PORTLAND -- A Portland woman says she experienced a dramatic change -- including an end to diabetes -- after dropping 223 pounds with weight loss surgery.
Linda's story is an example of what a new study shows after researchers followed more than 1,600 patients over a 15-year period.
They found obese patients who had weight loss surgery were less likely to develop diabetes.
But as Linda will tell you, the surgery was not an easy fix the several hundred pounds.
More info: Legacy Health
"It was a person I did not want and I had to get rid of that person," she said.
Today, Linda is standing on her own, 18 months after having gastric bypass surgery at Legacy Good Samaritan medical center.
"This is tears of joy, I'm happy to get me back," she says.
At 450 pounds, the mother of three had serious complications from obesity.
"When I went to the doctor, they told me I was a diabetic and I thought, no wonder I am feeling dizzy."
The diagnosis was frightening to the 57-year-old because of her family history. "I have family members they lost arms, legs, went blind."
Her fear served as incentive.
Legacy Doctor Valerie Halpin says her latest blood work shows Linda is no longer diabetic.
"The weight loss helped Linda's body be better able to deal with the blood sugar and the insulin that's produced," the doctor said.
New research shows patients like Linda can reduce their risk for diabetes by 80 per cent with weight loss surgery.
"It was hard, the surgery wasn't easy, at all," Linda said.
She spent six months changing her diet even before having the surgery -- dropping dozens of pounds on her own - just to be healthy enough for the procedure.
"It took awhile to lose that 52 pounds, but I did it on my own," Linda said.
She chronicled her journey on Facebook for friends and family.
After the surgery for three weeks, you drinking nothing but fluids. After that, it's soft food, like a baby would eat.
Now, a small healthy meal or a half sandwich is what her reduced stomach can take. She does doing water aerobics three times a week.
"I get to move around a little more, I get to go to stores," she says. "I get to get back in the church choir."
Linda kept a few pieces of her old clothing as a reminder to keep the weight off and reduce her disk for diabetes.