How to Conquer Type 2 Diabetes with Weight Loss Surgery


How does Weight Loss Surgery Help?

Bariatric surgery has been proven by many studies to be the most effective method to achieve long-term weight loss. Not only that but 83% percent of Type 2 diabetic patients undergoing weight loss surgery find improvement or remission of diabetes. Improvements in blood sugar levels and reduction in the need for medication often occur immediately after surgery, even before significant weight loss is achieved. These quick improvements are not fully understood. There may be several factors involved:

  • A very low calorie intake – especially right after surgery.
  • Hormonal changes increase the production and release of insulin by the pancreas.
  • Hormonal changes improve insulin sensitivity—moving more sugar out of the blood and into the cells where it can be used for energy.
  • Changes in bile acid composition and flow.
  • Modifications of gut microbiota (the type and number of bacteria that live in your intestine).
  • Intestinal glucose metabolism.
  • Increased brown adipose tissue metabolic activity.

My surgery was almost canceled because my blood sugar was too high. I ran consistently in the 300’s with spikes in the 500’s. Surgery was 3 months ago. I’m down 36 pounds so far and eating right. Blood sugars of 80 to 90 are my new norm!  –Lori B.

Type 2 Diabetes – A Broken System

Type 2 diabetes is basically a broken system that develops over time and results in high levels of sugar in the blood. For most, it starts in adulthood, but children and teens are also affected.  The first thing that goes awry is the cells of the body become resistant to insulin–the hormone that regulates the movement of blood sugar from the bloodstream into cells where it is converted to energy. With the cells not responding to insulin as they should, sugar builds up in the bloodstream. That’s not a good thing. The pancreas goes to work and produces more and more insulin to help move sugar into the cells. But because the cells are insulin resistant, no matter how much insulin the pancreas produces, it is never enough. Eventually, the pancreas “wears out” and reduces its output of insulin. The strained blood sugar regulation system becomes broken.

Who is at Risk?

Many Americans are at high risk. About 10% of adults have full-blown diabetes, a higher percentage than ever before. But, even more concerning is the epidemic that is about to unfold. One third of adults have pre-diabetes. Their sugar regulation system is strained, but not yet completely broken. Because pre-diabetes has few symptoms, most don’t realize it is only a matter of time before their blood sugar skyrockets and they need to deal with the realities of diabetes.

Pre-diabetes will develop into diabetes within 5 years if not treated. The following factors increase the risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • Excess Weight.Carrying around excess weight, especially in the abdomen, is a main risk factor.
  • Low Activity Level. The less you move throughout the day, the greater your risk. Regular movement and physical activity helps you control your weight and increases insulin sensitivity.
  • Family history. You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if a parent or sibling has it.
  • Ethnicity. Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian-Americans are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Age. Risk increases as you age, but it is now developing in younger people at an unprecedented rate.
  • Pre-diabetes. In prediabetes, blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. If not treated, prediabetes is likely to progresses to type 2 diabetes. There are 2 tests easily done to diagnose prediabetes, 1) fasting blood sugar of > 100 and <126 and 2) A1c, a test that measures blood sugar over a period of time >5.7 and <6.5.
  • Gestational diabetes. Having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a large baby (more than 9 pounds) ups your risk.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — a condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and obesity are at greater risk.
  • Areas of darkened skin. Darker areas of skin, typically in the armpits and neck indicates insulin resistance.

Impact on Body/Quality of Life/Lifespan

The day-to-day management of diabetes can be challenging. And long-term complications of diabetes, those that develop gradually over years as elevated blood sugar damages the body’s organs, impact quality of life. Some complications can be life-threatening. Good blood sugar control can help prevent or delay many of these complications.

