Numbers are on the rise when it comes to obesity and diabetes, with Tennessee near the top of the list.

Dr. Jaime Ponce, of CHI Memorial, says "we're calling this new epidemic 'Diabesity' because it is a combination of diabetes and obesity all at once growing together."

The first-line treatment for Type 2 diabetes is weight loss, diet and exercise, but when those methods of treatment don't work, some doctors are recommending surgery for their patients.

Dr. Jamie Ponce says, "if a patient has Type 2 diabetes, using medication, maybe they keep adding meds and cannot control it, surgery may need to be considered."

Dr. Ponce says the longer you don't address the problem of diabetes, the more difficult it is to treat it.

Dr. Jamie Ponce says, "if a diabetic patient had surgery when they had only been diabetic for five years and they are obese, their diabetes resolution would be close to 100 percent."

Dr. Ponce says if they have had diabetes for ten or more years, the resolution drops to about 50 percent.

Not everyone is a candidate for bariatric surgery.

You have to have a body mass index or BMI of at least 40 and be 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds overweight for women

Dr. Jamie Ponce says, "when you're overweight, you have more resistance to take care of all of your body tissues when you have to deal with the carbohydrates, so there is not enough insulin to deal with all that."

And when it comes to weight loss surgery, Dr. Ponce says there is no quick fix. You still have to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle change.

Dr. Jamie Ponce says, "it's important for the people to know the surgery is not a magic solution; it is a tool, but it's a very effective tool."

Something to keep in mind when it comes to obesity and diabetes:

If you have a BMI of over 40 percent or are more than 100 pounds overweight, you have a 25 percent risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, if you maintain a normal weight, your chance drops to five percent for developing Type 2 diabetes. As with anything, getting treatment early is key to getting and staying healthy.

For more information, visit Chattanooga Bariatrics' website.