Can You Stop Diabetes Meds?
When it comes to diabetes there are many success stories, especially among those who know that diet and exercise play a big part in blood sugar control. Medication is also key to getting your numbers into a healthy range. But if you’re like many people who take something daily for diabetes, you probably wonder if you can ever stop. Maybe -- if your blood sugar numbers are good and you’re committed to a healthy lifestyle. The first step is to talk to your doctor. Here’s what you can expect from that chat. Why Do You Want to Stop? First, know that it's OK to ask your doctor if you can stop taking meds once you’ve met the blood sugar goals you've both set, says Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. And it can be done, he adds. The first step: Tell your doctor why you want to stop. Then he’ll ask you some questions. The doctor’s looking for specific answers, says endocrinologist Gregg Faiman, MD, of University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. He wants to know: Is it too hard for you to keep up with taking your medicine? Do the side effects lower you quality of life? Is the medication too expensive? After that, you and your doctor have to agree about how you’re going to keep your blood sugar under control. You wouldn’t be on the drug if you didn’t need it, Faiman says. “Stopping a medication requires an in-depth discussion. You have to commit to keeping your diabetes under control.” Medication Matters If you take the drug metformin, a common treatment for type 2 diabetes, your doctor could lower it in stages as you lose weight and get fitter, Faiman says. You may even be able to stop it -- at least for a while -- if you’re making good lifestyle choices and you keep your blood sugar under cont Continue reading >>
Learning About Metformin For Type 2 Diabetes
Learning About Metformin for Type 2 Diabetes Metformin (such as Glucophage) is a medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It helps keep blood sugar levels on target. You may have tried to eat a healthy diet, lose weight, and get more exercise to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range. If those things don't help, you may take a medicine called metformin. It helps your body use insulin. This can help you control your blood sugar. You might take it on its own or with other medicines. When taken on its own, metformin should not cause low blood sugar or weight gain. You may have other side effects or reactions not listed here. Check the information that comes with your medicine. Metformin does not usually cause low blood sugar. But you may get low blood sugar when you take metformin and you exercise hard, drink alcohol, or do not eat enough food. Sometimes metformin is combined with other diabetes medicine. Some of these can cause low blood sugar. If you need a test that uses a dye or you need to have surgery, be sure to tell all of your doctors that you take metformin. You may have to stop taking it before and after the test or surgery. Over time, blood levels of vitamin B12 can decrease in some people who take metformin. Your body needs this B vitamin to make blood cells. It also keeps your nervous system healthy. If you have been taking metformin for more than a few years, ask your doctor if you need a B12 blood test to measure the amount of vitamin B12 in your blood. Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you use any other medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines. Make sure your doctor Continue reading >>
What Is Metformin?
MORE Metformin is a prescription drug used primarily in the treatment of Type II diabetes. It can be used on its own or combined with other medications. In the United States, it is sold under the brand names Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza and Riomet. "Metformin is very often prescribed as the first step in a diabetic's regime," said Ken Sternfeld, a New York-based pharmacist. How it works "When you're diabetic you lose the ability to use the insulin you need to offset the food," Sternfeld explained. "If you eat a carb or sugar that can't be metabolized or offset by the insulin you produce, your sugar levels will be higher. Metformin and drugs in that category will help your body better metabolize that food so that insulin levels will be able to stay more in line." Metformin aims to decrease glucose production in the liver, consequently lowering the levels of glucose in the bloodstream. It also changes the way that your blood cells react to insulin. "It makes them more sensitive to insulin," said Dr. Stephen Neabore, a primary care doctor at the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "It makes the same amount of insulin work better. It transports the insulin to the cells in a more effective way." Metformin may have a preventive health role, as well. New research presented at the American Diabetes Association 2017 Scientific Sessions showed that long-term use of metformin is particularly useful in preventing the onset of type II diabetes in women who have suffered from gestational diabetes. Because metformin changes the way the body uses insulin, it is not used to treat Type I diabetes, a condition in which the body does not produce insulin at all. Metformin & PCOS Metformin is sometimes prescribed to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to Neabore. "I Continue reading >>
