Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Mom and daughter diabetics benefit from gastric surgery

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Gastric bypass or banding surgery has become known as an effective measure for treating type 2 diabetes. What has put it in the news, of late, is the fact that gastric bypass is incredibly successful. Many recipients who've gone under the knife respond not only with extreme weight loss (of course - that's what the surgery is designed to do!), but also a normalization of blood sugar levels. Sometimes the reaction is so positive that patients can stop taking blood sugar controlling meds.

Case in point: Marlene Zytcer (57) and her daughter Aimee (31) of Phoenix, Arizona. Marlene and Aimee recently both had gastric banding surgery at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Prior to the surgery, both mom and daughter were doing poorly health-wise. They were both obese and fighting heart disease and type 2 diabetes. They say they both have a genetic predisposition to those conditions.

The surgery was a big success: Marlene went from 236 to 199 pounds. Aimee dropped from 195 to 165 pounds. Marlene says she now feels great. She has quit taking diabetes and heart medications. She says her blood pressure is down and she has more energy. They hope to keep the weight off through cooking light and getting more exercise. They also get help from the UCSD's Center for the Treatment of Obesity, and they attend support group meetups there too.

The way Marlene and Aimee see it, having the surgery was their best way of fighting back: "By working side-by-side to lose weight, we are turning the tide against a family history of disease," says Marlene. "We have strength in numbers, even if the number is two," she adds.

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