Diabetes Cured By Surgery

A couple of new studies show that undergoing gastric bypass or banding will cure people of their diabetes.  Even more surprising to the authors was that this happened so quickly and sometimes even before they lost weight.  Why this is surprising to them is even more surprising to me.   Diabetes (Type II) is about diet as it relates to the macronutrients one takes in and hormonal response (insulin) that occurs.   I remember in medical school being taught that a diabetic placed in a controlled hospital environment will have to have his or her meds watched closely because the strict diet will bring sugars down immediately.  The real problem is that most diabetes “out eat” the meds we give them.   The other issue is that the standard American diet (SAD) is 70% carbohydrates leading to a chronic barrage of insulin production.  After surgery, these patients eat so few calories that I bet their insulin production is minimal.   I am simplifying this and I understand there could be more hormonal changes (Leptin, etc) that occur after these surgeries but for the most part, I still believe this is about diet.

Now for a side note.  I am blown away by some quotes from Dr. Steve Nissen.  He is the fist-pounding cardiologist who has put the kibosh on so many drugs due to any negative studies.  In the linked article he says that these studies “don’t even begin to show how successful this was” and that “this is sensational”.  Nissen was coauthor of one of the studies so that is a conflict of interest right there.   For a guy who has made news over the years trying to stop some drugs from being prescribed that he has deemed dangerous it sure sounds like he needs to be a little more careful about glorifying the results of a study that may push more people into surgery.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “Diabetes Cured By Surgery

  1. Trying hard to stay off the soapbox
    March 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    so what I get from this,(including the comments), (as a non-md) is that adult-onset diabetes is really just about being fat? err, over-eater? err, slovenly, errr inactive?
    Side-bar, I’m struck by the (popular) press’ attention to diet/consumption — but a paucity of “get your a_s off the couch” talk. Lipservice is paid to schools and PE — but when budgets get tight PE is always on the shortlist for cuts.
    Personally, as a 50something, I stay very active — just so I can continue to eat what and when I like for the short-term, stave off the on-set of crepitation of various body parts in the mid-term and perhaps keep the brain firing cleanly and body chronic diseases/BigC free in the long-term. I still have a bit of struggle accepting that this won’t make me immortal. snicker.

  2. richard
    March 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I work in a jail where all diabetics are put on a strict diet on entry to the facility and we automatically plan on cutting their drugs in half by the end of the first week. amazing how doing what we tell someone will actually work (I guess med-school wasn’t a complete waste of time!)

  3. Joel Crane
    March 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Is this another example of will power trumps drugs and surgery? Medication is never the answer when will power alone will do the trick.

  4. Marcy Thomas
    March 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

    You need to talk to the Diabetics who had a Gastric Bypass, lost 80
    Pounds then gained it all back and are still on diabetic drugs.

  5. leslie
    March 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I have often said that I cure most diabetics just by putting them in the hospital (on a hospital diet)and could cure essentially any adult onset diabetic by incarceration on any weight loss diet.

Comments are closed.