Could Gastric Bypass Surgery Help To Cure Type 2 Diabetes?
Everyone knows about the obvious health benefits associated with gastric bypass surgery. Those who have weight-related health concerns may find that these wellness issues simply disappear when the weight starts to fall off after the surgery. But one area of their wellbeing that they may not have considered is the impact that gastric bypass surgery can have on type 2 diabetes.
In fact, gastric bypass surgery can actually improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes before the weight loss even starts. Scientists have found that the secret to this lies in the workings of the intestines. After a gastric bypass, the intestines become more prominent in the process of glucose use and this helps to decrease the levels of sugar in the blood. Doctors are now hopeful that they can find a way to reproduce this process to help improve the outcomes for those with type 2 diabetes, without actually having to undergo the surgery.
After surgery, the small intestines spontaneously begin to produce a molecule which is known as GLUT-1, and this molecule helps the body to use up glucose. Amazingly, this molecule is not normally present inside the small intestines of adult humans, only in foetuses. Researchers think that this probably happens because the intestine has a much harder job to do after the surgery, in order to absorb nutrients or move food further down the digestive track. As the stomach is bypassed, food is ‘dumped’ straight into the intestine, which may put extra stress on it and contribute to these changes occurring.
Weight loss and diabetes improvement have always gone hand in hand, but this is the first time that it has been shown that the symptoms of diabetes actually start to improve before any weight loss has taken place. Before, it had just naturally been assumed to be a side effect of the gradual lowering of body fat that occurs after a gastric bypass.