At the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting in Berlin today, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session discussing the effects of obesity surgery on type 2 diabetes.  Whereas previous years of diabetes meetings have seen very sparse attendance at bariatric surgery talks, this session was absolutely packed. 

At this session, a number of fascinating studies were presented.  Highlights included: (be warned – it’s a very science-heavy blog this week!)

A study by S. Steven and colleagues (UK) looked at a group of 92 patients who had type 2 diabetes prior to having gastric bypass surgery, with the aim of determining which factors were associated with a greater chance of diabetes remission after surgery. One of their findings was that the degree of weight loss achieved post op was the main determinant of diabetes remission – controversial, as the bulk of currently available evidence suggests that remission of diabetes is independent of weight lost.

A study by Pournaras and colleagues found that a nifty removable liner placed inside of the first 60cm of small intestine (called a duodenal-jejunal bypass liner) improved type 2 diabetes control over a 1 year trial period. This introduces the question as to whether, in the future, we can consider less invasive alternatives to bariatric surgery (such as these) to help control type 2 diabetes.

A couple of elegant studies out of Denmark (including colleagues Jens Juul Holst and Sten Madsbad who I collaborate with on research studies personally) and Sweden were presented, designed to give us a better understanding of just how obesity surgery improves type 2 diabetes (with a lot of arrows pointing to the increase in the hormone GLP-1 that is seen after surgery).

Finally, there was a neat study from Finland showing that the insulin resistance of fat in femoral bone marrow improves with bariatric surgery (I personally had not previously thought about bone marrow being insulin resistant!).  

Overall, a very exciting day, and a very exciting meeting!

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2012

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