Is Anti-Cholesterol Surgery Helpful in Protecting Against Diabetes?

images (26)Surgery to bypass part of the ileum, a length of the small intestine, is known to have beneficial effects on cholesterol and blood fat levels. The procedure is known to cut down on heart disease. Another result of the procedure is to raise levels of a molecule called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). This molecule…

  • stimulates insulin secretion from the pancreas,
  • improves insulin sensitivity, and
  • lowers the release of sugar from the liver.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota in the United States found evidence a partial ileal bypass reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In their study, reported on in January of 2016 in the journal Surgical Obesity and Related Diseases, the scientists compared the results of individuals who had undergone a partial ileal bypass with those who had not, the control group. A total of 8 participants or 10 percent of the surgical patients, had developed Type 2 diabetes. Among the control group, 17, or 25.8 percent of the group had developed the condition. The scientists concluded that partial ileal bypass surgery can protect people from developing Type 2 diabetes for over 30 years.

The ileum lies below the stomach, duodenum, and jejunum, forming the third part of the small intestine. The small intestine’s job is to absorb nutrients and water and to make GLP-1. When part of the ileum is removed, more nutrients are exposed to the L cells, which produce GLP-1. Removal of a part of the ileum is thought to stimulate the L cells into making more GLP-1. The ileum absorbs…

  • vitamin B12,
  • calcium and
  • bile salts.

Bile salts are necessary for absorbing cholesterol. Although most cholesterol is absorbed in the duodenum and jejunum, they require bile salts for absorption. Bile salts from the ileum are absorbed into the blood. From there they travel to the upper levels of the small intestine, where they help with cholesterol absorption.

Known side effects of partial ileal bypass include…

  • diarrhea,
  • lowered calcium absorption,
  • lowered vitamin B12 absorption,
  • kidney stones.

Diarrhea resolves spontaneously. Vitamin B12 is needed to make red blood cells and, following this type of surgery, patients need to have B12 injections to prevent anemia.

In general, possible side effects of every surgical procedure include…

  • abnormal bleeding,
  • infection,
  • untoward reaction to anesthetic or antibiotics.

The procedure might be something to discuss with your doctor if you have high cholesterol or risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes. Risk factors such as…

  • obesity,
  • a sedentary lifestyle,
  • prediabetes or high blood sugar,
  • a family history of diabetes in parents or siblings,
  • a history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.


Does Diabetes Affect the Brain?

download (62)Type 2 diabetes has been linked with the loss of brain function. In June 2016, the Journal of Diabetes Complications reported on the results of a study on Type 2 diabetes and the risk of brain function decline. Researchers at the Autonomous National University of Mexico in Mexico City and the Institute of Psychiatry in London, UK, looked at 1193 individuals who were 65 years of age or older. They found the people who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes had almost twice the risk of brain impairment as did the non-diabetic participants. The Type 2 diabetics who had the highest blood sugar levels were most likely to suffer reduced brain function.

In June 2016 the Journal of Neurological Science reported on a different study from Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Middle-aged adults with fasting blood sugar levels of at least 126 mg/dL or 7 mmol/L already had thinning in the cortices of their brains, where thinking takes place. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L is considered as being prediabetes.

If we can better understand how this works, then it is hopeful we can find a pathway to the prevention and treatment of deterioration of brain function.

Various scientists at Southeast University in Nanjing, China and the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, United States, compared the brain images of 40 Type 2 diabetics, and 43 non-diabetics. Their work was reported on in the American Journal of Neuroradiology in June 2016. They found in several areas of the brain, connections were missing. The missing connections were linked with…

  • poor planning ability, and
  • memory problems.

These results led the researchers to conclude their work will likely serve as a basis for understanding the brain function decline in many people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Investigators at German Sport University in Cologne, Germany, may have at least part of the answer to the question of prevention. In May of 2016 the journal Endocrine reported on the idea. According to the investigators…

  • inflammation,
  • free radicals, and
  • changes in blood sugar levels

can allow damaging molecules to enter the brain. This can cause…

  • brain insulin resistance,
  • reduced ability to generate energy, and the
  • accumulation of beta-amyloid, a molecule linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

Regular physical activity helps to reduce free radicals and inflammatory molecules. It can also improve blood vessel function, which could allow the parts of the brain in need of oxygen and nutrients to receive them. Regular exercise, known to be good for the rest of the body, could likely help the brain as well.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.



Maternal Weight Gain During Pregnancy Affects the Child’s Risk of Becoming Obese

download (64)Scientists at Harvard Medical School and several other research institutions in Boston, United States and Canada, found too much weight gain during the first three months of pregnancy resulted in excess weight gain in children.

In July of 2016 the medical journal, Obesity reported on 979 mother and child pairs who took part in the study. The young children whose mother had gained excess amounts of weight during the first and second three months of their pregnancy, were heavy by mid-childhood. From this result, the researchers concluded there was a need to address excess weight gain early in the mother’s pregnancy to avoid excessive weight gain in their children’s early years.

Overweight and obese children are at high risk for…

  • developing Type 2 diabetes,
  • high blood fat levels,
  • high blood pressure, and
  • heart disease.

According to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, United States, obesity and Type 2 diabetes in children can lead to their heart growing out-of-shape.

In 2012 the journal American Family Physician reported that obese boys have a 30 percent risk of high blood pressure or borderline high blood pressure. The risk for girls is 23 to 30 percent. High blood pressure readings or hypertension, can lead to overgrowth of the heart and diseased blood vessels.

Another study reported on in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation in 2015 indicated overgrowth of the heart in children as young as 8 years. Heart specialists compared images of the heart in…

  • 20 obese, and
  • 20 average weight

girls aged 8 to 16. Generally, obese children have heavier and thicker-walled left ventricles.

Left ventricles pump blood from the heart to the rest of the body. When the heart walls become too thick, not enough blood can flow into and out of them. Forty percent of the obese children in the above study had overgrowth throughout their heart, making it difficult for their heart to take in and pump blood to their lungs and the rest of their body.

Normally weight gain is slow the first three months of pregnancy or trimester, picks up during the second trimester, and is fastest in the third trimester. The National Institute of Health recommends taking in…

  • 1800 calories per day in the first trimester,
  • 2200 calories per day in the second, and
  • 2400 calories per day in the last trimester.

This amount of calories is based on the needs of healthy, normal-weight women and will vary for those who are either underweight, overweight, or obese. Pregnant mothers need to consult with their obstetrician or midwife for individual dietary and weight gain goals.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.