How Weight Loss Decreases Complications of Diabetes

Being overweight or obese has long been known as a contributing factor to type 2 diabetes. As a bariatric surgeon, Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS, has treated many patients who struggled to lose weight, keep their diabetes under control, and live a higher quality of life.

At West Houston Surgical Associates, Dr. Reilly creates custom surgical plans to help you lose weight safely, lower your risk for diabetes, and many other chronic health complications. He can discuss your options for weight loss surgery during a personal consultation and will continue to work with you to ensure you’re living a healthy, happy life.

Understanding type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body converts the sugar you eat into the energy you need to function. When you’re healthy, your body produces the hormone insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels.

In type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use the insulin it makes effectively to properly control your sugar levels. When sugar levels in your blood remain high for too long, it can lead to serious health consequences like:

You may also be at increased risk for a decline in your mental health and chronic depression. For some, the need to amputate a limb due to permanent nerve damage is also a possibility.

Your weight’s contribution to diabetes

Excess weight can cause the cells in your body to become less sensitive to the effects of insulin. Fat cells are known to be more resistant to insulin than other types of cells.

Where you have excess fat also plays a role in risks for diabetes. If you carry excess weight around your middle section, you may be at a higher risk for diabetes and related complications than if your weight is mostly around your hips and thighs.

Failure to exercise each day also allows excess sugar to remain in your blood rather than being distributed to the rest of your body for energy.

How bariatric surgery can help you lose weight and prevent diabetes

As a skilled bariatric surgeon, Dr. Reilly offers several types of weight loss surgeries to accommodate your needs. He takes the time to understand your weight loss goals and your health background to ensure you make the most informed decisions about your surgery.

Available options for bariatric surgery include:

Gastric sleeve

Gastric sleeve surgery involves the removal of part of your stomach to reduce how much food you can consume.

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery alters your gastrointestinal tract that allows the food you eat to bypass your stomach and upper small intestine.


Lap-Band surgery is a procedure where a special band fits around the top section of your stomach to reduce your food intake.

If you’re at high risk for type 2 diabetes, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery may be the most effective procedures. Both types of surgery not only limit how much food you can eat, they also change your metabolism and the hormone levels in your gut.

In addition to your surgery, it’s also important that you make modifications to your diet and lifestyle that support your weight loss and the prevention of diabetes. Regular exercise, calorie control, and choosing fresh, healthy foods will go a long way to ensuring you enjoy a high quality of life for the rest of your years.

If you need help losing weight to prevent diabetes, schedule a surgical consultation online or by calling West Houston Surgical Associates today.

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