Research by Oxford University has found that having diabetes in middle age will shorten your life by an average of six years. This study is the first of its kind to put an actual figure alongside the reduction in life expectancy expected from the condition which is linked to being overweight in middle age. Diabetes is known to double a person’s risk of heart attacks and strokes, but these new findings also revealed that people with type 2 diabetes are also at a higher risk of dying from cancer, infection and mental disorders.
One of the risk factors involved in the development of type 2 diabetes is weight and many recent studies have shown that, in extreme cases when people are clinically obese weight-loss surgery can provide hope. In this article we look at how a Kent man was given a new lease of life after undergoing lifesaving surgery to help ease his type 2 diabetes.
Phillip Walton from Chislehurst, in Kent, underwent a gastric bypass at BMI Healthcare’s Chelsfield Park Hospital in 2009. Since the operation he has gone on to lose over 6 stone and now no longer has to inject insulin to control his diabetes. Phillip, a 53-year-old entrepreneur, had his operation in August 2009 in an effort to keep his type 2 diabetes under control. His doctors had warned him that he was putting his body under extreme pressure and that his excessive weight and resulting type 2 diabetes was putting his life at risk from irreversible liver and kidney damage. Before his surgery Phillip was using up to 400 units of insulin a day with little effect on his diabetes, by comparison a person weighing 11 stone would use just 35-45 units per day. “Taking this large quantity of insulin had a major impact on my day-to-day activities. I was constantly lethargic, I had mood swings from unstable blood sugar levels and my vision was being affected,” Phillip commented.
Phillip was at risk of suffering irreversible damage to his body from taking such large doses of insulin and was referred, by his GP, to Consultant General Surgeon Mr El Hasani at Chelsfield Park Hospital for gastric bypass surgery. After an initial consultation with Mr El Hasani, Phillip decided that surgery was the best option for him and he was booked in for the procedure that would hopefully help add years to his life. Phillip’s surgery was successful and in just two months Phillip lost 4 stone and the effect diabetes had on his life was massively reduced. “The surgery changed my life for the better. I no longer needed to take insulin and the associated problems I had because of the high levels on insulin in my body were put to an end. The procedure was a complete success and had led to a whole host of other benefits. I didn’t like having my picture taken before, I was very sensitive about it as I was unhappy with the person who was staring me back in the face, now however I’m happy to pose for any shots and am proud of the way I look.”