DENVER -- Obesity is one of the top reasons behind the skyrocketing rate of type 2 diabetes.
Overeating and poor nutrition can cause the disease.
Now, a Denver surgeon is one of the first to perform a procedure that may actually be a cure.
Constance Larkins, 37, is a mother of five. She weighed nearly 250 pounds before having what's called a duodenal switch at Rose Medical Center -- Larkins' weight elevated her risks for heart problems and diabetes, which led to her decision to have the surgery.
"I would like to feel better, feel more comfortable in my skin, be able to hang out with my kids," Larkins says.
Dr. Matthew Metz of Baratric Surgery Associates in Parker performed the surgery.
The procedure removes up to 70 percent of the patient's stomach and a portion of the small intestine is re-routed.
Only a small amount of fat is allowed to be absorbed, causing the weight loss.
The procedure is showing amazing results and is responsible for the near elimination of type 2 diabetes in some patients.
Two weeks after the surgery, Larkins is recovering well and has already lost 27 pounds.
She will lose more in the coming months.
"It's not easy but I think it's worth it," Larkins says. "I'm not hungry. I don't want to stuff my face."
She adds that she can even touch her toes and will able to paint her toenails, something she couldn't do before the surgery.
Metz says the procedure is saving lives, but it's up to the patient to want to make the change.
"We're seeing an over 80% success rate and it's fantastic," Metz says. "But the hardest thing is getting patients in the door and admitting they need some help."
Not everyone is a candidate for the duodenal switch.
For more information about qualifications visit the Bariatric & Aesthetic Surgery Associates website.AlertMe