Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

How Weight-Loss Surgery Improves Diabetes Control

Key hormones, amino acids altered during digestion, study finds

  • Print

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Gastric bypass -- a widely used weight-loss procedure -- appears to change the hormones and amino acids produced during digestion, which could explain how the surgery eliminates symptoms of type 2 diabetes, according to a small new study.

The findings could lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes, the researchers said. Untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, blindness, amputations and kidney disease.

In gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is divided into two sections. Food is then directed to the smaller section, so people feel full after eating less food.

This study included four women who had gastric bypass surgery. During the operation, a catheter was inserted into the larger, bypassed section of each patient's stomach.

After the surgery, the researchers sent food through the catheter into this part of the stomach and analyzed the hormones produced. Those findings were compared to hormone activity when a meal was digested in the smaller section of the stomach.

Patients' levels of insulin and other hormones were much higher when a meal was digested in the smaller part of the stomach, compared to the larger bypassed section. Amino acid levels also were higher in the smaller part of the stomach, while levels of free fatty acids were lower, according to the study, which was published April 30 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The increased levels of hormones -- particularly insulin -- during digestion in the smaller part of the stomach enabled patients to maintain better control of their blood sugar, the researchers said. Despite the study's findings that gastric bypass could cause changes in hormones that lead to decreased diabetes symptoms, it did not necessarily prove a cause-and-effect link.

The findings "offer insights into how gastric bypass surgery works," said the study's main author, Nils Wierup, associate professor at the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden. "The surgery is currently the most effective weapon we have to combat morbid obesity and, as a side effect, it has proven to relieve symptoms of type 2 diabetes."

"Exploring the impact this surgery has on digestion could yield new, non-surgical strategies for treating diabetes and obesity," Wierup added in a journal news release.

About 18.8 million children and adults in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes. Many more have the disease but don't know it.

More information

The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia has more about gastric bypass surgery.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

RMTC preview of Good People

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Weather standup. Sundog. Refraction of light through ice crystals which caused both the sun dog and and fog along McPhillips Road early Wednesday morning. 071205.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google