Monday, April 21, 2008

Interesting Medical News

The Bypass Effect On Diabetes, Cancer

Summary:
Gastric bypass basically sends type 2 diabetes into almost spontaneous remission within days and reduces the risk of certain cancer. Wow. Bypassing the duodenum in rats puts diabetes into remission.

Like everyone else, I've sort of had a subconscious sort of prejudice about all of the options out there for losing weight. "Get off the couch and stop eating at McDonalds" my mean subconscious says when I see a weight loss commercial. But I'm starting to understand more and more what a quagmire metabolism and other things are as I'm getting older.

I watched a much loved aunt die of diabetes and it was awful. This knowledge would have saved her life. I remember in her last days, when she finally got out of long term care and back home, she was eating horribly, and I said "If she were drinking herself to death, we could call someone in to intervene and put her in rehab." No one carts someone away for eating hostess cupcakes. She was at home from the 4th of July until Labor Day, when she died. She was in her mid 50s.

She would have been saved by this surgery. However, as the article points out, the surgery is only approved for the morbidly obese and I do not think she would qualify. However, the process of the bypass itself, not the weight loss, is what seems to cause the remission in diabetes, so it would probably have similar benefits in those without obesity. My college roommate is now a type II diabetic and I worry about her.

Other medical news:
Work Disability Statistics Improve for Arthritis Patients
The often-cited stat "50% of people with RA will be too disabled to work in 10 years" appears to be no longer true.

It looks like 35% or something similar.

Hooray for small victories. I think it might be because people are getting diagnosed sooner, but hey, I'll take it.

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