Risk of Living With Diabetes vs. Having Bariatric Surgery for Diabetes

Posted by Jason Radecke on Thu, Sep 12, 2013

As with all diseases, diabetes has significant health risks associated with it. Ranging from minor to major, patients alter their lives greatly to deal with these daily. Most of these can be avoided through very tight glucose control; however, this is not achieved by most diabetics.

Bariatric surgery reduces the risk of complications from diabetes. Nonetheless, many people shiver at the thought of surgery. Surgery is not a solution that should be taken lightly, however, in the case of weight loss and controlling diabetes, it is exceptionally effective. If you are wary of surgery, consider the risk of living with diabetes vs. having bariatric surgery for diabetes.

shutterstock 107412227Risk of Living With Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition which occurs when the body does not use glucose, a major source of energy for your body, normally. Because people with diabetes have an uncontrolled levels of blood glucose, they often feel tired, weak or faint. In addition to this feeling of exhaustion, there are several other health risks associated with diabetes. The following are complications significantly higher in diabetes patients:

  • Heart disease: People with diabetes have a higher-than-average risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

  • Ketoacidosis (DKA): This is a serious condition that can lead to diabetic coma. When your cells don't get the glucose they need for energy, your body burns fat. This produces ketones, which can poison the body. DKA is incredibly dangerous and should be treated in a hospital emergency room immediately.

  • Eye complications: People with diabetes have higher risk of blindness than people without diabetes.

  • Foot complications: Diabetes causes a reduced blood flow to the feet. This causes lack of feeling in the feet, which means that should you suffer an injury, you may not feel the impact. In the case of an injury or infection, you may go a prolonged period of time without giving it the attention it needs.

  • Hearing loss: Hearing depends on small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage these vessels and nerves.

All of these health risks are aside from the daily cares associated with diabetes, from using insulin to maintain blood sugar to constant finger sticks, etc. Diabetes requires much attention and care almost constantly.

Risk of Having Bariatric Surgery

As with all operations and surgeries, weight loss surgery has potential risks associated with it. Although they are minimal and the surgery is widely successful, it is important to acknowledge these risks.

Risks associated with the surgical process:

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Infection

  • Reactions to anesthesia

  • Blood clots

  • Lung or breathing problems

  • Leaks in your gastrointestinal system

Risks after surgical process:

  • Bowel obstruction

  • Dumping syndrome, causing diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting

  • Gallstones

  • Hernias

  • Low blood sugar

  • Malnutrition

  • Stomach perforation

  • Ulcers

  • Vomiting

The risk of postoperative complications is typically less than 4% over one’s lifetime. Most of these complications are treatable with simple interventions. With diabetes, patients are more likely to suffer from the complications associated with the disease. Weight gain is a key risk to becoming diabetic, and weight loss surgery can help many patients control their disease. Eating too many calories overwhelms the insulin producing system and leads to higher levels of blood sugar. Weight loss surgery can regulate the amount of calories consumed in patients, which ultimately, will likely lead to remission.

To further discuss the risks of living with diabetes vs. the risk of having bariatric surgery, contact Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center today. 


Tags: Bariatric Surgery for Diabetes

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