Patients who follow bariatric surgery diet can improve type 2 diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes who eat a diet identical to the one advised after bariatric surgery can reduce their blood glucose levels just as much as patients who had the surgery, a new study found.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center followed 10 patients in a controlled setting during two separate study periods. During the first period, patients were prescribed a standard diet given to patients after bariatric surgery. During the second period, patients underwent the surgery and then followed the same diet they had eaten in phase one. Patients ate less than 2,000 calories total during the 10-day periods - a standard recommendation for those who had just had the gastric bypass surgery.

Results show similar outcomes

On average, fasting blood glucose levels dropped 21 percent during the diet-only phase, and they dropped 12 percent during the diet-surgery phase. Overall blood glucose levels after a meal decreased by 15 percent in the diet-only group, and 18 percent in the diet-surgery group.

Researchers say that caloric restriction is the key component of the diabetes reversal.

"For years, the question has been whether it is the bariatric surgery or a change in diet that causes the diabetes to improve so rapidly after surgery," Dr. Ildiko Lingvay, assistant professor of internal medicine, said in a press release. "We found that the reduction of patients' caloric intake following bariatric surgery is what leads to the major improvements in diabetes, not the surgery itself."

Bariatric surgery diet not a long-term option

Dr. Lingvay says the bariatric surgery diet, while effective in this study, isn't an option for people who want lasting results in terms of blood sugar reduction.

"Unfortunately, such a restrictive diet is nearly impossible to adhere to long-term in the absence of bariatric surgery," Dr. Lingvay said. "We found that the success of bariatric surgery is mediated through its ability to control food intake, which in turn has a beneficial effect on diabetes."

Source: Eureka Alert

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