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Bariatric Surgery Offers Hope to Diabetes Patients, Says Expert

28 Jan 2013

One of world’s leading diabetes experts said that surgery can boost efforts to defeat diabetes.

The message was delivered to delegates at the Middle East Diabetes Conference in Dubai by Professor Karim Meeran, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s (ICLDC) Consultant Specialist and Professor of Endocrinology, Imperial College London, who outlined how bariatric gastric bypass surgery offers hope to many people with diabetes.

“Research suggests that this operation works on the hormones that control hunger and eating, and changes in these hormones cause the person to feel less hungry and lose weight. It offers hope to many and demand is set to explode in the next few years.”

However Professor Meeran stressed that living a healthy and active lifestyle is the best way for a person to avoid the need for surgery and was cautious to explain that that the operation must only be used when appropriate.

“Surgery may have risks and side effects. We must target patients who will benefit most from the treatment. It seems that patients who are living with diabetes and obesity benefit more than those who are obese only.”

Specialists from Abu Dhabi’s ICLDC are leading the Middle East Diabetes Conference in Dubai this week. The two-day event on January 28 and 29 runs alongside Arab Health 2013 and takes its place among 19 specialist conferences accredited by HAAD for Continuous Medical Examination (CME).

Professor Meeran also said that one of the aims of the conference is to highlight preventative measures.

“Exercise is key and it’s not just us as doctors who’re involved in promoting such strategies, actually it is more at a public health level. It comes with how our lives are structured, how cities are engineered and the way our time is organised.”

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the UAE currently ranks 11th worldwide, with 18.9 per cent of the population living with diabetes.

“This is an important gathering of world leading experts in diabetes. Among other topics, we are all ready to discuss the critical challenges facing doctors treating diabetes and its related complications, and how we can better prepare them to manage diabetes at a regional level,” Professor Meeran concluded.

The Middle East Diabetes Conference is one of several specialist events from ICLDC this year. As the conference got underway a group of doctors are also taking the coveted Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) parts 1 and 2 at ICLDC’s Abu Dhabi facility. This follows the European Society of Endocrinology’s Clinical Update for more than 100 practitioners, earlier this month.

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