Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

I have often wondered about gastric bypass surgery and its effect on improved blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. It seems like such a drastic way to lose weight and “get rid” of diabetes, and yet many people see amazing differences in their blood glucose management soon after having the surgery.

Because your diet is so drastically restricted after surgery (mainly due to the tiny stomach the surgery creates), I always wondered if the restricted diet was actually making the difference in blood glucose.

The research

The American Diabetes Association published an abstract that outlines a study done to test the effect of restricted diet vs Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Ten people participated in the study with an average age of 53, body mass index of 51, and A1c of 8.52.

Six weeks or more before their scheduled surgery, they participated in a 10-day in-house study which mimicked the diet they would have before and after surgery. They were given the same diet, including a day of fluids only, just like they would have after having the surgery. Then they went through the same routine when they had the actual surgery.

During both 10-day periods, their blood glucose was tested every four hours.

The results

According to the authors, overall glucose control was better during the dietary intervention period than after the actual surgery!

“These findings suggest that reduced calorie ingestion can explain the marked improvement in diabetes control observed after RYGB.”

This study seems to indicate that drastically reducing caloric intake can have the same or better effect on blood glucose control than gastric bypass surgery. Take this into consideration before deciding to go under the knife; if you can make the dietary changes instead of having surgery, you may still be able to benefit from the same positive results.

What do you think about the results of this study? Would you be willing to try the "gastric bypass" diet for improved blood glucose control?

To learn more on this topic:
Diabetic Dieting: An Easier Approach to Eating Well
Video: Diabetes Surgery
How to Get Your Blood Sugar Under Control