Metformin: New Benefits (and Risks) For This Old Diabetes Drug
If type 2 diabetes is part of your life—whether you have the condition or are at risk of developing it—you’ve probably heard of a drug called metformin. Perhaps your doctor has told you about it, has recently started you on it or has been prescribing it to you for years to keep your blood sugar under control. It’s no newbie. Metformin has been available by prescription in the US for more than 20 years and in Europe for more than 40 years. US doctors write nearly 60 million prescriptions a year. It’s recommended as the go-to-first prescription for people with diabetes by the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Physicians. Yet, in many ways, metformin remains a mystery. We know broadly but still not exactly, how it works. Even more surprising, new health benefits—and side effects—keep popping up. In fact, we’ve only recently learned that metformin might protect the heart, fight cancer and even boost longevity. On the other hand, it can, rarely, lead to a potentially fatal side effect, and it can even make a common diabetes complication worse. It’s time to take a closer look at metformin. MEDIEVAL FLOWER REMEDY, MODERN DRUG In medieval times, herbalists prescribed Galega officinalis—the bloom of the French lilac, also known as goat’s rue and Italian fitch—for patients with what we now recognize as diabetes. In the 1950s, medical researchers identified a compound in the lilac, metformin, that appeared to reliably and safely reduce high blood sugar. Metformin became widely available in Europe in the 1970s and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1995 to treat type 2 diabetes. Some combination prescriptions include metformin with other prescription medication Continue reading >>
Non-diabetic Weight Loss With Metformin
Metformin is a medication that normally is used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. This medication is in the antihyperglyemic drug class, meaning that it counteracts glucose in the blood. While the Food and Drug Administration has not approved metformin for weight loss in the United States, some physicians are starting to utilize this medication in an off-label manner to decrease weight in overweight or obese patients. Several studies are underway analyzing the use of metformin for weight-loss, and more studies are needed before FDA approval. Video of the Day Decreased Hepatic Glucose Production Metformin decreases the amount of sugar that is created by the liver, according to findings from the Glaser Obesity Study, conducted by the Glaser Pediatric Research Network. If you haven't eaten in some period of time and your blood sugar becomes too low, your liver can compensate by creating and releasing sugar into the blood. Insulin is then secreted to compensate, and stores this sugar as fat in adipose tissue. When metformin decreases the amount of sugar released by the liver, the pancreas does not have to release extra insulin, thus reducing fat production and storage. Metformin may cause mild gastrointestinal side effects including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, according to Drugs.com. It is proposed that one possible mechanism of action for the weight-reducing benefit of metformin is simply that because of these mild gastrointestinal side effects people do not feel like eating, notes the Glaser research. If you have excessive or prolonged gastrointestinal upsets while taking metformin, contact your physician as he may need to change your medication. Metformin creates increased insulin sensitivity by assisting the body in using the blood sugar already present. Continue reading >>
Metformin Weight Loss – Does It Work?
Metformin weight loss claims are something that are often talked about by health professionals to be one of the benefits of commencing metformin therapy, but are they true? At myheart.net we’ve helped millions of people through our articles and answers. Now our authors are keeping readers up to date with cutting edge heart disease information through twitter. Follow Dr Ahmed on Twitter @MustafaAhmedMD Metformin is possibly one of the most important treatments in Type II Diabetes, so the question of metformin weight loss is of the utmost importance, as if true it could provide a means to lose weight as well as control high sugar levels found in diabetes. What is Metformin? Metformin is an oral hypoglycemic medication – meaning it reduces levels of sugar, or more specifically glucose in the blood. It is so effective that the American Diabetes Association says that unless there is a strong reason not to, metformin should be commenced at the onset of Type II Diabetes. Metformin comes in tablet form and the dose is gradually increased until the maximum dose required is achieved. How Does Metformin Work & Why Would it Cause Weight Loss? Metformin works by three major mechanisms – each of which could explain the “metformin weight loss” claims. These are: Decrease sugar production by the liver – the liver can actually make sugars from other substances, but metformin inhibits an enzyme in the pathway resulting in less sugar being released into the blood. Increase in the amount of sugar utilization in the muscles and the liver – Given that the muscles are a major “sink” for excess sugar, by driving sugar into them metformin is able to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood. Preventing the breakdown of fats (lipolysis) – this in turn reduces the amount of fatt Continue reading >>
