Weight Loss Surgery Can Help Control Diabetes

October 30, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. remission / rɪˈmɪʃ ən / (n.) – the period when a sick person’s health improves
Example: Fortunately, he went into remission after the surgery.

2. surgery / ˈsɜr dʒə ri / (n.) – a medical procedure that involves a doctor cutting into a patient’s body
Example:  I hope I won’t be in pain after the surgery.

3. relapse / rɪˈlæps / (n.) – a return to one’s sickly condition
Example: She had a relapse two years after taking the medicine.

4. obesity / oʊˈbi sɪ ti / (n.) – the condition of being very fat
ExampleObesity is a serious medical condition.

5. in check / ɪn tʃɛk / (idiom) – to keep something within a certain amount or level
Example:  I don’t eat a lot of sweets to keep my blood sugar level in check.


Read the text below.
Weight loss surgery can help control blood sugar levels for some patients with type-2 diabetes, study says. 

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from King's College London and the Universita Cattolica [OO-ne-ver-si-ta KA-to-li-ka] in Rome. The participants, aged 30 to 60 years old, all had type-2 diabetes. They were divided into two groups—the first group went through either gastric bypass [GAS-trik BAHY-pas] or biliopancreatic diversion [bil-EE-oh pan-kree-AT-ik dih-VUR-zhuh n] surgery, while the rest received medication. After five years, the researchers examined which participants went into remission

Results revealed that 50% of the participants who went through either surgery were in remission after five years. On the other hand, those who were on medication were not.

According to Professor Francesco Rubino [fran-CHES-koh ROO-bee-no], who conducted the surgeries, half of the patients who had surgery had non-diabetic blood sugar levels for at least five years. Nevertheless, 80% were able to fully control their blood sugar levels by taking either one kind of medication or nothing at all.

While the surgery improved the condition of most patients, there were also reports of relapse from others. These patients were in remission for the first two years, but experienced a relapse for the last three years. Thus, the surgeons recommend that the blood sugar levels of patients need to be continually monitored even after the surgery.

Aside from keeping blood sugar levels in check, weight loss surgery can also help reduce the effects of obesity. Findings from a Swedish study show that obese patients who had the surgery were 29% less likely to die in the next 15 years compared to those who tried other methods.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are the possible advantages of weight loss surgery over medication for diabetes?
·         Aside from surgery and medication, how else can people with type-2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels?

Discussion B

·         Are diabetes and obesity common issues in your country? Why or why not?
·         What do you think is the most serious health issue faced by your country?

October 30, 2015