For the obese child with diabetes obesity surgery may reverse the disease just as it does with adults. A new study on type two diabetes studied 11 morbidly obese teens.
All but one of the 11 teens who underwent weight reduction surgery were free of diabetes a year after their surgeries. The eleventh patient, while still diabetic had a much reduced need for insulin. Dr. Thomas Inge of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center tracked the 11 patients for a year following their surgeries. Inge believed prior to the study that like adult diabetics, weight loss surgery could be a cure for diabetes.
Because of the successful outcome from the study more morbidly obese teens with diabetes may be candidates for gastric by-pass. Because of the long term side effects of the surgery teenage patients must be carefully selected.
The 11 teens in the study ranged in age from 14 to 21. They weighed between 250 to 403 pounds. All were taking diabetes pills and one was having to take insulin to control their type-2 diabetes. The operations took place at five different medical centers. The 11 were then studied along with 67 mostly obese teens with diabetes at Cincinnati Children’s. The patients in the study who did not have the surgery had their blood sugar controlled by diet and medication.
Those who underwent the surgery had lost between 72 and 218 pounds within the year. None of them were at a normal weight yet ten of the patients were no longer diabetic. The one patient that still had the disease also had a younger sibling and his mother who were diabetic. Three years after surgery he was no longer overweight but still needed to take insulin.
Inge also coincided that the teen’s diabetes may have been more advanced than the other teens. It has been noted in adult studies the best chances of eliminating diabetes through gastric by-pass happens soon after diagnosis.