Why Doctors In The Know No Longer Prescribe Metformin
Until recently, diabetics looking for doctor-approved, drug-free treatment options were out of luck. But a growing number of health experts believe those days are behind us. Dr. Marlene Merritt (LAc, DOM(NM), MS Nutrition), an Austin-based doctor who used to suffer type II diabetes herself, made a recent announcement that is sending shockwaves through the medical community. After nearly dying from diabetes complications during a bike ride, Dr. Merritt began extensive research, intent on reversing her type II diabetes before succumbing to diabetic amputation, blindness, organ failure, or any of the other side effects so commonly experienced by diabetics. Dr. Merritt knew all too well that commonly-prescribed diabetes drugs like Metformin came with a host of unwanted side effects, and was determined to find a natural, drug-free solution that could actually eliminate the disease, not just treat its symptoms. After months of research and self-experimentation, Dr. Merritt developed a simple diet and exercise regimen that had a profound success rate in treating and even reversing type II diabetes. Despite reversing her own diabetes, and helping many of her patients do the same, medical journals were slow to publish her findings, perhaps due in part, some have speculated, to financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. In response, Dr. Merritt took matters in to her own hands and shocked the medical community by partnering with independent health publisher Primal Health to make her diabetes-reversing regimen available to everyone in the form of an online presentation. Continue reading >>
Diabetes Medication Metformin: Why Patients Stop Taking It
Gretchen Becker, author of The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed , has been taking metformin for more than 20 years after receiving a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 1996. I never had any problems with metformin until I took a pill that I thought was the extended-release version, but it wasnt, Becker told Healthline. Beckers doctor had accidentally prescribed the regular form of metformin. I had very loose bowels for several months until I figured out what the problem was, Becker said. After getting the proper prescription, it took several months for Beckers digestive system to recover. Corinna Cornejo, who received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 2009, told Healthline that her digestive woes didnt start until shed been taking metformin for more than a year. At first, I thought it was a response to dairy, but my doctor eventually switched my prescription to the extended-release version, Cornejo recalled. That has helped, but the side effect has not gone away completely. For some people, however, metformins unpleasant side effect of loose stools provides a much-needed balance to the side effects that can result from other diabetes drugs theyre taking. GLP-1 drugs, like Victoza or Byetta, can cause constipation, explained Robinson. Taking metformin with a GLP-1 drug means they actually complement each other, balancing out those side effects. And for some, metformin simply isnt the right drug. No matter what you do, some patients just dont tolerate the side effects well, said Robinson. Although there are many diabetes drugs on the market today, doctors will likely push metformin first. There has never been as many diabetes treatment options available as there are now, explained Robinson. But doctors look at cost, and metformin is th Continue reading >>
Metformin may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old and if you have ever had a heart attack; stroke; diabetic ketoacidosis (blood sugar that is high enough to cause severe symptoms and requires emergency medical treatment); a coma; or heart or liver disease. Taking certain other medications with metformin may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you are taking acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Keveyis), methazolamide, topiramate (Topamax, in Qsymia), or zonisamide (Zonegran). Tell your doctor if you have recently had any of the following conditions, or if you develop them during treatment: serious infection; severe diarrhea, vomiting, or fever; or if you drink much less fluid than usual for any reason. You may have to stop taking metformin until you recover. If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, or any major medical procedure, tell the doctor that you are taking metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to have any x-ray procedure in which dye is injected, especially if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol or have or have had liver disease or heart failure. You may need to stop taking metformin before the procedure and wait 48 hours to restart treatment. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should stop taking metformin and when you should start taking it again. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking metformin and call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness, weakness, or discomfort; nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; decreased appetite; deep and rapid breathing or shortness of breath; dizzi Continue reading >>
Why Is Metformin Considered The Drug Of Choice For Type 2 Diabetes?
