The Studied Benefits Of Metformin For Preventing Type 2 Diabetes Complications
Metformin is prescribed to treat high blood sugar, but researchers have found that it has many other benefits to offer patients with type 2 diabetes and can reduce the risk of several other health concerns, including:
- Cancer In a study published in Gastroenterology, participants had a 62 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer when taking metformin. The study also reports that the medication may help slow the spread of colon, breast, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancer cells, perhaps due to the medications antioxidant activity.
- Stroke A study published in February 2014 in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases followed subjects with type 2 diabetes for four years and found that 9.2 percent of those who took metformin had a stroke, compared with 17.5 percent of those who did not take it.
Water Consumption And Diabetes
We all have gotten the message that drinking water is a good thing for everyone, not just people with diabetes.
Appropriate water consumption helps keep our body temperature in the normal range adds lubrication for our joints helps with eliminating wastes through sweat, bowel movements , and urination improves cognition and motor function And because water contains zero calories, it helps with reducing calorie intake especially when you use water in place of a caloric beverage.
For diabetes management, you will often hear your diabetes educator advise you to drink water if your blood sugar is above target. The recommendation is to drink 8oz of water over an hour period to help re-hydrate your body after an above-target blood sugar. In one sense it can help lower blood sugar in the case of dehydration. If youre dehydrated, your blood sugar may trend higher.
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Study Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
The criteria were as follows:
Types of study: RCTs were the focus of this review to restrict potential sources of error and facilitate inference about possible causal mechanisms. They were included regardless of quality measures, such as double-blind design, complete protocol adherence, patient attrition, similarity of treatment and control groups at baseline and intention-to-treat analysis or sample size, target population or unit of analysis . They were only eligible if they were published as full paper articles. No language restrictions were made.
Types of participants: individuals of all ages , being overweight or obese or not, with hyperlipemia or not excluded: type 1 diabetes).
Types of intervention: plain or drinking water, served at any temperature, whether tap or bottled water, high or low mineralized, carbonated or uncarbonated water.
Types of comparisons: interventions or control groups with drinking water tested alone, as a single intervention or as main part of a multi-component intervention for at least four weeks.
Types of outcome: at least one parameter for glycemic control as shown in independent whether it was a primary or secondary outcome of the study.
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Who Shouldnt Take Metformin For Diabetes
The two most common reasons that patients should not take metformin include: intolerance and kidney damage:
Patients who do not adjust to, or cannot tolerate, the gastrointestinal disturbances would be switched to another medication for blood sugar control.
Diabetes can cause damage to our kidneys, and when our kidneys start to show this damage, your doctor will recommend you change to another medication for blood glucose control. That is not to say that the metformin caused the damage, rather, once you have reached a certain level of damage, you cannot take metformin anymore.
I Am A Newly Diagnosed Diabetic And On Metformin And Would Like To Know If I Am Able To Get My Blood Sugars Down In The Near Future Can I Stop Taking Medications
Yes. Many people within the DMP community have managed to reduce or eliminate their medications. But again, that is a discussion between you and your doctor and will depend on you gaining and maintaining good blood sugar and A1c control.
Reducing or eliminating medications is a great goal to aim for. And remember, making lifestyle changes will always reduce the medicine load you would otherwise need, which means, even if you dont end up being able to go off medication completely, you will be able to reduce the amount you need to take.
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My Doctor Wants Me To Take Metformin But Im Concerned About Side Effects What Are The Most Common Side Effects
The most common side effect of metformin is gastrointestinal: diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort. This occurs in a small percentage of patients and it generally goes away within 2 weeks as the body adjusts to the medication.
Other side effects include: risk of vitamin B12 deficiency and lactic acidosis .
Can Drinking Lots Of Water Lower My Blood Sugar
Drinking water can lower blood sugar levels by diluting the amount of glucose in the blood stream.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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What Other Information Should I Know
Your doctor will tell you how to check your response to this medication by measuring your blood sugar levels at home. Follow these instructions carefully.
