Saturday, April 24, 2010
One more reason NOT to get bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery--the practice of deliberately mutiliating the gastric anatomy in order to lose weight--is being pushed harder than ever these days. The latest claim: it cures Type II diabetes instantly.
Not so fast. Apparently the issue is more nuanced than that. Researchers at the University of Washington recently found that people whose fasting blood glucose levels came down after having the surgery were still spiking diabetes-level glucose levels after meals.
The money quote:
"I don't think the procedure cures whatever it is that's causing diabetes in the first place," said Arthur Chernoff, MD, chair of endocrinology at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, who wasn't involved in the study.
SHocking, isn't it? Fat may not be the only cause of diabetes.
In fact, the weight-diabetes link is one of doctors' strongest arguments against fat acceptance and health at every size. Bariatric surgery is very serious business--and I mean that in both senses of the word. It's a multimillion-dollar industry based on the premise that it's a good idea to take out part of your guts--forever. Once you've had the surgery, your body is unable to process nutrients the way it used to. You may or may not become thin (some people lose weight only to regain it after); you may or may not experience some of the serious complications of the surgery; you will be permanently malnourished.
And now you may not have an instant cure for Type II diabetes after all. Because the equation may be a bit more complex than fat = bad, thin = good.