In a recent study published in the journal Cirurgia Espanola, a team of researchers found that in individuals undergoing gastric band surgery, the weight loss attributed to the implantation of the band leads to a positive increase in sensitivity to insulin — an improvement that is essential for controlling and improving diabetes in obese patients.
Obesity and Diabetes are two related diseases that are rapidly increasing. Currently, Obesity affects 240 million people worldwide, and this alarming number is expected to increase to 380 million worldwide in the next 15 years. Diabetes is also becoming more prevalent, particularly in obese and morbidly obese patients. While these facts are well established, there is still a lack of research regarding the prognostic factors of improvement in the metabolism of diabetic patients, and how weight loss surgery techniques such as gastric band surgery impact the body’s processing of insulin.
Gastric Band Surgery Weight Loss Key To Improving Diabetes
There are several different weight loss surgery techniques currently in use to address obesity and the associated co-morbidities. Procedures such as malabsorptive or mixed bariatric surgery have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in patients, however, researchers believe that in these procedures, gastrointestinal hormone changes are the cause of the improvement. In contrast, the anti-diabetic effect of gastric band surgery seems to be caused directly by weight loss.
To evaluate the preoperative factors associated with remission of diabetes and weight loss after laparoscopic gastric band surgery, in the study titled “Predictive Factors of Insulin Resistance Resolution With Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery,” Pablo Colsa Gutierrez from the Servicio de Cirugıa General y del Aparato Digestivo, Hospital Sierrallana, Torrelavega in Cantabria, Spain and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 95 patients who underwent an adjustable gastric band procedure.
The researchers conducted the analysis using a set of independent variables among the participants in the study, including age, sex, body mass index (BMI), diabetes status and degree of obesity; as well as some key dependent variables, such as the proportion of weight loss, change in diabetes status score and percent changes in fasting sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin.
After analyzing all of the data collected from these variables, the researchers concluded that with the adjustable gastric band, weight loss is the fundamental mechanism for optimization of diabetes. In short, weight loss after the procedure diminishes fat content, leading to a decrease in the mediators of inflammation and an increase in the sensitivity to insulin.
This improvement in glucidic metabolism is clinically evident through the decreases in fasting blood sugar and glycated haemoglobin, and especially in the reduced need for diabetes-related treatment. For this reason, young male patients with a high BMI have significantly better results with the gastric band surgery in terms of insulin sensitivity.
What This Means Obese Patients With Diabetes
Weight loss surgery in general has been shown to improve diabetic conditions in patients. However, these results are significant for those considering gastric band surgery, since the procedure itself is much less invasive and complex compared to gastric bypass, and does not carry the same serious risks that come with complications from leaks caused by sleeve gastrectomy, which include sepsis, organ failure, and death. This study reveals that the simple, safe procedure and the resulting weight loss has a net positive effect on those looking to both lose weight and control their diabetes.