Ann Blackford

Healthier Lifestyle, Not Surgery, is Safest Way to Control Diabetes

Published: Jan 8, 2013

<--break->

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 8, 2013) — The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, Jan. 7.

 

By Dr. L. Raymond Reynolds

 

Over the past year, news headlines have suggested that Type 2 diabetes and obesity can be safely “cured” by bariatric surgery.

 

Patients who undergo this surgery, which bypasses part or all of the stomach, typically lose weight rapidly and may no longer need diabetes medication when they leave the hospital.

 

Surgery, however, has its own risks, including a significant number of complications that require re-hospitalization. In addition, follow-up studies demonstrate that many patients regain weight and have a re-emergence of their diabetes.

 

Although we do not fully understand why blood sugars normalize so rapidly after bariatric surgery, a study presented at the 2012 Obesity Society International compared low-calorie dieting to surgery. The study found equivalent effects on insulin and blood sugar levels, suggesting that a dramatic drop in calorie intake is the initial key.

 

The focus of diabetes therapy is prevention:  Avoid or minimize the impact of damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels. The usual therapeutic approach is to control blood sugars as much as is safely possible. This usually requires multiple medications and weight gain is a common side effect.

 

However, most people with Type 2 diabetes are already obese, and further weight gain as a result of well-intentioned therapy can increase psychological and physical distress. Weight gain means higher medication dosages and longer medication lists.

 

An estimated 70 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition marked by elevated blood sugar that can result eventually in diabetes. More than a decade ago, three landmark studies demonstrated that changes in diet and activity resulting in modest (5-7 percent) weight losses prevented diabetes in nearly 60 percent of those with prediabetes.

 

Of course, weight loss and maintenance seem to be unreachable goals for many people, especially those with diabetes. However, even modest reductions in calorie intake and increases in physical activity reduce blood sugars, resulting in lower medication requirements. A 20-minute walk after a meal can lower blood sugar by 30 percent compared to prolonged sitting.

 

Weight loss is the most powerful tool that we have against obesity-related diabetes, but success requires behavioral change that is difficult in our calorie-rich environment. Willpower alone cannot be depended upon. Our primitive ancestors programmed us with a survival gene that tells us: “Eat food within reach or you may starve.”

 

Behavioral change starts with goal-setting and establishing accountability. This usually requires a whole new set of skills, not easily acquired without coaching or professional assistance. Studies now show that participation in a weight-loss program can have long-lasting benefits and is cost-effective.

 

Those who are successful share some common behaviors: eating breakfast, self-monitoring weight, recording food intake, eating more fruits and vegetables, daily physical activity, and limited screen (computer/TV) time outside of work.

 

So if you have prediabetes or diabetes, consider making a commitment to embark on a healthier lifestyle to improve your well-being and reduce your medication needs. Discuss with your doctor a referral to a professional or program to provide proper guidance and supervision to acquire new skills necessary for success.

 

Dr. L. Raymond Reynolds is a professor of endocrinology and molecular medicine, and is clinical director of the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center.

reynolds_raymond-white_coat.jpg
September
 
 
1
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Receive 80% Refund
Suicide Prevention: Raising Awareness & Sharing Our Stories
Welcome Coffee
Game Show
Tue
2
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wed
3
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Rosemary's Baby
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Pitch Perfect 2
Adjusting to College
Adjusting to College
Kickoff Football Season Grill Out
Thu
4
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Akira
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Whiplash
To Live in the Borderlands: A Household Perspective on Frontier Politics from the Middle Jequetepeque Valley, Peru
Fri
5
Go Swing Dancing!
Sat
6
 
Sun
7
Labor Day
Mon
8
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Ivory Tower
Tue
9
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wed
10
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Selena
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Jurassic World
Adjusting to College
Thu
11
The Late Night Film Series Presents - The Great Beauty
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Predator
Friday Swing Dance Lessons - Free!
Friday Swing Dance Lessons - Free!
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Fri
12
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Sculptors On Paper
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Sat
13
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Sun
14
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Superhero
Mon
15
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Women's Forum Board Meeting
Southern Sirens Concert
Tue
16
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Wed
17
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Adjusting to College
Thu
18
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Dark Girls
The Late Night Film Series Presents - The Pokémon Movie
Curator Tour with Stuart Horodner
Fri
19
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Sat
20
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
LexHop
Sun
21
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Finger Painting
Mon
22
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Tue
23
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Last Day to Receive 50% Refund
2 Day Business Internship & Career Fair
Pinterest Party I
Wed
24
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
2 Day Business Internship & Career Fair
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Wild Tales
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Mad Max: Fury Road
Adjusting to College
Thu
25
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
The Late Night Film Series Presents - All.I.Can
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Nightcrawler
Fri
26
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Arts Writing Workshop
Sat
27
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Sun
28
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Mandala
Mon
29
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Kitty Karnival
Tue
30
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wed
 
 
 
Sep 01
Last Day to Add a Class 09/01/2015

Tue, 09/01/2015

Repeats every week until Tue Dec 08 2015 .
Tue, 09/01/2015

Repeats every week until Wed Dec 09 2015 except Wed Nov 25 2015.
Wed, 09/02/2015

Reset Page