Gastric Bypass

By leah66 Latest Reply 2011-04-13 20:32:45 -0500
Started 2010-05-14 16:00:15 -0500

I was diagnosed at 15 yrs old and at the time weighed 92 pounds. 20+ years later I am dealing w a huge weight gain etc.. I have recently read about studies where gastric bypass is being used to control and even eliminate diabetes. I had dismissed the surgery for weight loss reasons but am drawn to the diabetes angle. I cant decide if I am grasping at straws or should follow this yellow brick road a little further

3 replies

Weneug 2011-04-13 20:32:45 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after having suffered a heart attack in 2004. Initially took oral meds and joined Weight Watchers with my SO. He lost so quickly I couldn't believe it. I wasn't as successful. It bugged me that he cheated and I never did. I had been looking into gastric bypass surgery before the cardiac event, but afterward the bariatric clinic I had been communicating with refused to do my surgery because of CAD.

I talked with my cardiologist about it and he was happy to refer me to Tufts Medical Center in Boston. They have a very comprehensive program for weight loss including surgery. When my SO asked what I wanted for Christmas that year, I told him I wanted the down payment for the surgery. I had every morbidity you can imagine, including type 2 diabetes and felt that I was dying a slow death. Therefore, the gastric bypass was a great way for me to get some of my life back.

The surgery took place the following May of 2006. I have since lost 140 lbs. and my diabetes seems to have gone away. You may think that's great, but there is a downside here. Last week I was in Walmart where I probably shop 3 times a week. I know the store like the back of my hand, but something happened that night that scared me like never before. As I walked through the aisles, my vision became blurred. As I struggled to focus, I suddenly felt faint. From past experience wigh low blood sugar, I knew I had to find some juice or something to take quickly. As I headed to find the juice, I suddenly became disoriented. I had no idea where I was or where I was going. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. I soon found myself in the ER of the local hospital. It wasn't long before the PA came into my room with a bag of glucose, telling me that my bs level was at 60. They administered the glucose through an IV and sent me for c scans of the brain thinking that I may have had a stroke. The end result is that I have now been diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. My suger level is dropping continuously throughout the day and night. I have been monitoring it for two weeks and will return to the doctor tomorrow to find out what to do next.

To my further dismay, I have found a website of other post bypass surgery members and have found that my situation is not unique. It seems that there is a tendency toward Hypoglycemia post surgery. I feel worse than I ever did as a diabetic and am told that I brain cells can die off when BS is too low for long periods of time. This is something I hadn't bargained for in making my decision to have the surgery.

Finally, I would just like to say, PLEASE RESEARCH ALL POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS BEFORE DECIDING ON BPS. The surgery is fairly new and even the doctors don't know of all the complications that may develop. BTW…I would have had the surgery anyway, but would not have been quite so blindsided by this complication had I known about the possibility. I can see that Hypoglycemia has the potential to greatly affect my quality of life in the future. Diet and other controlling measures do not seem to be as successful in post-BPS patients as they are in others.

I think there should be an area on this site dedicated specifically to BPS. So far I haven't found one, but I am fairly new to the group. I do hope I have shed some light on the subject.

GabbyPA 2010-05-15 09:21:15 -0500 Report

This is one of our most discussed topics on the site. It holds promise, but not a cure. It doesn't make your diabetes go away, it helps you control it. So that is something you need to know. Here are a bunch of discussions on it. You will find all kinds of information in them.

My biggest caution (and I have many) but the one that hit close to home is that IF you qualify, and IF your insurance covers it, make sure that your insurance will cover complications and reversals years down the road. That is what happened to a friend of mine and it was 9 months of horrible pain, refusal to be covered, bad doctors and more....So make sure that follow-up and later date complications are covered.

RAYT721 2010-05-14 18:48:36 -0500 Report

Ironic to read your post. My wife just had her 6 month followup appointment today from her gastric bypass surgery. Now, she is not and was not diabetic… I am. She belongs to a number of gastric bypass support groups online and has mentioned to me that some people have reported success while others have not so it's really your body that would hold the answer for you. Just because you want a surgery doesn't mean you qualify for it. You have to have a certain BMI and have to show intent to want to lose weight and not use the surgery for an answer to anything. The surgery is simply a tool. Some use it wisely. Some do not. Today my wife is 107 pounds lower than her initial meeting with the doctor about one year ago. The surgery was in November 09 but there was 6 months of counseling/dietitian meetings before then. There are a lot of success stories from gastric and lapband surgeries but there are also those who lose the weight only to gain it back. Again it's your body. If it is something you wish to consider and qualify for a meeting with a gastric specialist is your best answer.