Tags: Diabetes | metformin | diabetes | drug

Is Metformin the Best Diabetes Treatment?

By    |   Tuesday, 03 June 2014 10:24 AM

Question: I am a diabetic and my doctor recently put me on metformin. Please tell me something about this medicine. I am 68 years old and I would love to see 69. 

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
First, let's discuss diabetes a little. Type 2 diabetes refers to a condition where the pancreas still produces insulin, but there are varying degrees of insulin resistance, allowing blood sugar levels to rise to harmful levels. In such patients, increasing insulin resistance prompts your pancreas to makes more insulin to try to overcome it.  
Metformin is a medication that helps combat insulin resistance to varying degrees by making resistant fat cells more sensitive to insulin. This improves glucose management and allows for a decrease in insulin levels. Both high glucose and high insulin levels play a role in the premature heart disease and stroke often seen in diabetics.  
In response to the elevated glucose, our body puts the excess blood sugar into fat stores within the liver, abdomen, and elsewhere. In turn our triglyceride (blood fat) levels rise, so our fat stores grow and grow in number and size. As fat cells increase and enlarge, insulin sensitivity decreases and blood sugar elevates. Insulin levels also elevate. So you can see a vicious circle develops.
Metformin is so useful because it does decrease insulin resistance and helps fat cells become more responsive to insulin. Metformin also induces a sense of satiety, which in turn helps with weight management. Noticeable weight loss and appetite decrease is commonly reported by those taking metformin. Weight management will improve glucose control in Type 2 diabetes.  As the number and size of fat cells reduce, insulin sensitivity will return toward normal.
Older treatments for Type 2 diabetes simply induced more insulin production to overcome the insulin resistance, which can cause variety of negative side effects. As long as you have no side effects from the metformin, such as nausea and dizziness, it should be able to control your diabetes, making it very likely you will celebrate your 69th birthday comfortably.

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Metformin is a medication that helps Type 2 diabetics by making resistant fat cells more sensitive to insulin.
metformin, diabetes, drug
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 10:24 AM
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