Gastric band surgery may treat type 2 diabetes - even if you're not obese

Gastric band surgery could play an important role in treating type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight, but not obese, according to a new study from Monash University.

Previous research on the subject has shown that the procedure, which involves placing a restrictive band around the upper part of the stomach to create a smaller pouch for holding food, is effective for helping to reduce rates of type 2 diabetes in people who are obese. This study is the first to also show the benefits can also be enjoyed by those who don't have a lot of weight to lose.

Remission rates high

The study enrolled 50 people who had diabetes and were overweight but not obese.

"We provided a comprehensive program of multidisciplinary care to all of the participants, but randomly allocated half of them to receive an additional treatment of adjustable gastric banding," explained Professor Paul O'Brien from the Centre for Obesity Research and Education.

The surgery, which was conducted as an outpatient procedure, wasn't associated with any adverse effects. Moreover, two years into the study, over half the people in the group that received the procedure were in type 2 diabetes remission. Only 8 percent of the group that didn't have the surgery showed this type of disease reversal, the study authors said.

"This is the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that treatment of type 2 diabetes in overweight people by substantial weight loss is safe and hugely beneficial," O'Brien said. "As there are no alternative options that can achieve such a result, this study indicates a potentially attractive path for the overweight person with diabetes and for those providing the care."

Source: Science Daily

Photo credit: nixxphotography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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