Does The Gastric Sleeve Cure Diabetes?

Before we start, it is important to understand the difference between a cure and remission of type-2 diabetes. There’s a big difference and we try to discuss results in terms of remission. After all, type-2 diabetes is a chronic disease that must be managed even if symptoms have disappeared and blood sugar is normalized. There is no cure.

We have known for years that bariatric surgeries have shown great promise in improving type-2 diabetes. This was largely due, we thought, to weight loss and patient lifestyle changes after surgery. However, the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass have been particularly effective in this regard, with many patients improving or going into remission before losing a significant amount of weight.

The latest research in bariatric surgery, and specifically stapled weight loss surgeries such as the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass, has begun to uncover the details of these exceptional diabetes remission rates. The research deals with how our bodies produce and react to various bacteria – in this case, gut bacteria.

While we still don’t know exactly why this happens, the belief is that the surgery alters the bacterial composition of the gut. This, in turn, may restore a natural bacterial balance. The idea is that years of poor dietary and exercise habits have created a long-term imbalance in our bodies. Judging by the human body’s amazing ability to adapt, the theory is very plausible.

As a result of this research there is reason to believe (and hope) that one day, bariatric surgery may be useful for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, even if they are not morbidly obese. While that day may still be far in the future, it is encouraging to know that the medical community has begun to unravel the mystery behind diabetes remission after surgery. In the meantime, you can learn more about surgery by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Chang.