This is one of the best diabetes medication you can get. On the other side, you would be amazed by the number of people with diabetes that keep not taking it due to its side effects, misinformation or no information at all.
It is cheap, makes the cells less resistant to insulin and controls the liver hyper production of glucose to name some of the advantages.
Yet most of the people don’t take it. Unbelievable.
Metformin is one of the best medication used for diabetes control. It was considered the best for type 2 diabetes first treatment and the study shows that patients involved in the study were less likely to require treatment intensification with a second oral medicine or insulin.
For that reason, Metformin is a first line drug for diabetes control, meaning that it is usually the first drug prescribed at the beginning of diabetes diagnose. But again, most of the people don’t take it.
The drug helps to solve two of the worse dysfunctions of diabetes:
- Insulin resistance;
- Increase production of glucose by the liver.
Both events have impact on the blood glucose level developing what we call hyperglycaemia.
Both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes patients can take Metformin.
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One of the best diabetes medication
The people not taking it could argue about the side effects of Metformin but the fact is it completely worthy.
Here are the advantages of taking it as the first treatment for diabetes.
It is cheap
One tablet of Metformin costs around £0.16-£0.24 in the UK, 0.64$ in the USA and around 0.10€ in Europe.
Cells become less resistant to insulin
Insulin resistance is a huge problem in diabetes. The body’s cells/organs become less sensitive to insulin action. As a result, the glucose in the blood stream won’t go into the cells increasing the blood glucose levels.
The organs’ resistance to the insulin decrease dramatically when in the presence of Metformin. Now the glucose can travel from the blood stream into the body cells reducing the blood glucose levels in the blood stream.
Controls the liver hyper production of glucose
Another body function that is altered by diabetes is the liver over production of glucose. This glucose is release to the blood stream a posteriori causing high blood glucose.
Metformin reduces the excess of glucose production and consequently reduces the blood glucose levels in the blood stream.
Myth: “it damages my kidneys”
Some people argue that Metformin causes kidney problems. This is wrong.
In fact, high blood glucose and uncontrolled diabetes are two factors that damage the kidneys. In the presence of high blood glucose, the kidneys are forced to remove the excess of glucose through the urine.
The kidney extra effort along with the fact that the glucose starts depositing in its small vessels increase the risk of these vessels becoming occluded. As a result, the kidney function become affected and less efficient.
When this happen, doctors or nurses would have to reduce the normal dose of Metformin for half dose or less (or even stop it) until the kidney function is re-establish.
This is because this drug is processed in the kidney and if the kidney is under performing, there is the need to give it time to recover.
To help with this functioning problems, Metformin (and all the other drugs that are processed in the kidneys) should be reduced or stopped until the kidney function is recovered.
Of course that individuals with chronic kidney disease have to be careful. These individuals need to be followed by the medical team since they might be unable to take Merformin.
The Metformin can be restarted at high doses if the diabetes is kept under control since the kidney function care
Metformin can be everyone’s cup of tea
The well known side effects of Metformin, its big size and difficulty to swallow are enough reasons to make people stop to take it.
The good news is that pharmaceutical companies made different types of Metformin. Each type has different absorption rate/release in the body. Speak with your doctor or nurse to discuss these options.
Tip: take Metformin with meals in order to smooth its side effects! All medicines take some getting used to but if struggle with it you can always talk with your doctor or nurse and discuss options.
Reduces the risk of heart attacks and prolonge life
A ten year study with patients with diabetes gives some evidence base of diabetes treatments and outcomes.
This study had 4075 patients newly diagnosed with diabetes type 2 submitted to different therapeutic regimens.
Results of patients taking Metformin during this trial showed:
- 32% risk reduction in any diabetes-related end-points
- 42% risk reduction in diabetes-related deaths
- 36% risk reduction in all-cause mortality
- 39% risk reduction in myocardial infarction
- Low risk of cancer incidence
These are some reasons why Metformin is one of the best diabetes medication. Still not conviced?