Bariatric surgery means remission of diabetes mellitus for many patients

By Dr. Manish Baijal in Bariatric Surgery / Metabolic

Dec 10 , 2020 | 1 min read


Obese individuals have a 40% higher chance of developing Diabetes (Type II DM). 60% of all individuals opting for Bariatric surgery are also diabetic. We as Indians develop diabetes early (40-60 yrs of age) in life as compared to the western population. This means we start living with Diabetes early thus developing complications of diabetes during very productive years of our life.
More than 70% diabetic obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery, experience remission of diabetes after surgery. Remission means discontinuation of medication with HbA1c levels of less than 6. Remission is more commonly seen with the procedure called Gastric Bypass. The reasons for remission are 2 fold. Firstly it is the weight loss that improves Insulin sensitivity and thus blood sugar control. Secondly the reorientation of upper gastrointestinal tract increases secretion of certain hormones that also improves blood sugar control. The second effect is almost immediate after surgery which makes it possible for a good number of patients to stop medication for diabetes within 72 hours after surgery. The remission effect of surgery is more profound in patients in whom the duration of diabetes has been less than five years as well as in those who are on oral medication only and not on insulin therapy.
It is important for one to understand that longer the duration of diabetes, higher are the chances of multi organ involvement. So the years spent in remission are the years gained in quality and longevity of life.