Mar 30, 2012 8:18 PM by Erin Steuber
Nearly 26 million americans have diabetes and less than half of patients have the ability to keep it under control.
On Monday new research indicates weight loss surgery can reverse and possibly even cure diabetes.
The study is the first of its kind to rigorously compare medical treatments with weight-loss operations as a way to control diabetes. Bariatric surgeon Dr. Philip Gachassin said many patients how had the surgery show signs of success before even leaving the hospital.
"Before surgery or at the time of surgery the patients are not eating at all," said Gachassin. "And type two diabetes is improved with diet."
Two years ago, Teddy Kahn was struggling with his weight and diabetes. Fast forward 140 pounds later.
"I'm proud and ecstatic to say I'm diabetic free," said Kahn. "My doctors consider me cured of diabetes and its strictly been the result of the bariatric sleeve weight loss surgery."
A single comment from his son made him realize diabetes was taking control forcing him to make the change.
"My son came to me and said dad your going to be a grandfather, i was 54 years old and 350 pounds and was not in good health at all," said Kahn.
He said it's not only about controlling diabetes, but making the change in how he views himself.
"It's the self esteem of not having to ask for that seat belt extension anymore, no having to buy clothes in the king sized matter anymore, but being able to walk into a store and be fitted for clothes," said Kahn.
Eighty-five percent of people who have the surgery succeed in controlling their diabetes and only 15 percent succeed through diet alone.