Top Health Stories of 2012: Treating Diabetes With Bariatric Surgery?

The Dr. Oz Show medical staff chose the top most innovative, interesting and influential health headlines of 2012. Each day until the new year, we’ll round up and revisit the major headlines that had a profound effect on science, medicine and your health over the last 12 months.

Headline #13: 
Bariatric Surgery May Treat Diabetes in Addition to Obesity

Bariatric surgery has grown in popularity in recent years and has been a topic of conversation on The Dr. Oz Show. This year, a study revealed a potential side effect of the invasive weight-loss surgery: While triggering weight loss, it can also reverse diabetes, without the need for insulin or other medication. In fact, the patients’ diabetes resolved days after the surgery — before they had a chance to lose any weight.

Even though losing weight in itself can help with blood sugar, the researchers also think the “almost immediate” change in blood sugar “suggests a key role for hormones made by the digestive tract.” These hormones may lead to better regulation and use of insulin that helps to keep blood sugar levels low.

While physicians probably won’t be recommending bariatric surgery for diabetes treatment alone anytime soon, the story brings national attention to the growing problem of obesity in the United States and how finding ways to treat obesity can also help cure other related chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Learn more about the different types of bariatric surgery.

Read More of 2012’s Top Health Stories: