If you’re seriously overweight, you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes even if you don’t have it yet. More than 90 percent of those with type 2 diabetes tip the scale at an unhealthy weight.
When you lose poundage, your risk goes down dramatically. Simple, huh? But we all know that losing weight can be a monumental challenge. If you’re one of the people who has tried and tried, you know what I’m talking about.
For some people in this category, weight loss surgery could be an answer. A recent study showed that it lowered the risk for developing type 2 by a whopping 80 percent.
Weight loss, or bariatric, surgery has been used for a while to treat type 2, but this new trial was about prevention. Though studies are just studies until they become medical guidelines, this one was big – over 2000 people – and they were tracked for as long as seven years.
Bariatric surgery is not a walk in the park, though. We hear so much about it that it may seem like an easy option, but we’re talking about a radical change in your body and the way you eat. Some people have post-op concerns including feeling tired, cold or achy. Others experience dry skin or even thinning hair.
No matter which kind of bariatric surgery you choose, you’re going to have to learn to eat differently. Here are some typical guidelines:
Post-op involves moving from a liquid diet to pureed foods to soft solids and then on to much smaller amounts of a healthy solid diet. You have to chew every bite slowly and thoroughly. Some grains, raw vegetables and meat are more likely to cause pain or vomiting if you don’t chew them really well. That means you have to allocate at least a half hour to eat. It’s also recommended that you eat six small meals a day and not snack.
To help digest the food from your smaller stomach, you’ll need to sip 8 ounces of liquid a day, avoiding mealtimes; and straws are off limits.
People tend to lose most of the weight in the first 15 months, but your weight may go up and down over the next two to three years. It’s important to eat very nutritious foods and keep up the exercise too or you could regain part of what you’ve lost. There could be a real and unexpected emotional toll that comes from finding that weight loss didn’t solve every one of your life’s problems.
All that said, weight loss surgery holds great promise for those at risk for diabetes. If you’re worried about developing type 2, a conversation about weight loss surgery with a medical professional may be in order.
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