Diabetes and Weight: How Bariatric Surgery Can Help Manage Diabetes

Without lifestyle changes and treatment, obesity can lead to a number of chronic health problems. One of the most widespread of these is type 2 diabetes, which is said to affect almost one-third of all overweight people.1

In the short term, diabetes can affect your energy levels, mood, and quality of life, while causing symptoms such as rapid or irregular heartbeats, sweating, anxiety, and headaches. In the long term, untreated diabetes can result in blindness, kidney failure, damage to nerves and blood vessels, and even death.

There is hope for those that are overweight. We look into how diabetes occurs, how weight plays into it, and what you can do to manage or even avoid it.

How Does Diabetes Occur?

Insulin is an incredibly important hormone. It helps to convert blood sugar into energy that’s used by your muscles and other body tissue while ensuring that those blood sugar levels don’t rise too high (hyperglycemia) or fall too low (hypoglycemia).

In type 2 diabetes, the body slowly becomes less and less sensitive to insulin. To compensate for this, the body produces more and more insulin, eventually overworking the cells responsible for production and causing them to stop working.

chewy colorful candies in form of berries

As a result of the insulin resistance and eventual breakdown, blood sugar is no longer converted properly, and the levels become dangerously high.

Weight as a Risk Factor

There’s a clear link between diabetes and weight. Studies have shown that over 90% of diabetics are overweight,2 and it’s reported that those who are even mildly overweight are five times more at risk of developing diabetes than those who have a BMI under 25.1

This is due to a number of factors:

● Obesity puts stress on certain cells that affect their insulin receptors and cause insulin resistance.
● The diet and lifestyles of many overweight people adversely affect metabolism and the usage of blood sugar.
● Our bodies are unable to cope adequately with high glycemic index (GI) foods such as complex carbohydrates, which are quite often found in the diets of overweight people.
● Other chronic health problems can mask the gradual onset of diabetes, delaying intervention.

Improving Health Through Weight Loss

Changing your lifestyle and diet and achieving long-term weight loss is a difficult but rewarding start to managing diabetes. In many cases, if an overweight person manages to address the risk factors before becoming a diabetic, they can avoid it entirely. Even if you’re already a diabetic, long-term remission is achievable in most cases.

Losing weight will also improve your overall health in a range of ways, including:

● Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
● Acid reflux reduction
● More energy
● Less strain on cardiovascular systems
● Better breathing and sleep
● Easing of joint, muscle, and bone pain

happy fit woman cheering and celebrating

Can Bariatric Surgery Help?

Out of the many weight loss surgery types and medical interventions available, bariatric surgery is considered one of the best ways to manage diabetes.

In one clinical study performed, 40% of patients who had bariatric surgery were in remission 12 months afterward, compared to 12% who received only medical treatment for their weight problems.3 For diabetics two years after surgery, another study found that 95% of patients were in remission, while those who underwent only medical therapy had no remissions at all.4

Regain Your Life Today

Out of all the evidence, one thing is clear: If you’re a diabetic, there is a way to better health and a longer life. All you have to do is take the brave first step and choose to tackle weight head on.

With a range of weight loss procedures including bariatric surgery, the Houston Sleeve Surgery Clinic is there to help you achieve that goal and regain your life. To beat diabetes and discuss your weight loss surgery options, get in touch with our supportive and caring team at (281) 888-7767.

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.


  1. https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/media/en/gsfs_obesity.pdf
  2. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/03/the-big-setup/
  3. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200225
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22449317

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