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Weight-loss surgery can help obese people get back on track with their diabetes

Linda Fairchild, 62, tried many diets — Atkins, Weight Watchers, liquid shakes —but she couldn’t lose a single pound.

Diagnosed with pancreatitis in 2001 and showing symptoms of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes in 2003, Fairchild found herself taking an increasing amount of insulin every year, while gaining more weight than her 5-foot-3 body could handle.

At one point, she was taking two types of insulin into her body every day, Lantus for 120 units and NovoLog for 25 units, four times a day.

“It just kind of snowballed,” said Fairchild, who weighed 160 pounds when she was diagnosed with diabetes and gained about 63 pounds.

She struggled walking to her car and her lower back was in constant pain.

“You get to a point where you get so disgusted when you try to do physical activity. You’re so heavy that your body can’t do it.”

Today Fairchild is 55 pounds lighter and can do physical activities like water volleyball because three months ago she had bariatric surgery at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. Bariatric surgery, weight-loss surgery that reduces the size of the stomach, removes a portion of it, or resections the small intestines to a small stomach pouch, has been shown to reverse diabetes. It can also help with other diseases associated with being overweight — high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and joint disease.

Unlike other medical weight loss programs, bariatric surgery works long-term.

You can read the other half of this article on the Miami Herald here: