Every year in the United States, 1.5 million people over the age of 18 are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which is sometimes managed with insulin. Now, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic are studying the impact of bariatric weight loss surgery on people with type 2 diabetes and detailing the health benefits years after.
Father George Treff has been an ordained priest in the Romanian Orthodox church since 1979.
“I just knew that the path I was going on was not a good one and the outcome was not going to be good,” Father Treff told Ivanhoe.
Father Treff isn’t talking about his faith, but his weight. At his heaviest, Father Treff weighed 240 pounds and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
“Even if I was in the gym every day at three hours a day and doing all that I’m supposed to, nothing was changing,” explained Father Treff.
That’s when his doctor recommended bariatric surgery. Cleveland Clinic researcher Ali Aminian, M.D., was a co-investigator of the STAMPEDE trial, a randomized trial of 150 patients comparing bariatric surgery with medical therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
“We showed that both surgical procedures, gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy were superior in terms of weight loss and diabetes control compare with medical management,” detailed Dr. Aminian.
Father Treff had gastric bypass and was part of the STAMPEDE study. He dropped more than 100 pounds and no longer needs insulin. Father Treff hit an all-time low weight of 135.
He said his faith and his parishoners are a source of support.
“And they see me at events, and some will say, ah, you lost more weight,” exclaimed Father Treff.
In the most recent published study, researchers say patients who had bariatric surgery reported more energy, less body pain, and better physical health than patients who had medical treatment alone for diabetes.