As regular readers of the LifeShape Blog know, I have written numerous posts in the past about diabetes. The reason for this is obvious. Diabetes is a terrible disease. It affects multiple parts of our body. It is the number one cause of renal failure, amputations, and blindness. There are two types of diabetes Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is what we use to call Juvenile diabetes. It is marked by a lack of insulin production requiring insulin injection or pancreatic transplant. Type 2 is the more common type. (Previously known as adult onset or non-insulin dependent. Neither description is accurate). Type 2 diabetes is marked by insulin resistance in the tissues. Initially Insulin levels are very high. Over time the cells that are making this large quantity of insulin start to fail leading to the need for insulin therapy in the later stages of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the disease that is most strongly associated with extra weight. Weight reduction is the most powerful therapy for control of type 2 diabetes. Control of diabetes is critically important because poor control accelerates end organ damage in multiple organs (heart, kidneys, eyes, peripheral nerves leading to neuropathy). Once the damage to these organs occurs it is not reversible.
One of my recurrent observations as I have practiced weight loss surgery over the past 11 years, is that there is larger variability in when patients decide they need to intensify their efforts to lose weight and become healthier. Many seek out weight loss surgery already having profound health issues and have suffered with an unhealthy amount of weight for far too many years. True some of these patients have wanted to proceed, but have been blocked by insurance, financial, or life circumstance. But in general my sense is that often people don’t adequately see the severity of their situation.
The latest research article that we at LifeShape have published is entitled: Control of type 2 diabetes after 1 year of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in the “helping evaluate reduction in obesity” (HERO) study. It appears in the journal Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism. I am honored to be a coauthor on the study with doctors Edelman, Dixon and others. The study is part of the HERO trial that many of our LifeShape band patients have participated in over the past five years. This most recent article has shown what many other articles have shown:
- Similar to the APEX study (which also include many LifeShape patients), centers involved in the HERO trial were committed to success of lap-band patients and as such achieved excellent weight loss.
- Many patients achieve excellent diabetes control after lap-band
- Lap-Band has a very safe risk profile
I feel the most significant finding of the study is that the longer a patient had diabetes preoperatively, the harder it was to achieve adequate diabetes control. For every additional year of diabetes there was a 9% increase likelihood of not achieving good diabetes control. So “I will do it next year” has very real adverse consequences.
Don’t wait…..act now!