The number of cases worldwide is expected to grow to 380-million by 2025. Now, a cure may be closer than ever before. In fact, a type of surgery is sending this disease into remission.
He was the personal chef for millionaire Donald Trump. And now, Tom Haynes is responsible for bringing students into the institute of culinary education.
"I've had the great pleasure of working with tens of thousands of students," Haynes said.
But he's most proud of what he did for his health. Weighing in at 285, tom was diabetic for 10 years.
"I had to stab myself 13 times a day with insulin," he said.
Today, tom is insulin - and medication-free - all because of a side effect of bariatric surgery.
"Some patients who take insulin for type 2, they have an operation, and very often, we don't put them back on insulin," Francesco Rubino, MD NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, said.
Rubino is spearheading the studies of gastric bypass surgery and its effects on type-two diabetes. It started back in 1999 when he noticed an unexpected side effect to the surgery he was performing on morbidly obese patients.
"I noticed some patients had diabetes remission as early as days or weeks after the operation," Rubino said.
Once a surgery only used for people with body mass indexes over 35, now a new clinical trial at New York-Presbyterian is using gastric bypass for people suffering from diabetes with b-m-i as low as 26.
"I thought changing the gut anatomy, you change the way the way the gut speaks to the body," Rubino said.
And the way the pancreas creates insulin, which doesn't work properly for people with type-two diabetes. But why this surgery sends diabetes into remission is still a mystery.
"It's totally changed my life," Haynes said.
And it could change the lives of millions. Rubino also believes the surgery would be cost-effective. Studies show the costs of a one-time bariatric surgery are offset by the reduced diabetes-related medical costs.
International Diabetes Federation http://www.idf.org/