Weight Loss Surgery & Diabetes

Weight loss surgery is proven to be more effective than medical therapy alone when it comes to treating diabetes in morbidly obese individuals.

In a study of morbidly obese individuals with diabetes, researchers compared intensive medical therapy alone versus bariatric surgery to see which treatment had the greatest impact on diabetes. Over a three-year period, patients who received bariatric surgery enjoyed significantly better outcomes versus those who received intensive medical therapy. In fact, most patients who received medical therapy alone had worse hemoglobin A1c levels (a marker of long-term blood sugar control) and required higher doses of medications as the study progressed, while a number of surgery patients were able to stop taking diabetes medications within days of the operation.

To find out more about the most effective treatment for your diabetes, or to learn more about weight loss surgery, the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery invites you to attend a free seminar. Visit dukewls.org to register for an upcoming seminar.

(*Schauer, et al. Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy for diabetes: 3-year outcomes. NEJM 2014)

Research proves surgery beats medical therapy alone when treating diabetes

Chan Park

by Chan Park, MD

A recent research study confirmed what bariatric surgeons have been saying for years: surgery is more effective than medical therapy alone when it comes to treating diabetes.* In a study of morbidly obese individuals with diabetes, researchers compared intensive medical therapy alone versus bariatric surgery to see which treatment had the greatest impact on diabetes. Over a 3-year study period, patients who received bariatric surgery enjoyed significantly better outcomes versus those who received intensive medical therapy. In fact, most patients who received medical therapy alone had worse hemoglobin A1c levels (a marker of long term blood sugar control) and required higher doses of medications as the study progressed, while a number of surgery patients were able to stop taking diabetes medications within days of the operation.

Bariatric surgery (commonly referred to as weight loss surgery) is indicated for morbidly obese individuals who may also have associated medical illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, etc. Most patients who receive bariatric surgery enjoy dramatic improvements in all of these medical conditions in addition to their significant weight loss. The surgery is performed with a minimally invasive approach using tiny incisions and a long skinny camera called the laparoscope. The risk of complications is remarkably low, and recovery after surgery requires little more than an overnight stay in the hospital.

To find out more about the most effective treatment for your diabetes, or to learn more about bariatric surgery, the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery invites you to attend one of our free seminars. Visit dukewls.org to find an upcoming seminar and to register.

(*Schauer, et al. Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy for diabetes: 3-year outcomes. NEJM 2014)

American Diabetes Alert Day

The American Diabetes Association designated March 27 as Diabetes Alert Day to boost awareness of the diabetes epidemic.

Today (March 25) is American Diabetes Association Alert Day. This is a time to find out more about this serious condition that impacts 1 in 12 Americans. Some startling facts and figures from the American Diabetes Association include:

  • Diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • In the next 24 hours, diabetes will claim the lives of 200 people.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050.

Visit www.stopdiabetes.com to learn more about how you can support the American Diabetes Association’s fight to Stop Diabetes.

What is diabetes?

Lada Flynn, MS, ANP, Department of Endocrinology/Diabetes Management

Dictionary Series - Health: diabetesThe human body—or, more specifically, the cells that make up our body—uses a sugar called glucose as a primary source of energy. After eating, glucose enters the blood stream and is absorbed by the body. The body then uses a hormone called insulin to help deliver glucose from the blood stream to individual cells. When the body does not make enough insulin or does not respond to the insulin it produces, the result is a high concentration of glucose in the blood stream (high blood sugar) and a chronic metabolic disorder called diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes.

  • In people with type 1 diabetes, the body has stopped making insulin completely or makes very small amounts of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder most often diagnosed in children, teenagers and young adults; however, occasionally people in their 40s, 50s and even 60s can develop type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections regularly to maintain the correct blood sugar level.
  • Type 2 diabetes is the result of lower insulin secretion and insulin resistance, and is usually diagnosed in adults. This type of diabetes can be treated with oral medications, insulin or non-insulin injectable medications. Approximately 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2.

Other types of diabetes include gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy, and steroid-induced diabetes, which can occur in people taking medications such as prednisone. Family history of diabetes also increases a person’s chance of developing the disease.

It is important that people with diabetes take an active role in their health care. Though type 1 and type 2 diabetes are chronic diseases, they may be controlled with insulin injections or other medications. High blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, smoking and lack of regular exercise can negatively affect a diabetes patient’s overall health.

Visit dukeregional.org to learn more about outpatient nutrition and diabetes education services at Duke Regional.

Becoming the best community hospital in North Carolina

Kerry Watson, President

1306_snclr-dk_8434For more than three decades, Duke Regional Hospital has been committed to caring for you and your loved ones. Today I am delighted and honored to share Duke Regional is the leading community hospital in North Carolina.

According to the 2013-14 Best Hospitals rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Duke Regional ranked fourth out of 147 hospitals in North Carolina, and third out of 19 hospitals in the Raleigh-Durham metro area, which includes Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh. In addition, Duke Regional was ranked nationally in diabetes and endocrinology as well as high performing in nine areas, including cancer; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; geriatrics; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopaedics; pulmonology and urology.

For 24 years, U.S. News & World Report has graded hospitals nationally and in 16 adult specialties based on quality data provided by the federal government. Criteria include patient safety, patient survival rate, quality of care and reputation among physicians. To make the Best Hospitals list, a hospital must stand out in the way its specialists care for tough cases. Only 15 percent of hospitals are recognized for their high performance as one of their region’s best, and just 3 percent of all hospitals earn a national ranking in any specialty. These rankings are important because they offer much-needed assistance in making the difficult decision about where to go to get care for complex medical conditions.

Becoming the best community hospital in North Carolina is a significant milestone, not only for our institution and team but also for our community. Our mission and commitment is to care for each and every person who walks through our doors, with the promise of providing the top-quality care you expect from our experienced clinical and support teams.

Now, as the best community hospital in the state, our promise to you is stronger than ever.

What is diabetes education?

Debby Nowack
Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator, Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education Center

What is diabetes education anyway? The American Diabetes Association and American Association of Diabetes Educators have established guidelines for information taught in diabetes education programs. 

Man on a bicycleLuckily, diabetes education is not about someone telling you what you can and can’t eat. Rather, diabetes education includes suggestions about how much of various foods is recommended, but you pick the food. Diabetes education also includes the knowledge and skills for daily routines such as when to take diabetes medication and how and when to check blood sugars as well as daily foot care and safety tips for physical activity. Diabetes education can help patients understand what to do when blood sugars run too low or too high, how to read food labels, how to improve cholesterol and blood pressure (very important for many people with diabetes) and when to call your doctor. 

Durham Regional offers diabetes and nutrition programs at our Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education Center, located at 407 Crutchfield Street in Durham. For 2012-13, we have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in North Carolina. Our diabetes care received special recognition as a high-performing area. To learn more, visit our website.

These are some of the comments participants have made after attending our diabetes education classes:

“The instructors and classes were great and easy to understand. I really learned a lot of important information that will help me improve my diabetes and overall health.”

“Everyone who has diabetes needs this class. It helps give you confidence and accept the disease. It has helped me a lot.”

“I was very nervous at first because I was unfamiliar with diabetes. The more classes I attended the easier it got and the smarter my wife and I got.”

“Very excellent instructors and materials. Class is well worth the time. It helps you understand diabetes and how to deal with the stress and problems of the disease.”

“Very helpful. Comfortable setting! Calmed my fears and answered all my concerns and questions! What a blessing!”

“All the classes were helpful and presented in an understanding manner. There was always adequate time for questions and discussion.”