Weight loss surgery can improve or eliminate diabetes-related kidney disease, according to research reported at the 29th annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). The preliminary study involved 52 obese patients with diabetes, over one-third of which had diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease or damage that occurs in people with diabetes) before undergoing weight loss surgery. In a 5 year follow-up, the kidney disease resolved in more than half of these patients. Additionally, 75 percent of the patients saw improvement or remission of their diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 10 to 20 percent of patients with diabetes develop nephropathy with each year of follow-up, so kidney problems are a serious risk to people with diabetes.
Obesity in itself has a negative impact on the kidneys, aside from the effects of diabetes. Intra-abdominal pressure in an obese person can compress the kidneys which increases renal venous pressure and ultimately can contribute to kidney injury. Another recent study found that the prevalence of kidney stones has almost doubled from 1994 to 2007-2010 in the United States, along with growing rates of obesity and diabetes. Between 2007 and 2010, 9 percent of the U.S. population had a kidney stone – one out of every 11 people. In 1994, the rate was one in 20. The increased risk of kidney stones and kidney disease is another significant reason to maintain a healthy lifestyle and body weight. Growing evidence is showing that weight loss surgery is a superior treatment for obese people with diabetes. You can learn more about LifeShape’s comprehensive surgical weight loss program here or register to attend a free informational session.