What you need to know about Metformin?

what is metformin - Diabetes- Alma Health

Metformin is a drug that belongs to a class known as ‘Biguanides’, mainly we use it to treat type 2 diabetes.

It has a unique mechanism of action because it:

  1. works by increasing cells sensitivity to insulin which will lead to increased ability of glucose uptake.
  2. decreases the:
    • amount of glucose made by the liver.
    • absorption of glucose from the intestine.
  3. may also decrease:
    • Fasting insulin levels.
    • Base-line insulin response.

Metformin is considered safe mainly because of the following reasons:

  1. Rare causes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  2. Does not change insulin is secretion levels.
  3. Does not cause hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels).

Many people like to use metformin because it may decrease body weight. If you do consider taking it please note that you may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Flatulence
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • lack of energy
  • Taste disturbance

And that is normal, but if you feel some numbing in your toes you should seek medical attention because it may mean that you have vitamin B12 deficiency and it is one of Metformin’s side effects.

Another benefit of taking Metformin is that it will help reducing the effect of an upset stomach when taken with meals. That being said, we urge all who are taking metformin to regularly follow up with their doctor(s) to monitor their blood sugar levels and other common laboratory tests including kidney function.

Last but not least, if you developed renal impairment you should inform your doctor to do the necessary drug modification.

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