Gunda Siska, PharmD, has worked in various fields within the pharmaceutical industry as a licensed pharmacist for more than 20 years. She is currently a staff hospital pharmacist assisting nurses and doctors with drug prescribing, administration, and dispensing, as well as independently monitoring and dosing highly toxic and dangerous drugs. For 2 years, she was concurrently a consultant pharmacist for skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes. Dr. Siska is a member of the New Mexico Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @GundaSiska Metformin is a medication that I believe is underappreciated by the general public. Many people ttell me that their doctor prescribed this drug for them, but they took themselves off of it, but if they knew what I know about metformin, they would have stayed on the medication. This is what I know: metformin extends life. It’s been proven in animal studies1 and in humans. A prospective observational study of nearly 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and arteriosclerosis found that metformin use was associated with 24% lower all-cause mortality compared to patients who were not taking metformin.2 It is also the number one go-to medication for type 2 diabetes for several years, despite all the new designer medications coming on the market trying to replace it. How does metformin save lives? Mainly through cardioprotection. Metformin reduces cardiovascular risk in humans.3 Most people with T2DM will most likely die from a cardiovascular event, especially if they are not on metformin.4,5,6 Metformin has so many positive effects on the body, no one really knows for sure all the ways it preserves life. It produces modest weight loss in the near term5 and blun Continue reading >>
Diabetes Drug Metformin Safe For Patients With Kidney Disease: Review
TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although metformin, the popular type 2 diabetes medication, is usually not prescribed for people with kidney disease, a new analysis shows the drug may be safer for these patients than once thought. Metformin has been used in the United States for two decades to help lower blood sugar levels among people with type 2 diabetes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that people with kidney disease should not take the drug because it could increase their risk for a potentially serious condition called lactic acidosis. This is when lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream after oxygen levels in the body are depleted. After reviewing published research to evaluate the risks associated with metformin among people with mild to moderate kidney disease, a team of researchers led by Dr. Silvio Inzucchi, a professor of medicine at Yale University, found these patients were at no greater risk for lactic acidosis than people who were not taking the drug. "What we found is that there is essentially zero evidence that this is risky," Inzucchi, who is also medical director of the Yale Diabetes Center, said in a university news release. "The drug could be used safely, so long as kidney function is stable and not severely impaired," he said. Despite warnings, many doctors are already prescribing metformin to patients with kidney disease, the study published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed. "Many in the field know that metformin can be used cautiously in patients who have mild to moderate kidney problems," Inzucchi said. "Most specialists do this all the time." Still, the researchers said their findings are significant because many doctors stop prescribing metformin once their patients g Continue reading >>
Prescribing Attitudes, Behaviors And Opinions Regarding Metformin For Patients With Diabetes: A Focus Group Study
Go to: Abstract The purpose of this study was to identify the reasons why metformin prescribing is suboptimal. Two semi-structured focus groups with attitudinal questionnaires and a brief educational presentation were held in two US cities. Participants included providers (physicians, pharmacists, midlevel practitioners) caring for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in an ambulatory setting. Outcome measures included provider attitudes, behaviors and opinions regarding the use of metformin. Participants identified three main themes influencing the use of metformin, including the appropriate timing of metformin initiation, known risks associated with metformin, and procedures to manage safety concerns and mitigate adverse effects associated with metformin. Participant prescribing behaviors of metformin were not consistent with the best available evidence in the settings of renal insufficiency, heart failure, hepatic dysfunction, alcohol use, and lactic acidosis. With minimal education, provider prescribing behaviors appeared to change by the end of the focus group to align more closely with the best available evidence. Provider attitudes, behaviors and opinions regarding the use of metformin for T2DM reveals the need for further education to improve appropriate use of metformin. Educational interventions should target prescribing behaviors and opinions identified to be inconsistent with the evidence. Go to: Metformin is the only recommended first-line medication for type 2 diabetes (T2DM) because it is the only oral diabetes medication that has reproducibly demonstrated reductions in both cardiovascular morbidity and mortality [Turner, 1998]. However, metformin prescribing is suboptimal. Only 65% of newly diagnosed T2DM patients [Desai et al. 2012] and 25% wit 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 >>