If you are taking the extended-release tablets, you may notice something that looks like a tablet in your stool. This is just the empty tablet shell, and this does not mean that you did not get your complete dose of medication.
You should always wear a diabetic identification bracelet to be sure you get proper treatment in an emergency.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
What Is The Best Time To Take Metformin
Standard metformin is taken two or three times per day. Be sure to take it with meals to reduce the stomach and bowel side effects that can occur most people take metformin with breakfast and dinner.
Extended-release metformin is taken once a day and should be taken at night, with dinner. This can help to treat high glucose levels overnight.
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Glucose Tolerance Test And Administration Of Drugs
Overnight fasted mice were treated either with saline or M400, M200 and M60, respectively administered by oral gavage. Thirty min later animals were given D-glucose either orally at a dose 3g/kg or intraperitoneally at a dose 1g/kg and subjected to GTT. The degree of glucose intolerance was quantified as AUC. Insulin levels were measured in plasma obtained from blood samples collected before and 30min after glucose administration, using the Sensitive rat insulin RIA kit . Compound C , Exendin 939 and MK-801 , i.e. the pharmaceutical antagonists of the AMPK, GLP1R and NMDAR, respectively, were administered via i.p. injections 30min or 10min before metformin.
Why Do I Need Metformin
According to the American Diabetes Association , prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than what is considered normal but not yet high enough to be classified as true diabetes between 5.7% and 6.4%).
Prediabetes isnt considered a true medical condition but, instead, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Dont let the pre- in prediabetes fool you. It doesnt mean its less of a health concern than diabetes. Its a warning that you could develop type 2 diabetes if you dont take charge of your health now.
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The Downside Of Metformin
Despite its perks, there are some precautions to take when starting Metformin.
The main side effect is gastrointestinal upsets.
Unfortunately Metformin can cause nausea, stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, and other GI upsets in about one third of people. The good news is that this generally goes away within a couple days or 2 weeks at most.
This GI upset is simply the body adjusting to the medication and in most cases, incrementing slowly per physician and pharmacy recommendation will help to minimize upset. It also helps if you take it at the same time daily with meals.
Be aware that poor blood sugar control itself can also cause GI distress, so optimizing your diet is key as well. If symptoms havent waned after a week or 2 of taking Metformin, contact your physicians office to see if there is a better option to consider.
Its also worth considering that in time, as you get you maintain better blood glucose control through diet and lifestyle, you may be able to reduce or stop taking Metformin altogether as demonstrated in this case study.
Another thing to note is that Metformin can cause B12 deficiency over time. If youve been taking Metformin for several years, it is advisable to get a B12 blood test. This deficiency can easily be corrected through supplementation.
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Is Metformin Right For Me
While metformin isnt always immediately prescribed when its discovered you have prediabetes, it is given to high-risk patients or to those who are having a difficult time managing their HbA1C with diet and exercise. Your doctor will be the one to decide if or when you should take metformin.
It is a safe and effective medication to help prevent type 2 diabetes. While metformin does carry a risk of some unpleasant side effects, they are temporary for most and can be managed with some minor changes to the way you are taking it.
Just remember, prediabetes doesnt mean you will develop diabetes in the future. It is manageable and, for some, reversible. Let it be the nudge you need to help you take control of your health.
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Does Metformin Cause Hypoglycemia
The short answer is that it can. As with most antihyperglycemic agents, metformin has a risk of causing low blood glucose. However, the risk is lower compared to other medications for diabetes type 2, such as sulfonylureas. Sulfonylureas primarily exert its blood-sugar-lowering effects by stimulating the release of insulin. Acting through a different mechanism from sulfonylureas, metformin reduces the blood sugar level by enhancing the bodys response to insulin. This medication has no effects on insulin production therefore, it is less likely to cause hypoglycemia.
How Are You Sweetening Your Coffee What You Add To Your Cup May Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the condition for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled.
