SHREVEPORT, La. – There is a significant correlation between diabetes and weight.
“The relative risk for patients who are obese for developing diabetes is ten times higher than for patients who are considered to be of normal weight and have a normal BMI,” said Dr. Kamel Brakta, a general and bariatric surgeon with the Willis Knighton Health System. “And the studies also looked at the patients who are diabetic and they found that 90% of all patients who are diabetic tend to be obese or overweight.”
Hence, weight control is extremely important to our health. Lifestyle changes such as eating healthy and exercising usually put the scales in the right direction. But sometimes medical intervention is required.
“Any patient struggling with weight who has implemented all of the non-surgical weight loss options and is running out of options should consider weight loss surgery as an option at this point,” Brakta said.
DR. Camel Brakta
Brakta says that time is also a factor.
“The longer patients wait to consider which option is right, the further they have progressed with all of these post-weight-gain diseases.”
People with a body mass index or BMI of 35 or more with comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or acid reflux are candidates for weight loss surgery.
“Any of these patients who are over 35 years of age and have any of these comorbidities may qualify for weight loss surgery or may opt for weight loss surgery,” Brakta said.
The operation involves restricting the volume of the stomach or small intestine.
“Usually there are two or three options that patients qualify for. They are all done laparoscopically or essentially with a robot through small incisions, ”said Brakta. “And the risks are pretty low, especially nowadays, as we’ve come a long way technologically.”
Immediately after the operation, a patient’s glucose level begins to normalize.
So, is that because they are eating less? Or does it only happen in the body?
“It’s actually both. That’s because they eat less than their body can absorb, ”said Brakta. “But we also learn that there are some changes in the gut that also help normalize or get rid of diabetes.”
An operation alone is not enough. Exercise and a healthy diet are essential to reduce weight after surgery.
“If you don’t maintain these lifestyle changes and have them as part of your lifestyle, the risk of relapse is significant.”
But Brakta says the benefits can be lifesaving.
“Up to 70 to 80% of diabetic patients eventually go into remission or become diabetes-free. And if these lifestyle changes are continued, patients will remain in remission for years and even decades later. “