Does Metformin Cause Weight Loss? What To Know Before You Take It
If you’re managing type 2 diabetes with metformin (Glucophage), you might be well acquainted with unwanted side effects of this drug — namely, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle aches, and sleepiness. These can be a figurative and literal pain, but you might welcome one side effect of metformin with open arms, particularly if you’ve struggled to lose weight. Metformin isn’t a weight loss drug, but researchers have found a link between the drug and weight loss. In fact, a long-term study published in April 2012 in the journal Diabetes Care that was conducted by the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) concluded that the drug could serve as a treatment for excess body weight, although more studies are needed. What Is Metformin and How Does It Work? “[Metformin] has been considered a first-line medication in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and it mainly acts by lowering the amount of glucose released by the liver,” says Minisha Sood, MD, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “It also helps a hormone called insulin to work better by helping muscles use glucose in a more efficient manner. When insulin works better (and insulin sensitivity improves), a person’s insulin levels are lower than they would be otherwise.” There’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, but the right combination of medication and healthy lifestyle can stabilize blood sugar levels, which, of course, is the end goal of any diabetes treatment. As the medication helps your body properly metabolize food and restores your ability to respond to insulin, you’ll not only feel better, you can potentially avoid complications of high blood sugar, such as heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), and eye damage (retinopathy). Why Does Metformin Cause Weight Lo Continue reading >>
10 Things You Should Know
View as slideshow Metformin is a Workhorse for Type 2 Diabetes Metformin, also known by the brand names Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, and others, has been available for the oral treatment of type 2 diabetes since 1995. Metformin helps to control blood sugar (glucose) levels and is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications. Metformin is a true workhorse for diabetics: a study in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who were initially started on metformin were less likely to need other diabetic drug treatments to control their blood sugar. In fact, metformin is recommended in guidelines as the first-line drug treatment for new patients. Metformin is Truly Lifesaving We know that starting type 2 diabetes treatment with metformin helps to prevent the need for additional diabetes medications in the long-term. But what else does it do? A study from the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated that starting diabetes treatment with metformin is also linked with a lower long-term risk of heart attack, stroke, and death than starting with a sulfonylurea, like glyburide or glipizide. However, researchers can't say whether the difference is due to extra risk from sulfonylurea drugs, added benefits from metformin, or both. Diabetes is Expensive but Metformin is Affordable A generic form of both regular-release and extended-release metformin is available at your pharmacy. However, prices will vary from city to city, and even pharmacy to pharmacy. There are several different strengths of metformin, too. It may be that instead of taking the 1,000 mg (1 gram) tablet of metformin per dose you could take two 500 mg tablets and save money. Always ask for the least costly version of generic metformin, as some generics ma Continue reading >>
Metformin And Pcos: Six Reasons Why It Might Not Be Safe To Take Metformin For Pcos
