If you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, here are some things you should know about weight loss surgery.
- Weight-loss surgery can restore blood sugar levels to normal, possibly allowing you to stop taking insulin and other medications.
- People who undergo gastric bypass surgery lose an average of 64 percent of their excess body weight.
- The American Diabetes Association recommends weight-loss surgery if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher.
Diabetes Weight Loss Don'ts
While surgery may help you shed pounds, steer clear of these dangerous weight-loss methods:
- Withholding insulin Depriving your body of insulin injectionsknown as diabulimiawill result in weight loss, but can cause dehydration and damage your internal organs.
- Diuretic diet aids Many "quick-fix" weight-loss supplements stimulate the kidneys to excrete fluids. If you have diabetes, any product that puts extra strain on your kidneys is potentially dangerous.
- Fad diets Any diet that excludes a food group (such as carbs) or focuses on high consumption of one (such as protein) is potentially dangerous. The healthiest diets include a variety of foods from all groups.
Weight Loss Surgery & Your Diet
The small pouch created by the bariatric surgeon can gradually stretch if you overeat, allowing you to eat more and regain the weight you’ve lost. Changes in diet are required, some temporary and some permanent.
For a few weeks after the surgery, you'll be placed on a liquid diet. The keys to post-surgery success are small portions and a diet high in lean protein and low in fats and sugary items.
About 20 percent of gastric bypass patients will develop "dumping" syndrome, in which too much undigested food enters the small intestine, leading to diarrhea and abdominal cramps. This condition generally improves if you eat smaller meals and fewer simple carbohydrates.
Because the gastric rerouting also hinders vitamin and mineral absorption, bypass recipients need to take vitamins to stave off deficiencies.
From our sister publication, Diabetes Focus, Fall 2011