Why Weight Loss Surgery Is Stopping Obesity, Diabetes, Early Death And Cancer

A new study is being presented at this years European Obesity Summit which shows that people who do not undergo weight loss or obesity surgery are much more likely to die from any cause than those who do have weight loss surgery, according to the Daily Mail.

The study, conducted by Christina Persson, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues, of nearly 49 thousand obese patients looking to lose weight showed that mortality is much lower, 57 per cent lower, in those who have obesity surgery.

The study comprised of 48,693 patients spanning from 18-74 years. 22,581 people underwent bariatric surgery while 26,112 obese patients did not undergo surgery. The morality in the group who did not undergo the surgery for weight loss was much higher with a 4.21 percent increase in deaths within five years. That is 7.7 out of every one thousand people that will die due to being overweight and the illnesses that follow, according to Medical Xpress.

Having weight loss surgery is more than just looking good as obesity is linked to numerous diseases as well as early morality. The most common cause of death in the group that did not have surgery was cardiovascular disease followed closely by cancer, according to Daily Health. In the group that did undergo surgery the most common cause of death was accidents and suicide, followed by cardiovascular disease and cancer showing the danger of these two diseases.

“This population-based cohort observational study indicates that the overall all-cause mortality is considerably lower among obese individuals who undergo bariatric surgery compared to non-surgical obese individuals, and the differences lies mainly in cardiovascular disease and cancer,” the study concluded.

A separate study found that having bariatric surgery is also the best way to treat diabetes and has been found to “cure” the disease in half of recorded cases, according to The Telegraph. Thirty to 63 percent of people who have had a weight loss surgery go into “long term remission” and researchers are getting very excited about those numbers and have created new guidelines.

Professor Francesco Rubino, one of the experts behind the new guidelines and professor of metabolic and bariatric surgery at King’s College London, said the cure to diabetes is very close.

“This is the closest that we have ever been to a cure for diabetes. It is the most powerful treatment to date.”

British Doctors who are working on the guidelines for bariatric surgery say weight loss surgery is the biggest breakthrough in diabetes care since the introduction of insulin in the 1920’s.

Professor Sir George Alberti, another co-author of the guidelines, said the surgery is not just about weight loss, and the message that getting diabetes is your own fault is not a helpful one.

“People say ‘it’s all your own fault, just lose weight’, but that doesn’t help anybody. There are people who find it very, very difficult and are miserable as sin as a result,” he said.

“We are changing the paradigm here, we are not talking about the treatment of obesity, we are talking about the treatment of diabetes.”

A trial of gastric bypass or similar surgery patients in the U.K. was also conducted over a five year period and found that 63 percent of patients went into diabetes remission post surgery.

Having weight loss surgery does not only make the stomach smaller, it also alters gut hormones and the lining of the gut to get blood sugars under control. Changing the anatomy of the stomach alters the body’s macrobiotic environment, which has a dramatic and almost immediate impact on blood sugar. The impact on blood sugar reduces the need for daily drugs or insulin injections and leads to a period of remission in around half of cases.

Current guidelines from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence now say weight loss surgery should be offered to anyone who is morbidly obese as it will benefit any diseases they have, even if they do not know they have them.

In the U.K., around 4 million people have diabetes, but around 500 thousand do not know they have it until it is too late and they suffer ailments such as eye and nerve damage, kidney failure, amputations, heart attacks and strokes.

Having the surgery would reduce these risks by 63 percent and the new guidelines are calling for anyone with a body mass index of 30 or over to have surgery if their blood glucose is not well controlled, and anyone with a body mass index of 40 or more should be offered surgery regardless.

Simon O’Neill, from Diabetes U.K. said that 58 percent of women and 65 percent of men were overweight in 2015, and that an increase in weight loss would equal a decrease in diabetes cases.

“We strongly support the call for obesity surgery to be fully recognized as an active treatment option for Type 2 diabetes alongside established forms of Type 2 diabetes treatments, such as lifestyle changes, and blood glucose lowering medications. This is because there is a wide body of evidence that shows surgery is an effective treatment option for Type 2 diabetes and can be cost effective for the NHS.

“However, many people who stand to benefit from this potentially lifesaving treatment are missing out due to needless barriers to obesity surgery services,” he said.

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