Proper blood sugar control is key for warding off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health . Plus, keeping your levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood, explains Lisa McDermott, RD, CDCES, a diabetes specialist with the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.
According to the American Diabetes Association , proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose stay within 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals.
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Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of These Symptoms Or Those Listed In The Important Warning Section Call Your Doctor Immediately Or Get Emergency Treatment:
- chest pain
Metformin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administrations MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Everything You Need To Know About Metformin
Metformin is one of the most popular oral medications used to treat people with type 2 diabetes.
This article will outline everything you need to know about this popular diabetes drug.
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What Does Metformin Do
Metformin is an oral medication that helps to control blood sugar levels. It does this by helping your body to make less glucose and to use your naturally produced insulin more effectively. It is available in immediate release and extended release versions. The brand-name IR version is known as , which is available as generic metformin. Then, the ER versions are sold under the brand names , , and , and each has their own generic versions.
For those at high risk of developing diabetes, metformin can be a great choice. The medication has been studied for several decades and is very safe and easy to use. It has a very low risk of sudden hypoglycemia and requires minimal monitoring by both you and your doctor.
It is also an effective medication, with the most research to support its treatment of prediabetes in those under 60 years old. In fact, it is the only medication the ADA currently recommends for prediabetes.
My Perspective On A1c As A Person Living With Diabetes
I have a very ambivalent relationship with my A1c myself. Ive been living with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years, and my A1c is not something I think about in my daily life. However, every three months when I see my endo, I get a little anxious because receiving your A1c can feel a lot like getting your diabetes report card.
And, quite honestly, thats really silly. My A1c number doesnt reflect whats been going on in my life for the last three months. It doesnt tell me how much effort Ive put into managing my diabetes and it does not define me as a person. Its a good source of information, nothing more.
Still, we tend to look at it and judge, good or bad, how weve done with our diabetes management. But we really shouldnt!
That doesnt mean that I think we shouldnt get our A1c checked. I absolutely think we should, but we also need to understand what it means as well as why we should look beyond the A1c number. I hope this guide has given you the knowledge and tools to do so!
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Cautions With Other Medicines
There are some medicines that interfere with the way metformin works.
If you’re taking any of the following medicines, your blood sugar levels may need to be checked more often and your dose adjusted:
- steroid tablets, such as prednisolone
- tablets that make you pee more , such as furosemide
- medicines to treat heart problems and high blood pressure
- male and female hormones, such as testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone
- other diabetes medicines
Some women might need a small adjustment in their metformin dose after starting contraceptive pills. That’s because contraceptive pills change how your body handles sugar.
What Drink Lowers Blood Sugar
What drink lowers blood sugar? A review of studies suggested that green tea and green tea extract may help lower blood glucose levels and may play a role in helping prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Is there a drink that lowers blood sugar? When participants in the study drank one cup of chamomile tea after meals three times per day for six weeks, they showed a reduction in blood sugar levels, insulin, and insulin resistance.
How long does it take to lower blood sugar? In general, diabetes experts say with medication and lifestyle changes, diabetes patients could notice a difference in three to six months. It may take one month to stabilize blood sugar , and then a couple of months or more for lifestyle changes to take effect.
Does lemon juice lower blood sugar? Lemons also have a low glycemic index , and a meal with a low GI promotes lower blood sugar and insulin levels after eating. Citrus fruits like lemons also contain flavonoids, naringin, and naringenin all of which can have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects, according to a 2014 study in Advances in Nutrition.
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Does Metformin Cause Cancer
In 2019 the FDA investigated whether some forms of metformin contain high levels of a carcinogenic chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine . In 2020, the FDA recommended the recall of several versions of extended-release metformin, and more than a dozen companies have since voluntarily recalled certain lots of the medication. While low levels of NDMA are commonly found in foods and drinking water, high levels of the substance are toxic and can cause cancer.
You can check to see if your metformin has been recalled here. For people taking extended-release metformin, the FDA recommends that you continue to take your medication until you talk to your healthcare professional.