Metformin - Things You Should Know
Are you taking metformin? If so, did you know that metformin helps lower your blood sugar levels and can help you lose some weight?
Metformin is the first line medication we use when lifestyle modifications are not enough.
Metformin has been around for a long time. It was first FDA approved in 1995 to use in Type 2 Diabetes. Therefore, we have a lot of long term data regarding it’s safety use.
The way metformin works is by reducing insulin resistance and improving insulin sensitivity. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin when it senses your blood sugar is rising. Metformin helps reduce the resistance so that insulin can go to where it needs to go. In return, the insulin is able to do its job and keep blood sugar levels lower.
Metformin also works directly with the liver. The liver releases more “glucose” when we are fasting, such as, during sleep. With diabetes, you normally have enough glucose in the bloodstream and do not need more. Metformin helps by telling the liver to “stop” the overproduction of glucose, in return, keeping blood sugar levels lower.
Another way in which metformin helps reduce our blood sugar levels is by delaying the glucose absorption during digestion. Normally, after we eat, food gets broken down into glucose by our digestive system. We normally use this glucose for “energy”. Metformin helps by slowing down the glucose absorption during digestion, therefore, it helps lower or keep blood sugar levels lower after we eat.
Studies find that metformin does not cause low blood sugars. It helps lower blood sugar levels to more normal ranges but it won’t cause lower blood sugar known as hypoglycemia.
Long term data shows that metformin is safe to use. Patients on metformin have been able to lose on average 5lbs when taken properly and regularly.
For more information on metformin, please follow Diana Bytyqi, DNP, FNP-C on YouTube: The Voice of Diabetes