POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 1:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 1:14am
A new study suggests a surgery that has been proven to help people lose weight could double as a treatment for uncontrolled diabetes.
Tim Ferree was one of 150 overweight adults who participated in a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic testing whether stomach-reducing surgery could manage Type II Diabetes better than medication, diet and exercise.
"I was very concerned about what diabetes would do to me, and this seemed to be the best shot at controlling that," Ferree says.
Just under half of the study participants who underwent gastric bypass surgery achieved complete remission from their Type II Diabetes, COMPARED TO ABOUT TEN PERCENT OF THOSE ON MEDICATION ALONE.
Patients who had surgery were also able to cut the number of cholesterol and blood pressure drugs they were taking and lost significantly more weight.
Doctors say a hormone in the stomach released immediately after surgery appears to stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin.
"There are some medications that try to mimic what the operation does but so far they're just not as powerful as surgery," says the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Philip Schauer.
"Since the surgery I don't have to take anything for my diabetes or for high blood pressure or for bad cholesterol, so I'm in much better shape over all," Ferree says.
He's taking steps to stay in shape for what he hopes are his healthiest years to come.
The study was funded by Ethicon Endo-Surgery Incorporated, a company that makes tools used in weight loss surgeries.