Type 2 diabetes leads to an increased risk of the following complications:

  • Damage to blood vessels, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Nerve damage affecting the fingers, toes, feet, legs and other areas of the body.
  • Kidney failure or disease.
  • Eye damage resulting in cataracts, glaucoma, and even blindness.
  • Compromised healing and increased risk of infection.
  • Hearing problems.
  • Bacterial and fungal infections of the skin.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The American lifestyle puts us all at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the complications that come along with it. We all have friends and family members who are affected. What can we do? Healthy lifestyle choices are important to minimize your risk:

  • Choose fresh, unprocessed foods that are low in added sugar and fat and rich in fiber. Keep calories in check.
  • Move more and avoid sitting for long periods of time. Try to move for a few minutes every ½ hour and include 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise most days.
  • Ideally, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is best, but even modest weight loss can help. Easier said than done, right? Non-surgical weight loss attempts most often result in regain that exceeds the weight lost, increasing the risk for type 2 diabetes. Don’t despair; this is where bariatric surgery comes in.

Who Benefits the Most?

Why do some experience total remission in diabetes and others only an improvement in blood sugar control after weight loss surgery? It seems that age, body mass index (BMI), C-peptide levels (how much insulin the body is producing), and the number of years a person had diabetes all impact how quickly and how completely diabetes goes into remission.

  • Because body systems do not function as well as we age, younger people undergoing bariatric surgery will respond and recover more quickly and completely from type 2 diabetes.
  • Those with lower body mass index at the time of surgery can expect more complete remission.
  • Because, over time, type 2 diabetes damages the pancreas cells that produce insulin, the shorter the duration of the disease, the better the improvements will be that are seen after bariatric surgery.
  • Those with lower HbA1c levels and those who require less medication to control blood sugar prior to surgery, typically see faster and more complete resolution. 

Bottom Line

The incidence of Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes is at an all-time high in the United States. Damage to the body tends to increase as the disease progresses, even with the use of medication. Type 2 diabetes improves dramatically after bariatric surgery. The sooner a person undergoes bariatric surgery, the more likely their body will recover fully and see type 2 diabetes go into remission.


Kassem, Mahmoud Attia Mohamed et al. “The Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and the Management of Hypoglycemic Events.” Frontiers in endocrinology vol. 8 37. 1 Mar. 2017, doi:10.3389/fendo.2017.00037





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Time to Take Time Out?

The constant activity and distractions of our lives can leave us depleted of energy, direction, balance, and priorities. It’s a balancing act to meet all of the demands in our lives, and we often leave quiet reflective time out of the equation. We tend to run on auto pilot without the insight that comes with taking time to pause, reflect, dream, plan, and simply be. So, just how do you find time away from the crazy pace of life? Here are a few ideas to get you started. Hopefully, one or two will work for you and you will find a calmer, more inspired life through taking time to pause.

More Ways to Take Time Out

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Is Gluten Free Right For You?

Is Gluten Free Right for You?

There are a lot of claims about the benefits to following a gluten free diet including improved health, weight loss, enhanced athletic performance, reduction in fibromyalgia symptoms, behavior improvements in autism, and increased energy. Many people are giving the diet a try. Scientific studies, the limited number that have been done, have shown mixed results of benefits for those without a gluten-related medical condition. If you’ve considered jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, read on and get the scoop.

Download Healthful Tips: Is Gluten Free Right for You? 

What to Consider

Because a wide range of foods contain gluten, eliminating gluten from your diet may also limit your intake of healthy nutrients. It’s important to find other foods that can replace these nutrients. Gluten containing whole-grain bread, for example, is a source of iron, calcium, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Gluten-free breads, made from grains that do not contain gluten, are a good substitute.

Gluten-free prepared foods are expensive and are often 2-4x the cost of the gluten containing food they are replacing. Read labels carefully, gluten free doesn’t mean that it is low in calories, sugar, sodium or fat.

A truly gluten free diet is quite restrictive. It requires the elimination of a wide range of foods from bread to soy sauce, soups, broths, ketchup, even some medications and vitamins.

Avoiding Gluten for Medical Reasons

A gluten free diet is essential for managing celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and other medical conditions associated with gluten.

  • Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which gluten triggers harmful immune system activity. The lining of the small intestine becomes damaged; limiting the absorption of nutrients from food. Symptoms include abdominal pain, joint pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, “foggy brain,” rash, bone loss, fatigue, weight loss, cramping, itching, and headaches. Celiac disease affects about 1% of the population and is diagnosed with a blood test, followed with an intestinal biopsy for confirmation.
  • Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) causes some of the same signs and symptoms as celiac disease, but does not cause damage to the small intestine. NCGS is estimated to affect 5-15% of the population; a significant increase in the last 50 years. Possible reasons for the increase include:
  • An increased awareness of the problem.
  • Agricultural changes that have increased the protein content of grains.
  • Other, not yet identified, causes.