6 Reasons Why Metformin Might Not Be Safe For PCOS Have you been prescribed metformin for PCOS and are wondering what the side affects are? Metformin is often described as a safe drug, but read on to find out why this might not be the case. The first thing I asked my GP when I received my diagnosis was what I could take to fix it. She gently explained that there was no pill or surgery that could cure my condition. However, there was a drug that could help with the elevated insulin levels caused by it: metformin. She claimed it was a safe drug with no major side effects that would help with insulin resistance and weight loss. At first, I thought metformin was a wonder drug. I lost about 5kg in 4 months, more than I had ever been able to lose previously. I was ecstatic. I had a quick look online to see whether there were any side effects. I found that diarrhea, loose stools, fatigue, and muscle soreness were commonly experienced. But I thought that it was small price to pay for finally being able to lose some weight. However, when I investigated further I found that that there are some much more sinister side effects of metformin that arent so widely publicised. These include: Depleting our bodies of essential nutrients. Increasing the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect by up to 9 times. This article is not intended to be a case against metformin for PCOS. There is no doubt that metformin helps to reduce weight, lowers blood glucose levels, and promotes ovulation. My concern is the lack of studies about the safety of long-term use of metformin for PCOS, especially in utero. Drugs can help with the associated symptoms of a disease, but they cannot fix the root cause of it. Metformin is a drug with a band-aid approach. This means that whilst it helps to fix so Continue reading >>
Metformin is a medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes and sometimes polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Type 2 diabetes is an illness where the body doesn't make enough insulin, or the insulin that it makes doesn't work properly. This can cause high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). PCOS is a condition that affects how the ovaries work. Metformin lowers your blood sugar levels by improving the way your body handles insulin. It's usually prescribed for diabetes when diet and exercise alone have not been enough to control your blood sugar levels. For women with PCOS, metformin stimulates ovulation even if they don't have diabetes. It does this by lowering insulin and blood sugar levels. Metformin is available on prescription as tablets and as a liquid that you drink. Key facts Metformin works by reducing the amount of sugar your liver releases into your blood. It also makes your body respond better to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the level of sugar in your blood. It's best to take metformin with a meal to reduce the side effects. The most common side effects are feeling sick, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache and going off your food. Metformin does not cause weight gain (unlike some other diabetes medicines). Metformin may also be called by the brand names Bolamyn, Diagemet, Glucient, Glucophage, and Metabet. Who can and can't take metformin Metformin can be taken by adults. It can also be taken by children from 10 years of age on the advice of a doctor. Metformin isn't suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you: have had an allergic reaction to metformin or other medicines in the past have uncontrolled diabetes have liver or kidney problems have a severe infection are being treated for heart failure or you have recentl Continue reading >>
3 Things You Need To Know About Metformin
September 30, 2015 by Dr. Brooke in Be Better , Eat Better , pcos 3 Things You Need To Know About Metformin Metformin is recommended by doctors for women with PCOS that want to loose weight or otherwise manage their PCOS and insulin resistance. But there are 3 very important things that you need to know about it including the fact that it's not the only option! Let me first say, I dont hate Metformin for women with PCOS . For some women it really does help spur ovulation, control blood sugar and help with some weight management but.its not without its share of issues. And its definitely not the magic bullet for weight loss although its usually presented that way. How Metformin (or its generic form: Glucophage) Works Metformin is typically given with meals throughout the day, or more commonly now the extended release version is given once with dinner or at bedtime. While only having to pop a pill one time per day is always appealing, this once a day dosing (especially at bedtime) is where I see the most problems with my patients. It lowers both fasting and post meal glucose levels by decreasing the glucose absorption in your intestines after a meal; as well as decreasing the amount of glucose your liver makes for later use. It also does help improve insulin sensitivity by increasing glucose movement into a cell. All sounds good so far right? Not so fast, here are the most common issues I see in women using Metformin: Metformin is notorious for causing sometimes severe digestive issues including stomach pain or upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even a sense of body weakness or metallic taste in the mouth in some. And it is touted as not causing low blood sugar as many older blood sugar lowering drugs did, however I see it every day in my practice that Metformin can m Continue reading >>
Stopping Metformin: When Is It Ok?
