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Meta-analysis: Bariatric surgery dramatically improves type 2 diabetes symptoms

University of Minnesota researcher Henry Buchwald, M.D., Ph.D., and associates have demonstrated that bariatric surgery can completely relieve symptoms in the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Their meta-analysis of 621 clinical studies involving 135,246 patients showed that, after bariatric surgery, diabetes was resolved in 78 percent of diabetic patients and was improved or resolved in 86.6 percent of diabetic patients.

The study demonstrates that the resolution or improvement of type 2 diabetes is related to the weight that morbidly obese patients lose post-surgery. However, it’s not a direct cause-and-effect relationship; type 2 diabetes has been shown to resolve within days after gastric bypass, before significant weight loss occurs. This suggests that changes in the gut after bariatric surgery affect the mechanisms of type 2 diabetes in the body.

Buchwald and colleagues evaluated several types of weight-loss surgery in the study, which appeared in the March issue of the American Journal of Medicine and is the largest meta-analysis to examine bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetes.

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