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Diet Versus Bariatric Surgery?

Type 2 diabetes patients who follow the identical diet as post-bariatric surgery patients see similar reduction in blood glucose levels as those who undergo the surgery…. 

A controlled, prospective study following 10 patients during two periods was conducted to look at the improvements in diabetes both pre- and post- gastric bypass surgery. During both periods the same diet of less than 2000 calories was maintained by patients, with the only difference being the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery during the second period, months later.

Fasting blood glucose levels dropped an average of 21 percent due to diet only and 12 percent after combining the diet with surgery.

Researchers suggest that the results indicate that the restrictive diet is responsible for the diabetes remission, not the surgery itself. However, it is hard for diabetics to maintain the restrictive diet in the absence of bariatric surgery.

Although undergoing bariatric surgery to maintain dietary control in diabetics is appealing, any surgery presents with risks of infections and complications. Patients and clinicians will need to take heed of this information and weigh the benefits and risks associated with surgery.

Lingvay, E. Guth, A. Islam, E. Livingston. Rapid Improvement of Diabetes After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Is It the Diet or Surgery? Diabetes Care, 2013; DOI: 10.2337/dc12-2316