The most common medication worldwide for treating diabetes is metformin (Glumetza, Riomet, Glucophage, Fortamet). It can help control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s available in tablet form or a clear liquid you take by mouth before meals. Metformin doesn’t treat the underlying cause of diabetes. It treats the symptoms of diabetes by lowering blood sugar. It also increases the use of glucose in peripheral muscles and the liver. Metformin also helps with other things in addition to improving blood sugar. These include: lowering lipids, resulting in a decrease in blood triglyceride levels decreasing “bad” cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) increasing “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) If you’re taking metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to stop. Instead, you may be able to manage your condition by making certain lifestyle changes, like losing weight and getting more exercise. Read on to learn more about metformin and whether or not it’s possible to stop taking it. However, before you stop taking metformin consult your doctor to ensure this is the right step to take in managing your diabetes. Before you start taking metformin, your doctor will want to discuss your medical history. You won’t be able to take this medication if you have a history of any of the following: alcohol abuse liver disease kidney issues certain heart problems If you are currently taking metformin, you may have encountered some side effects. If you’ve just started treatment with this drug, it’s important to know some of the side effects you may encounter. Most common side effects The most common side effects are digestive issues and may include: diarrhea vomiting nausea heartburn abdominal cramps Continue reading >>
Metformin - Oral, Glucophage
are allergic to dapagliflozin or any of the ingredients in FARXIGA. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include skin rash, raised red patches on your skin (hives), swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking FARXIGA and contact your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away have severe kidney problems or are on dialysis. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working before and during your treatment with FARXIGA Dehydration (the loss of body water and salt), which may cause you to feel dizzy, faint, lightheaded, or weak, especially when you stand up (orthostatic hypotension). You may be at a higher risk of dehydration if you have low blood pressure; take medicines to lower your blood pressure, including water pills (diuretics); are 65 years of age or older; are on a low salt diet, or have kidney problems Ketoacidosis occurred in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes during treatment with FARXIGA. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition which may require hospitalization and may lead to death. Symptoms may include nausea, tiredness, vomiting, trouble breathing, and abdominal pain. If you get any of these symptoms, stop taking FARXIGA and call your healthcare provider right away. If possible, check for ketones in your urine or blood, even if your blood sugar is less than 250 mg/dL Kidney problems. Sudden kidney injury occurred in people taking FARXIGA. Talk to your doctor right away if you reduce the amount you eat or drink, or if you lose liquids; for example, from vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive heat exposure Serious urinary tract infections (UTI), some that lead to hospitalization, occu Continue reading >>
Can Metformin Help With Weight Loss?
Metformin is a drug prescribed to manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. You may have heard that metformin can also help you lose weight. But is it true? The answer is a resounding maybe. Here’s what you should know about what metformin can do for weight loss, as well as why your doctor may prescribe it for you. According to research, metformin can help some people lose weight. However, it’s not clear why metformin may cause weight loss. One theory is that it may prompt you to eat less by reducing your appetite. It may also change the way your body uses and stores fat. Although studies have shown that metformin may help with weight loss, the drug is not a quick-fix solution. According to one long-term study, the weight loss from metformin tends to occur gradually over one to two years. The amount of weight lost also varies from person to person. In the study, the average amount of weight lost after two or more years was four to seven pounds. Taking the drug without following other healthy habits may not lead to weight loss. Individuals who follow a healthy diet and exercise while taking metformin tend to lose the most weight. This may be because metformin is thought to boost how many calories you burn during exercise. If you don’t exercise, you likely won’t have this benefit. In addition, any weight loss you have may only last as long as you take the medication. That means if you stop taking metformin, there’s a good chance you will return to your original weight. And even while you’re still taking the drug, you may slowly gain back any weight you’ve lost. In other words, metformin may not be the magic diet pill some people have been waiting for. It has been shown to reduce weight in some, but not others. One of the benefits of metformin Continue reading >>
Pcos: Insulin And Metformin
Young women with PCOS often have elevated insulin levels and are more likely to develop diabetes. Metformin is a medication often prescribed for women with PCOS to help prevent diabetes. A lifestyle that includes healthy nutrition and daily exercise is the most important part of a PCOS treatment plan. What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ in the body called the pancreas. The food you eat is broken down into simple sugar (glucose) during digestion. Glucose is absorbed into the blood after you eat. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells of the body to be used as energy. If there’s not enough insulin in the body, or if the body can’t use the insulin, sugar levels in the blood become higher. What is insulin resistance? If your body is resistant to insulin, it means you need high levels of insulin to keep your blood sugar normal. Certain medical conditions such as being overweight or having PCOS can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance tends to run in families. What can insulin resistance do to me? High insulin levels can cause thickening and darkening of the skin (acanthosis nigricans) on the back of the neck, axilla (under the arms), and groin area. In young women with PCOS, high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to make more androgen hormones such as testosterone. This can cause increased body hair, acne, and irregular or few periods. Having insulin resistance can increase your risk of developing diabetes. How can I lower my insulin levels? You can help lower your insulin levels naturally by eating fewer starches and sugars, and more foods that are high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates. Low glycemic foods, on the other hand, don’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels as much as foods that are high in sugar or refined carbohydr Continue reading >>