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Metformin for Type 2 Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes have many different drugs on the market that help to control their blood sugar levels. Metformin (Glucophage) is a very popular oral medication for Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. Metformin controls high blood sugar levels, which helps to prevent nerve damage, kidney damage, blindness, circulatory problems, and sexual function problems (including incontinence).

diabetes supplementsMetformin reduces the amount of glucose your liver releases between meals. Metformin Because of this action, Metformin does not cause low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). Metformin may slightly reduce cholesterol, and triglycerides. On the plus side, Metformin may cause a little weight loss. Metformin belongs to a family of Type 2 diabetes oral medication called Biguanides.

Normally, Metformin is taken as the only Type 2 oral medication. However, Metformin is also sold as a combination pill. This combination combines the reduced glucose release with the effect of the other drup. The FDA has approved 3 types of combination pills. The other drug in the pill may cause low blood sugar:

1. Glipizide+ Metformin – Stimulates pancreas to release insulin. May cause low blood sugar.
2. Glyburide+ Metformin – Stimulates the pancreas to release insulin. May cause low blood sugar.
3. Rosiglitazone+ Metformin – increases insulin sensitivity in cells. May cause low blood sugar as well as water retention and weight gain?

What to know if you are new to Metformin

If you have just started taking Metformin (or are getting ready to start taking Metformin), then you should be aware of the following facts:

• Metformin is generally taken twice a day. Try to take it at the same time each day – with breakfast and your evening meal.
• Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while on this medication.
• You may increase the dosage as side effects decrease. Initial side effects generally include stomach issues, but they quickly go away.
• If you experience effects of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), first test your blood, then contact your doctor immediately. If you are taking a combination pill, the other drug may be the cause.
• You should take this medication each day to feel the effects. It generally takes up to two weeks for Metformin to begin working.

What to keep in mind when taking Metformin as part of a combination pill:

1. When taking Metformin in combination with other drugs that increase the release of insulin or increase the cells’ sensitivity to insulin, it is important to always have a source of glucose available. Many individuals on combination pills need to carry diabetes supplements with them so that they can quickly increase their blood sugar levels.
2. Metformin users should also be sure to get regular exercise and eat a balanced diet, which includes regular meals, so that they can maintain a more even blood sugar level throughout the day.

Metformin Side Effects

There are a few side effects of Metformin that you should be aware of, including:

Lactic acidosis: Rarely occurs in diabetics with poor liver or kidney function. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include: fatigue, chills, cold skin, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeat. Lactic acidosis can be fatal in some cases.
• Nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, metallic taste in the mouth (these symptoms generally only occur in the first few weeks of taking Metformin)
• Fast heartbeat
• Cold hands and feet
• Change in appetite, often decreased appetite
• Blurred vision
• Dizziness

Contact your doctor immediately if you have any negative side effects associated with Metformin use.

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