Metformin is a medication to treat high blood sugar in Type 2 Diabetics. It is sold in the US under the following brand names: Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage®XR, Glumetza and Riomet.
Metformin improves blood sugar by decrease intestinal absorption of glucose and reducing the amount of blood sugar the liver produces. It can not cause low blood sugar by itself – reducing problems with hypoglycemia.
Metformin Side Effects
The most common side effect I hear about in the pharmacy is stomach upset. Taking it with food and starting on a low dose will reduce nausea.
Other side effects include: headache, decreased Vitamin B12 adsorption, lactic acidosis, diarrhea, gas, muscle pain, increased sweating, and rash.
If you suspect you are experiencing side effect be sure to contact your health care provider.
Adults are usually started at 500mg per day. To reduce the chance of stomach problems it is recommended that the dose only be increased every 7 to 14 day. The maximum recommended dose is 2550mg per day.
Taking a daily calcium supplement MAY reduce the chance of low B12.
Getting Type 2 Diabetes under control
It seems like Type 2 Diabetes is becoming an epidemic, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve seen several patients reduce or get off there blood sugar medications by making simple changes in diet.
I had one patient who was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, I convinced him to stop drinking juice everyday. He was reluctant because advertising convinces us that juice is good for us and should be consumed daily. However, to a diabetic juice is sugar water that will send blood sugar readings up. In just one month, he was no longer pre-diabetic and had lost 15 pounds. That is a pretty extreme example, however, if you are diabetic you are mostly likely getting more carbohydrates than your body can handle.
The mainstream dietary advice for diabetics is clearly flawed. If the promoted “low-fat diets” produced healthy people, type 2 diabetes would be rare. It is not. The low-fat diet often ends up being a high sugar diet and eventually that wears the body out. Our bodies are not equipped to handle all the carbohydrates in the standard American diet. Type 2 Diabetes is a sign that your body is tired of all the carbohydrates in your diet. Listen to your body.
What to do?
Read why Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. This book could easily have been called why we get diabetes and what to do about it. Gary Taubes explains where mainstream dietary advice has strayed from the science based proof of what a healthy diet is. This book could changed you life – for the better.
Talk to your healthcare provider. Tell them you are ready to get off your medications and explain how you plan to do it. You need their help to wean yourself of the medications as your health improves.