A form of weight loss surgery known as gastric banding may be effective at reversing symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
New research published in the online journal Diabetologia found that some obese, type 2 diabetes patients who underwent gastric banding surgery experienced a fast reversal of their diabetes, while others showed significant improvements in glucose tolerance within 12 weeks. A dramatic reduction in inflammation was also seen in all patients.
While other more invasive and riskier forms of weight loss (bariatric) surgery, such as gastric bypass, are known to effective at rapidly improving control of type 2 diabetes or sending the disease into remissio, this latest study is thought to be the first to show similar rapid benefits with the use of a gastric band.
Professor Katherine Samaras, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues followed 15 morbidly obese patients after gastric banding surgery, which involves placing an inflatable silicone ring between the oesophagus and stomach. This restricts the amount of food that can be taken in and prevents food from being eaten too quickly.
All of the patients had been living with type 2 diabetes for five years or more, and most were on anti-diabetic drugs.
“We’ve known for many years that weight reduction improves diabetes, with recent strong evidence that bariatric surgery substantially improves diabetes. This is the first study to show such dramatic benefits within two weeks using gastric banding,” Professor Samaras said.
She added: “As a treatment, I suspect that bariatric surgery works by giving people a means of consistently keeping their calorie intake down. That’s why it’s so effective for rapid diabetes control and for weight loss in the longer term. For diabetes, diet is the cornerstone for management and control of the disease.”

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