Rapid Improvement of Diabetes After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Is It the Diet or Surgery?

MedicalResearch.com Author Interview: Ildiko Lingvay, MD, MPH, MSCS
Departments of Internal Medicine–Endocrinology and Clinical Sciences, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Lingvay: We found that the restrictive diet imposed after a bariatric procedure like RYGB is the key element to the rapid improvement in the diabetes seen immediately after surgery.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Lingvay: Many researchers believe there is a “yet-to-be-discovered” hormone which the surgical procedure brings on. This hormone would have a putative anti-diabetic effect and is responsible for the rapid improvement of diabetes after surgery.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Lingvay: Reduced caloric intake is the key to losing weight and improving diabetes. If such a significant caloric restrictions can be achieved with diet alone – very uncommon unfortunately, it would be just as effective. In most patients surgery is needed to help enforce this degree of caloric restriction long term.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Lingvay: We believe that bariatric surgery, especially RYGB, causes and reinforces patients to adhere to such drastic changes in dietary intake. We believe that such surgery has a direct effect on appetite suppression, and the mechanism through which this happens needs to be elucidated. Ideally we could harness the same mechanism in the absence of surgery, to help our patients eat less and improve their diabetes.


Rapid Improvement of Diabetes After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Is It the Diet or Surgery?

Ildiko Lingvay, Eve Guth, Arsalla Islam, and Edward Livingston
Diabetes Care published ahead of print March 25, 2013, doi:10.2337/dc12-2316

Last Updated on April 10, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD