Gastric Bypass Surgery For Diabetes?
Is gastric bypass surgery a good idea for people with diabetes? It’s an option, but it’s important to know the pros and cons, points out Dr. Jay Kenney, Nutrition Research Specialist at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
“Why have your digestive tract mutilated and risk long-term complications from the surgery, including nutritional deficiencies, when you can just follow the Pritikin Program, lose weight without hunger, and still reverse insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes?”
Lifestyle changes required after weight-loss surgery are rigorous, far more rigorous than Pritikin Program recommendations. And the only side effect of Pritikin living is better health, better blood pressure, better cholesterol, freedom from angina pain and heart surgeries, and certainly, better diabetes control.
To be sure, a commitment to lifestyle changes like the Pritikin Program is no small task. But surgery is no easy solution either. After surgery, doctors routinely advise patients to make a complete change in lifestyle. Foods to be avoided include sugary foods, red meat, high-fat foods, high-fiber foods, and milk because they commonly provoke nausea, cramping, diarrhea, overall weakness and other nasty side effects.
And because most forms of weight-loss surgery leave patients with a stomach the size of an egg, post-surgery life means very small meals, eaten very slowly and chewed thoroughly, for the rest of one’s life. Overeating may cause vomiting, expansion of the stomach pouch, weight gain, or even rupture of the stomach.
The fact is, the lifestyle changes required after weight-loss surgery are far more rigorous than Pritikin Program recommendations, observes Dr. Kenney. “A healthy diet like Pritikin allows you to enjoy a wide variety of foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, potatoes, corn, and whole grains like brown rice and whole-wheat pasta, and you can eat them in large satisfying portions.”
And the only side effect of Pritikin living is better health, better blood pressure, better cholesterol, freedom from angina pain and heart surgeries, and certainly, better diabetes control. Yes, it’s all good news.
For diabetes control, in particular, the Pritikin Program is very good news. In a meta-analysis of 864 Type 2 diabetics who came to the Pritikin Longevity Center, 74% on oral agents left Pritikin three weeks later free of such medications, their blood sugars in normal ranges; and 44% on insulin left insulin-free. (Journal of Applied Physiology, 98: 3, 2005)
The Pritikin Program has also proven extraordinarily effective in curbing a pre-diabetes condition, now epidemic in the U.S., called Metabolic Syndrome. In about 50% of men studied, the Pritikin Program reversed the clinical diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome with three weeks. (Journal of Applied Physiology, 100: 1657, 2006)
Among children with the Metabolic Syndrome, 100% no longer had the syndrome within two weeks of starting the Pritikin Program. (Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, 55: 871, 2006)
Dr. Kenney recommends that gastric bypass surgery for diabetes control should be “a last resort after all other options have been tried, and there are other – and much better – options. In my 25 years at Pritikin, I’ve seen hundreds of men and women lose 50 to 100 pounds and more just by exercising and following the Pritikin Eating Plan.”
Even if you’ve tried Pritikin and struggled with it, try again. Come back for a refresher.
There’s a wonderful Japanese proverb that says, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
Everyone struggles. But struggles do not mean failure. The only time you fail is when you stop trying. The eighth or ninth time you pull yourself up may be the time that you stay up.