seminar is the first step.  See a list of our upcoming seminars.