Gastric bypass surgery may not be an option just for obese individuals. A report in the January 2004 issue of the Annals of Surgery said that researchers have found that the surgery controls type 2 diabetes, even when the patient is not obese. For more than 20 years, physicians have known that gastric bypass surgery has an antidiabetic effect on obese patients. They were not sure, however, whether the disease was under control because of the surgery or because of the weight loss following the surgery.
The researchers tested their theory by performing the surgery in nonobese rats with naturally occurring diabetes. The results showed that the rats' glucose levels returned to normal after the surgery, compared with the rats that did not undergo the surgery and whose diabetes worsened.