The Drug Virtually Everyone Should Ask Their Doctor About
With each passing year, fresh scientific evidence emerges to vindicate Life Extension®’s contention that aging humans can derive enormous benefit from an antidiabetic drug called metformin. In 2010 alone, scientists at top-ranked institutions made landmark discoveries that broaden its use to combat degenerative disease. The ability of metformin to help facilitate weight loss has long been known. What few doctors understand are the unique mechanisms by which metformin can prevent and even help treat certain cancers. In a remarkable finding, a team of Swiss researchers found that diabetic women on a long-term metformin regimen (5 years or more) experienced a 56% reduction in breast cancer risk!1 It also slashed pancreatic cancer rates by 62% in diabetics and may cut lung cancer rates in smokers.2,3 In this article, a novel link between impaired glucose control and cancer is detailed. You will discover the growing list of cancers metformin may effectively combat, including those of the colon, uterus, and prostate. You will also learn of a striking connection between the anti-cancer mechanisms of metformin and calorie restriction! Why Metformin Should Be Viewed Differently than Other Drugs Many Life Extension members like to brag that they do not need to take any prescription drugs. Given the lethal side effects posed by so many FDA-approved medications, avoiding them whenever possible makes sense. Metformin is an exception! Its broad-spectrum anti-aging properties make it a drug that most longevity enthusiasts should seriously consider asking their doctors about. Since it long ago came off patent, metformin is a super-low cost generic that everyone can afford. Metformin Was Originally a Botanical Compound Although it is sold as a prescription drug today, metformin has a Continue reading >>
Metformin Hell | Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Discussion in ' Metformin/Biguanides ' started by Medusalight , Jul 24, 2014 . I have recently been diagnosed type two and since mid june I have had metformin and earth shatteringly bad daily diarrhea, I skipped my pills in the morning one day as I knew I had a hospital appointment which could take a few hours and guess what no problems come home took meds and stomach upset so its definately the Metformin, I told my doctor and nurse and the doctor told me to keep taking them it would calm down eventually and the nurse told me to up the bloody dose by one tablet at night which I have not done, I keep asking them for other pills but they say keep at it my stomach would settle, its been almost a month and if anything it feels worse, if I refuse pills and go to diet only will I be able to manage my diabetes that way or should I demand to speak to another doctor? Metformin has very little effect on blood sugar levels. Much more can be achieved through diet. Have you looked at / considered low carb? My husband James, dropped Metformin and went diet-only. His most recent HbA1c was middle of the normal range - way below diabetic, after being diagnosed at dangerously high levels this time last year. I suspect they only prescribe the stuff as a punishment for being too fat and costing the NHS money - but that's just me being cynical, so ignore me! There is a lot of information on this site about low carb, so do have a look round Metformin has very little effect on blood sugar levels. Much more can be achieved through diet. Have you looked at / considered low carb? My husband James, dropped Metformin and went diet-only. His most recent HbA1c was middle of the no Continue reading >>
Ignore The Clickbait: Metformin Still Prescribed For Diabetics
