What does Metformin do?
29th April 2019
According to World Health Organization (WHO), diseases that kill people are not really the incurable ones but are those that have slowly progressed over time. WHO research last 2015, 56.4 million people died worldwide because of these top-ranking diseases. If one is not careful with his daily lifestyle, he might just become a victim to illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes ranks 6th in the WHOs list of most deadly illnesses.
Type 2 diabetes stems from very high blood sugar and affects the production of insulin in the body. There could be several factors: either the pancreas cannot produce insulin, or it does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin it is producing is not effective. Insulin is a kind of hormone that maintains your blood sugar at a normal level and keeps it from becoming too high or too low.
Doctors have recommended many medicines that can help control blood sugar, and the most widely is called Metformin.
What does Metformin do?
Metformin is a drug that helps people control their blood sugar. It helps to restore the body’s response to the insulin which it should be naturally producing. It also helps in decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes and your stomach and intestines absorb.
For type 2 Diabetes, the insulin that is produced by the pancreas can not get sugar into the cells of the body where it can work properly. By using metformin, it lowers the blood sugar when it is too high and helps restore the food consumption to make energy for the body.
What are the benefits of using Metformin?
One of the major benefits of Metformin is stabilising a person's blood sugar. This is especially true for people with type 2 diabetes since they are not entirely dependent on insulin-injected medicines. Too much blood sugar in a person’s body can cause excessive body weight leading to obesity, high blood pressure, kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, heart attack or stroke. Metformin prevents this from happening by keeping your blood sugar at bay.
One of the uses of Metformin is helping women with PCOS or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. This enhances ovulation and causes the regulation of menstruation. It also sometimes improves cholesterol and lessens acne and excessive hair growth.
Metformin can assist in weight loss for people who want to lose weight by stopping the absorption of sugar.
How do I use Metformin?
Just like any medicine, patients have to be aware of any allergies before taking Metformin. Patients should also see their doctors first and ensure that routine bloodwork has been done before starting on this course of treatment.
Metformin is usually taken orally followed by any liquid, as directed by your doctor, usually 1-3 times a day, after meals. This should also be taken regularly and on a strict scheduled time to ensure efficiency and to get the most benefit from it.
It is also advised to check your blood sugar regularly and have your medical check-up as often as needed so that you will be able to track results.
What are the precautions when taking Metformin?
Besides allergies, it is advisable to tell your doctor about your medical history, especially if it includes severe breathing problems like asthma, or lung disease, kidney problems, and liver complications before you begin any medical treatment.
It is also required that you tell your doctor about the drugs you are taking, prior to taking Metformin. This medicine contains inactive ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions or other complications, so you are required to talk to your pharmacist and doctor to give them a full picture of your medical condition.
If you are pregnant, you will need clearance to take Metformin because it might have an adverse effect on the baby. Make sure you discuss risks with your doctor and make sure that the benefit of you taking Metformin while pregnant, outweighs the risk to your growing baby.
Metformin also changes your ovulation cycle, so the risk of becoming pregnant increases. It is advised that you use birth control if you are not ready to be a parent.
What are the side effects of taking Metformin?
Some side effects include loss of energy or physical weakness, increase in bowel movement, muscle pain, nausea and dizziness, heartburn and palpitation. However, it is advised that you see a doctor if you are experiencing severe stomach pains, vomiting, trouble breathing and unusual muscle pain.