Obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body does not properly control blood sugar. Unfortunately, diabetes has been rising steadily in the United States since 1980, when 5.6 million people were diagnosed with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This figure more than tripled by 2009, swelling to nearly 19.7 million Americans. We see diabetes having quite a few negative effects on the body – and the National Institutes of Health lists diabetes as a contributor to problems with the kidneys, nerves, feet, and eyes. Any healthcare professional who treats patients with diabetes is familiar with other long-term complications: skin conditions, digestive trouble, sexual dysfunction, and problems with teeth and gums. In some cases, diabetes can be deadly, with the Obesity Society attributing more than 200,000 deaths annually to complications of diabetes.
So how can we fight this epidemic? Carrying excess weight is a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes. More than 85 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. To begin with – weight loss is a foundational therapy for people with type 2 diabetes, because controlling diabetes and managing the related health risks is directly related to losing weight. Recent studies have added evidence to what myself and many bariatric surgeons and lap-band patients have already seen: that the Lap-Band can be highly effective in treating diabetes. A 2 year interim report on the going, 5 year APEX (Lap-Band AP Experience) study found that 95 percent of the studied lap-band patients experienced improvement or remission of diabetes. In the study, remission and improvement of diabetes were defined as being reported by the patient’s physician. The predictors of diabetes remission were the amount of weight loss, duration of type 2 diabetes, as well as the severity of the disease at the start of the study. You can learn more about Lap-Band surgery and the health benefits of weight loss by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Simpson at 602-234-SLIM.