Gastric bypass may help regulate insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics

Research presented at the Endocrine Society's 92nd annual meeting has revealed that gastric bypass surgery could potentially benefit patients with type 2 diabetes.

Lead author Judith Korner of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons found that the procedure significantly improves insulin sensitivity. She and her colleagues compared two groups of diabetic adults. Seven patients adopted a daily liquid diet of 800 calories, while the other seven individuals underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

This procedure decreases the size of the patient's stomach and enables food to skip past most of the stomach and part of the small intestine. Following surgery, many individuals with type 2 diabetes have achieved better control of their blood glucose. Some people have been able to stop taking medications altogether.

The researchers found that gastric bypass surgery may be even more effective at regulating insulin sensitivity than weight loss. They believe that hormonal changes may be responsible for the added benefits that the procedure provides.

"It will be important to understand how surgery works to produce these results so that we can develop medical therapies of equivalent efficacy," said Korner.