Gwheezy's post is about 10 months old, but it has 2 important messages.
1) DON'T BE a victim of a well meaning but ill informed GP (general practioner) - see an Endocrinologist.
2) We should all know a little more about metformin as it is usually a type 2 diabetics first line of defense.
Metformin (Glucophage) is a biguanide, which appears to work by reducing glucose production in the liver and by making tissues more sensitive to insulin. As I just mentioned, it is considered by many experts to be the first choice for most type 2 patients who are insulin resistant, particularly if they are overweight (as in Gwheezy's case). Metformin achieves lower mortality rates from diabetes and all causes than other drugs.
Metformin does not cause hypoglycemia or add weight, so it is particularly well suited for obese type 2 patients. (In some studies, in fact, patients lost weight.) Metformin also appears to have beneficial effects on cholesterol and lipid levels and may be heart protective. Some research, in fact, has suggested that it significantly reduces the risk for heart attack. It is also the first choice for children who need oral agents and is proving to be very effective for women with polycystic ovaries and insulin resistance.
Lets look at the common side effects:
- A metallic taste.
- Gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, and diarrhea (here is Gwheezy's problem).
- It may also reduce absorption of vitamin B12 and folic acid, which are important for protection against heart disease.
- There have been some reports of lactic acidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition, particularly in people with risk factors for it. Major studies, however, found no greater risk with metformin than with any of the other drugs used for type 2 diabetes.
I know this doesn't answer the question of what do I take instead, but perhaps it sheds a little more light on why we all get prescribed this drug first!!