Gluten ataxia is an autoimmune disorder affecting muscle control and voluntary muscle movement.

The Barix Clinics Food Guide

If you’re looking for a diet plan that promotes good health, we’ve got one for you. The Barix Nutrition Guide recommends a diet of fresh unprocessed foods. The balanced diet is built on a foundation of protein-rich foods topped with with a variety of vegetables and fruits. A small amount of whole grain foods contribute fiber and an array of b-vitamins to round out the diet.

















Those with a medical reason to eliminate gluten from the diet could follow this plan by using gluten-free grains.

Bottom Line

If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms associated with gluten intolerance and want to give the gluten-free diet a try, be sure to monitor your intake of important nutrients. Use a food app to track vitamins and minerals and then engage the help of a dietitian, if needed, to find wholesome replacements for nutrients intakes that are low.

If you don’t have symptoms or a medical reason to eliminate gluten from your diet, it’s probably not worth the effort.  You may find that you’re limiting your food choices and spending extra money without reaping any benefit.

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Eat Better with More Veggies

Rather than thinking about what to take away from your diet to make it healthier, start to think about what you can add in—more veggies. Try these tips and in no time at all you’ll be eating better.

How to Add More Veggies to Your Diet

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How to Enjoy Your Favorite Treats This Summer

No Need to Forgo Your Favorite Treats This Summer

There is no need to forgo your favorite summertime treats because you’ve had weight loss surgery. Just make a few alterations and enjoy these good-for-you replacements.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (Bariatric Recipe)

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 cup skim milk
1 scoop Matrix Simply Vanilla Protein Powder (or another vanilla protein powder)
Strawberry slices for garnish if desired.

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Use an ice cream maker and follow the instructions for freezing. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 169 calories, 17 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 98 mg sodium 

Mousse (Bariatric Recipe)

1 1/2 cups cold skim milk
1 pkg. fat free, no-added-sugar instant pudding (4 serving size)
1 cup Cool Whip Lite®

Pour milk into medium mixing bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with a wire whisk for two minutes.

Gently fold in whipped topping. Spoon into individual dishes or medium serving bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 5 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 83 calories, 3 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 311 mg sodium.

Summer serving suggestion: layer with fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, bananas) and garnish with a dollop of whipped topping and fresh fruit slice.

Pudding Pops (Bariatric Recipe)

1 four-serving size pkg. instant sugar-free chocolate pudding mix
1 four-serving size pkg. instant sugar-free banana cream, vanilla or pistachio pudding mix
4 cups evaporated nonfat milk
16 three-oz disposable plastic drink cups
16 wooden craft sticks

Stand up sixteen 3-oz disposable plastic drink cups in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside. Blend together chocolate pudding mix and 2 cups of evaporated milk in medium bowl for 2 minutes with hand mixer. Spoon 2 tablespoons into each drink cup, cover with foil and freeze for 1 hour.

1 hour later, mix the second package of pudding mix following the previous instructions and spoon on top of the frozen chocolate pudding. Cover each cup with a piece of foil and make a small hole in the center of the foil to insert the wooden stick.

Place cups back in freezer for 4-6 hours until firm. When ready to serve, let stand for 15-20 minutes at room temperature then remove plastic cup. Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition information per serving:  38 calories, 5 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 229 mg sodium.

Glimmer Grapes

1 pound seedless green grapes, de-stemmed and washed
1 four-serving size box sugar-free gelatin, watermelon or other flavor
1 four-serving size box sugar-free gelatin, lemon or other flavor

Put all ingredients in releasable plastic bag and shake. Place in bowl or on serving plate. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Oat Squares (Bariatric Recipe)

1 single serving container Dannon Oikos Triple Zero vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup stevia
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a square 8 x 8 baking dish. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into the prepared dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Cut into 9 servings.

Nutrition information per serving:  57 calories, 4 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 69 mg sodium.



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