Metformin is an oral medication used to treat this insulin resistant form of diabetes. In contrast, it’s not used for the “lack insulin in the first place” Type 1 diabetes.
Metformin helps to control the abundance of sugar in your blood by:
- decreasing glucose absorption
- reducing liver glucose production
- improving cell’s response to insulin
Metformin may be employed alone or with other drugs, including insulin and glyburide.
When metformin is used in combination with glyburide, then the amount of available insulin is boosted. How glyburide works is by stimulating your pancreas, the organ that produces insulin. As a consequence of the glyburide combination, the additional insulin helps lower your blood sugar levels.
Metformin is also used to treat PCOS. Since PCOS is associated with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, metformin’s action of improving cell’s response to this hormone combats the resistant issue. And correspondingly drops the amount of insulin produced as well as testosterone.
Elevated insulin directly affects testosterone and other hormonal changes that are responsible for causing PCOS. Metformin’s affect on insulin leads to significant improvement of this disorder.
Metformin may cause side effects, like:
- runny nose
- nail changes
- stomach pain
- metallic taste
Weight gain is an unwanted effect of glyburide, not metformin.
Some metformin side effects can be serious or a sign of a drug allergy, so get with your health care folks immediately if you experience:
- chest pain
- sore throat
- skin redness
- unusual bleeding
- light-colored stools
- feeling short of breath
- dark, clay-colored urine
On extremely rare occasions, metformin has caused lactic acidosis, a life-threatening condition.
You shouldn’t take meformin if you have:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- diabetic ketoacidosis
While on metformin, notify your health care person whenever you:
- get sick or injured
- have a serious infection
- going to have any type of surgery
Metformin may cause blood sugar changes, so you should know the symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. A couple of reasons you may experience low blood sugar is by missing a meal, exercising too much, drinking alcohol and stress. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are:
- fast heart rate
Severe hypoglycemia can be fatal, so always have a source of quick sugar on hand, such as candy or glucose gel.
Follow all exercise and dietary recommendations. For example, you may be advised to take vitamin B12, consume a healthy diet and exercise regularly while taking metformin.