Weight-Loss Surgery Can End Diabetes

Intestinal rerouting works miracles, but science still debated
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2007 10:52 AM CDT
Weight-Loss Surgery Can End Diabetes
Amanda Munson, left, sits with her mother, Barbara Farnsworth, in their home, Monday, April 23, 2007, in Burlington, Ky. Amanda has lost 40 pounds since having bariatric surgery about 30 days ago. Munson was the first of 200 teenagers who eventually will be enrolled in a five-year, federally funded...   (Associated Press)

Surgery that shrinks stomachs and reroutes intestines can make diabetes disappear—but some worry the procedure is the wrong one for the disease. More than three of four diabetics who undergo bariatric surgery are left with no symptoms, and can even live without insulin. But docs are concerned about complications like nutritional deficiency—and remission is possible in some cases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Even advocates of the process, which diverts food from small intestine hormones that are otherwise sent into tailspin, say the surgery must be prescribed carefully and to the most obese patients first. But a marketing blitz has helped spur a widespread rush to get the procedure, and doctors are concerned it’s gained a bad reputation in the process. (More diabetes stories.)

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