Type II diabetes is a condition that afflicts older children, adolescents, and adults. When lifestyle and diet changes fail to regulate blood sugar levels, Metformin is the medication to take. Doctors can just tell their patients to take this medication on its own, with insulin, or with other anti-diabetes medications
How Does it Work?
When a person has Type II diabetes, the liver, muscle, and fat cells become non-reactive to insulin. Non-diabetics depend on insulin to transform glucose into energy. This is the way insulin helps control the sugar level in the blood. If the cells resist to insulin, the blood sugar levels increase beyond normal levels.
Metformin hydrochloride is classified as a biguanide, which lowers blood glucose levels in the following ways:
1. It increases the insulin sensitivity of muscle cells. Because of this, these cells are able to extract sugar from the bloodstream more efficiently.
2. It decreases the levels of glucose produced by the liver cells.
3. It slows down the glucose absorption from the intestines to the bloodstream after having a meal. Because of this, the spike in the blood sugar is less.
When taken daily and regularly, it helps control blood sugar levels in between and also after regular meals.
Metformin is also given to women diagnosed with PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with PCOS have elevated levels of insulin in the blood. This makes their cells resistant to insulin. It also causes an increase in the production of testosterone, which is known as the male hormone. These two events cause PCOS symptoms such as fertility issues, hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles, and weight gain.
As this medication improves insulin sensitivity in the cells, it also helps lower the levels of insulin in polycystic ovarian syndrome. It also makes levels of testosterone to fall.
The following are the common side effects of Metformin:
1. Common side effects
• Loss of appetite or inappetence
• Unsettled digestive system (vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea)
The given side effects usually take hold when the patient starts taking Metformin. They fade over time. The patient can minimize or prevent these adverse reactions. This is accomplished by taking the medicine while eating or after meals and by increasing the dosage based on doctor’s orders.
2. Rare side effects
• Metallic taste
• Lactic acidosis
• Flushing, rashes, or itching
• Malabsorption of vitamin B12
Discuss metformin with your physician, if you want more information. It is always best to take the drug under the supervision of your healthcare professional.