Dear Dr. Roach • I have read online and in our local newspaper that doctors are no longer recommending metformin as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Can you please explain why metformin is no longer being prescribed? — P.K. Answer • I, too, have seen online ads saying that doctors no longer prescribe metformin, and if you click through enough times, you find that “one weird food” cures diabetes, and that a special diet totally eliminates the need for medication for all diabetics. This is referred to as “clickbait,” and I encourage you not to pay attention to it. Metformin remains an important medication for many people with Type 2 diabetes, especially if they are overweight. For those people with diabetes who need medication despite an appropriate diet and regular exercise, metformin has been shown to be more beneficial, in terms of preventing diabetic complications and death, than most of the other medication options. It isn’t right for everyone, and people with poor kidney function may not be able to safely take it. Only your doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant knows what is best for you. Dear Dr. Roach • I started researching information about early dementia and also Alzheimer’s disease. I have perused numerous articles about cholinesterase inhibitors increasing acetylcholine levels that benefit the brain. Some medications are anticholinergic and might increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Many of these medications are everyday, over-the-counter drugs. Shouldn’t the public be made aware of these drugs and their possible effect on our brain? — P.C. Answer • One type of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. These include donepezil (Aricept) and others. Pharmaco Continue reading >>
Why Good Doctors No Longer Prescribe Metformin
Until recently, diabetics looking for doctor-approved, drug-free treatment options were out of luck. But a growing number of health experts believe those days are behind us. Dr. Marlene Merritt (LAc, DOM(NM), MS Nutrition), an Austin-based doctor who used to suffer high blood sugar herself, made a recent announcement that is sending shockwaves through the medical community. Dr. Merritt knew all too well that commonly-prescribed diabetes drugs like Metformin came with a host of unwanted side effects, and was determined to find a natural, drug-free solution that could actually eliminate the disease, not just treat its symptoms. After months of research, Dr. Merritt developed a simple diet and exercise regimen that had a profound success rate in treating and even reversing type II diabetes. Despite the regimen’s clear effectiveness, medical journals were slow to publish her findings, perhaps due in part, some have speculated, to financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. In response, Dr. Merritt took matters in to her own hands and shocked the medical community by partnering with independent health publisher Primal Health to make her diabetes-reversing regimen available to everyone in the form of an online presentation. Several viewers have noted the simplicity of the regimen, along with how non-restrictive the diet sounds. Unsurprisingly, many in the pharmaceutical industry have taken issue with the presentation’s drug-free emphasis, but many doctors who have wished for a natural, drug-free treatment to share with their diabetic patients have been quick to embrace it. Dr. Merritt herself cautions viewers to exercise common sense and only go off your medication with the approval of your doctor. Never underestimate the influence you have on those around you. Your wo Continue reading >>
Docs Won't Prescribe Metformin
So sorry to hear of your experience. Sadly, it sounds like you have a bit more information about PCOS than your doctor. Hate to echo all the previous comments to change doctors, however that might be the best option. I'd humbly suggest, and agree with those who also think, it may be time for a **Reproductive Endocrinologist.** I backed into my PCOS diagnosis after having children; my OB-GYN put me on Clomid simply because I didn't ovulate regularly. And two cycles in, we conceived twins. It was only after the children were a few years old -- and 150+ pounds later -- that an Ann Landers/Dear Abby column my mother read connected the dots between my various symptoms to lead to PCOS. My OB, when presented with the option, totally agreed. She put me on oral contraceptives (to regulate hormones) and spironolactone (a diuretic to help flush excess testosterone from my system). It wasn't long after that we prepared to move to a military installation and my OB, who was trained by the military, suggested that once I was there, I seek out a "reproductive endocrinologist." I'd never heard the term before, but followed her advice. While sitting in that waiting room, I think I was part of a very small percentage of patients not already or actively trying to become pregnant. And yes, this doctor -- who in 2001 had already published articles on PCOS -- pretty immediately added metformin to the other meds I was already using. He did explain that it was an "off-label" use for it, however it was the beginning of cutting edge treatment for PCOS at the time. (With the 150+ pound weight gain, it was pretty evident I was also insulin-resistant; cell walls not allowing nutrients to pass through --> starving cells send out messages for hunger/needing nutrients --> repeat cycle) In discussing t Continue reading >>
Do You Have A Good Doctor?
