DENVER -- Overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, affecting 1 in 8 Americans. That's according to a recent Harris Interactive/HealthDay Poll).
A new study says weight loss surgery can help eliminate the disease in most patients.
That study, published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, shows weight-loss surgery, like gastric bypass, significantly lowers an obese person's risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
It is also turning things around for many who have already developed the disease.
Laura Crowthers says she knew she was overweight, but couldn't believe it when doctors told her she had Type 2 Diabetes, along with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
As the mother of four children, she wanted to improve her health so she could be there to see them grow up. So she had weight loss surgery last month and it's working.
Crowthers says, “I feel great, I’m off all of my medication.”
Bariatric surgeon Matt Metz of Bariatric & Aesthetic Surgery Associates and Rose Medical Center is the first in Colorado to combine two types of weight loss surgeries to help patients prone to Type 2 Diabetes.
The Duodenal Switch removes up to 70 percent of the stomach and then a portion of the small intestine is re-routed.
The surgery has been successful for Metz’s patients, including Constance Larkins, a mother of five.
“We're seeing over 80 percent success rate and it's fantastic," Metz says. "The hardest thing is getting patients in the door ... admitting they need some help.”
Larkins lost more than 30 pounds within the first month after her procedure. She says life as a healthier, more mobile mom is a wonderful reward. “I think it's worth it. I can reach my toes now, that's good. Getting up from sitting in a chair is even a lot easier.”
Not everyone is a candidate for the Duodenal Switch procedure, which can have serious risks for some patients.