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Weight-Loss Surgery Reverses Diabetes in Woman Battling Obesity

Bariatric surgery effectively reversed Laura-Beth Shoup’s type 2 diabetes, and new research from Cleveland Clinic says it could treat millions more.
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Laura-Beth Shoup weighed 361 pounds, suffered from depression and had type 2 diabetes. Two years after her gastric bypass surgery and nearly 200 pounds lighter, the 33-year-old is a new mom and says she has become “a totally different person,” Shoup said.

And there’s one more thing: Shoup, who weighed 381 pounds at her heaviest, is now diabetes-free.

After electing to have weight-loss surgery to reverse her diabetes, Shoup now says she has more energy and is living a new life: “I’m out and about in the community, jogging, you know, getting my life back.”

Shoup’s dramatic results provide support for a new study that says surgery can be more effective than medication alone for treating type 2 diabetes. According to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, performing weight-loss surgery on patients who suffered this condition effectively reversed their diabetes, allowing most of them to stop using insulin and other medication to treat the disease.

“There isn’t any therapy that can rival bariatric surgery in terms of weight loss and controlling diabetes,” said Dr. Sangeeta Kashyap, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic and one of the study’s lead researchers. “People who had surgery… had a better quality of life,” she said.

Shoup was not part of the study, but has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in her quality of life since surgery. The main reason: Her nearly 1-year-old daughter Kinzle.

“I’m just excited for life in general.” she said. “I’m ready to tackle on what’s coming next in my life.”

Watch Nightly News with Brian Williams tonight for Dr. Nancy Snyderman's in-depth report on what the study could mean for millions of Americans.