There is one often overlooked factor that can save you or someone you love from a future filled with amputations, failing vision, and dialysis: a family doctor who keeps up-to-date on diabetes treatment. Not all doctors do. In fact, quite a few doctors out there got their training in diabetes care in medical school decades ago, and the only "diabetes education" they've gotten since then has been provided by the drug companies. Drug company "education" is nothing more than promotion for whatever is the newest, most expensive drug available for treating diabetes--with the side effects unmentioned or dismissed as insignificant. Even those doctors who do attempt to keep up with the latest in diabetes treatments may do so by reading newsletters that summarize the most publicized recent research findings. But these, too, focus almost entirely on new drugs and often just summarize drug company press releases. That is why a major part of your diabetes self-care should include finding a doctor who will become a partner, not an obstacle, in your quest for normal health. While this whole site contains a lot of information that can help you assess the quality of the treatment you are getting what I've done here is put together a list of questions you can use to evaluate the care you are getting from the medical professionals you are paying for your care. Does your doctor support you in your desire to attain normal blood sugars? A major warning sign that a doctor's knowledge of diabetes is out of date is the doctor who dismisses your concern about an abnormal blood sugar test because it isn't, in his mind, abnormal enough. If your fasting blood sugar is over 110 mg/dl, or your post meal blood sugars are routinely going over 140 mg/dl at 2 hours, and your doctor tells you that this i Continue reading >>
Here’s Why Doctors Have Stopped Prescribing Metformin
We are quickly approaching the day when people diagnosed with Type II Diabetes can kiss goodbye to their expensive pills and annoying needles and test strips. This is thanks to a breakthrough from a Sri Lankan researcher, a specialist in endocrinology with 23 years’ experience, that is going to change everything we thought we knew about how to treat Type II Diabetes... No more needles! Would you be willing to try a "Delicious Dish"or even a "Miracle Smoothie" that could solve the problem of diabetes naturally? Mr. Michel Dempsey, in a brave (and lucky) attempt to save his wife from diabetes discovered a Sri Lankan tribe that has 0 cases of diabetes or pre diabetes. Against all odds he was able, with the help of a Sri Lankan researcher from the university of Peradeniya, to develop a natural treatment to reverse diabetes using the exact same ingredients the tribe has been consuming for decades. He said that he just couldn't see the mother of his 3 children unable to cast off the shackles of diabetes. He wanted to find a better future for her. Now, several years of research, study and experiments later, Chaminda, the Sri Lankan researcher, has discovered a surprisingly simple way to stop diabetes and even reverse it, giving you back the life you had before. The method involves doing away with the foods that are making the problem worse, and replacing them with ingredients and superfood that has doctors baffled. This new method was met with harsh criticism from the medical community and pharmaceutical companies, but he was never criticised by those who actually try it; most of them experienced success in just a few weeks. Michel says that this method has proven results, and these results can speak for themselves. By now you’re probably wondering why you’ve never heard Continue reading >>
Why Isn’t Metformin Prescribed More?
Since its debut in the United States in 1995, metformin has become the most popular oral drug for Type 2 diabetes in the country — and the rest of the world. Current guidelines by the American Diabetes Association state that unless there are special risks in a particular person, metformin should be the first drug prescribed to people with Type 2 diabetes. Yet perhaps due in part to its popularity, metformin isn’t free of controversy. As we’ve discussed previously here at Diabetes Flashpoints, there are concerns about prescribing metformin in people with kidney disease, and some doctors even question whether metformin deserves its status as the universally recommended first-line drug for Type 2 diabetes. In addition, there’s debate about whether metformin should be taken by more people with prediabetes. A recent study sought to explore the reasons why metformin isn’t prescribed as widely as clinical guidelines suggest it should be. Published last month in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease, the study notes that only roughly 65% of people with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes are prescribed metformin — and that over time, this number drops to just 25% of people with the condition. As noted in a Pharmacy Times article on the study, researchers from the University of Colorado put together focus groups of relevant people — doctors, pharmacists, and other medical personnel — to ask about their perceptions regarding metformin. Based on these focus groups, the researchers found that three main factors affected how doctors prescribed metformin: concerns about when to start the drug, concerns about the drug’s known risks, and whether procedures were in place to notice and deal with any adverse reactions caused by the drug. Based on the focus grou Continue reading >>