Gastric Bypass Surgery Puts Diabetes in Remission

person giving self insulin injection in belly

A Cleveland Clinic study found that gastric bypass surgery can restore function of the pancreas and put diabetes in remission almost immediately.

Endocrinologist Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, led the study. She says the results are “stunning” and offer hope to people struggling with both diabetes and weight gain.

The pancreas provides the body with insulin. If we gain weight, the pancreas has to work harder. If we keep gaining weight, eventually the pancreas loses its ability to supply enough insulin and the result is diabetes.

Pancreas begins making insulin again

Dr. Kashyap and her researchers did a randomized study of 60 people with diabetes. One third had gastric bypass surgery, one third had a modified version called sleeve gastrectomy and the other underwent intensive medical therapy.

After following them for two years, Dr. Kashyap and her researchers found the gastric bypass procedure not only took off weight, but the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin increased five-fold. A hormone change in the gut, caused by the bypass, triggers the pancreas to make insulin again.

“This is not something we see to this extent with medication or any other therapy,” says Dr. Kashyap. “This is a stunning finding. The gastric bypass restored normal blood sugar control, especially normal blood sugars after ingestion of a meal. It really restored the pancreatic function.”

This effect wasn’t found in the other subjects who did not have the gastric bypass procedure.

Why the results are so important

People with diabetes on glucose-lowering drugs and insulin may have a difficult time losing weight. Because of the drugs, many gain it. Gastric bypass surgery can be an option for those unable to control their weight gain and diabetes through any other means.

Prevention is, as ever, the key. “Appropriate diet and exercise are the right ways to prevent diabetes, and prevention is always the best,” says Dr. Kashyap.

But for those who have diabetes weight loss is critical, and this study brings good news and fresh hope.

What this means for you

Patients with a body mass index (BMI) above 40 may be eligible or those with a body mass index above 35 with other complications related to their obesity may qualify for various bariatric procedures, says Dr. Kashyap.  Discuss this option with your doctor for the complete risk and benefit profile.

Download a treatment guide about diabetes

  • Marry

    I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2014. I started the ADA diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research. On April 13th I found this book on
    w­j­e­5­9­2­.­com/Cure-Diabetes-Naturally.html . I read the book from end to end that night because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next morning my blood sugar was down to 100, the next day was in the 90’s and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70’s and the 80’s. My doctor took me off the metformin after just one week of being on this lifestyle change. I have lost over 30 pounds in a month. I now work out twice a day and still have tons of energy. I have lost 6+ inches around my waist and I am off my high blood pressure medication too. I have about 20 more pounds to go till my body finds its ideal weight. The great news is, this is a lifestyle I can live with, it makes sense and it works. God Bless the writer. I wish the ADA would stop enabling consumers and tell them the truth. You can get off the drugs, you can help yourself, but you have to have a correct lifestyle and diet. No more processed foods.

    • Ez Acosta

      It pays to advocate for our own health. The standards of health in conventional medicine is atrocious. Im glad you found the path out of sickness. So much of this countries ills goes back to nutrition and clean living and food. The truth is out there.

  • Kimberly Ryan

    In 2007, I was diagnosed with severe fibromyalgia, placed on narcotic therapy, extremely active, petite, until three years ago. Cannot take Lyrica or gabapentin due to severe allergies and Cymbalta doesn’t help. I was taken off these medications because of all the studies contraindicated their effectiveness. Now I’m not on anything. I’ve gained almost 50 pounds, due to decreased activity, in severe pain, have increased neuropathy and muscle weakness, all of which are not being addressed. To add fuel to the fire, I had a brain aneurysm in 4/2000 which left me with traumatic brain injury, as well as, physical side effects. I’ve kept these to a minimum by staying physically fit and active. Because my health has deteriorated and by not being as physical, these side effects are becoming more apparent again. There is no one treating fibromyalgia in my area and I also live in NYS with the strict regulations of narcotics. I don’t fit the “normal” treatment for this diagnosis, nor do I have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, yet I cannot get help. It’s unfortunate that someone who goes from being highly active all their life, athletic, loves the outdoors, lives alone, owns their own house, used to be an RN, becomes someone who struggles to get through the day. It’s not right.