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Metformin: When And How Should You Take It?


Metformin is a drug used to treat diabetes 2 in adults when the lifestyle the patient follows is insufficient to control blood glucose. This is an anti-diabetic medicine indicated to reduce blood glucose levels, whether at rest, fasting, or after meals.

What it does is reduce the glucose level the body absorbs from food and delays its arrival in the gut. It also lowers the level of glucose produced by the liver, while collaborating to store it as glycogen, a substance that regulates its blood concentration and feeds the brain. It also enhances muscle and peripheral tissue sensitivity to capture and increase glucose use.

Another use that is usually made of metformin is related to polycystic ovaries associated with sterility problems in women. This medicine does facilitate ovulation and therefore fertility.

In addition, it is a drug that does not interfere with the performance of the pancreas when producing insulin, hence it does not pose a risk when suffering from hypoglycemia. You want to know when and how to take metformin?

How Do You Take This Anti-diabetic?

The drug may be used alone or in combination with other anti-diabetic medicines, whether oral or with insulin. The usual dose at the beginning of treatment is usually 500 to 850 milligrams during or after meals, 2 or 3 times a day.

Once about two weeks have passed, the doses should be adjusted according to the blood glucose levels presented by the patient. At first, it is possible to start with half a tablet during dinner and increase the amount to two tablets daily.

Since this medicinal product may hurt renal function, for older people the dose should be adjusted and the situation evaluated periodically.

What Side Effects Does Metformin Have And How Long Do They Last?

When and how to take metformin is something the doctor should determine to avoid or at least minimize the side effects of the medication. The most common ones affect the gastrointestinal system and can appear in the form of vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Now, in these cases, you don’t have to worry because most of the time they just disappear.

Some patients treated with metformin have had taste disturbances. Even in prolonged treatments over time, vitamin B12 absorption can be reduced, leading to a low blood level with the possibility of anemia.

Lactic acidosis is a more serious and rather rare condition that can occur in patients with severe renal impairment. When this happens, the affected person may have some of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, shortness of breath, asthenia, muscle cramps, and even hypothermia. The most dangerous thing is that all this can lead to a coma situation.

What Are The Most Common Mistakes When Using It?

Patients treated with metformin may miss it, with these being the most common slides that commit:

Do not start with a low dose to reduce side effects

Do not pay attention to kidney function as soon as you start treatment and as diabetes evolves, adjust the dose according to the degree of renal involvement.

Do not temporarily stop treatment in certain situations, such as a surgical operation or the use of iodized contrasts to improve CT and X-ray images.

Patients who think that metformin alone can control the disease, without the need to take care of eating and exercise.

Precautions of Use:

When surgery is started, either with general, epidural, or spinal anesthesia, metformin should be discontinued immediately. After 48 hours it is possible to resume it, provided that the patient’s renal function has been re-analyzed.

Met metformin should stop before conducting radiological scans that require iodized contrasts injected into a vein. As in the previous case, the patient may resume treatment once 48 hours after 48 hours, provided that the patient’s kidney function permits.

As we have already mentioned, this drug does not cause hypoglycemia, except if it is combined with other hypoglycemic drugs to treat diabetes 2 such as sulfonylurea or insulins.

Metformin And Overweight, Are They Compatible?

Although metformin is essentially used to treat type 2 diabetes, many people use it to lose weight.

This medicine keeps blood sugar levels balanced when patients have not improved by leading a healthier life (diet and exercise). People who start treatment not only lose appetite but betaoxidation increases (a process in which fatty acids degrade) and fatty tissue becomes lean without the pancreas being harmed.

Metformin’s ability to lose is related to the hormone that produces the pancreas, insulin. This substance sends signals to the brain, transmitting hunger and the need to produce fat. When insulin levels are so high, being overweight makes an act of presence.

This drug keeps insulin levels stable, although the patient should take its side and remove from his diet what only reports negative fats and calories such as industrial pastries or soft drinks.

In this way, we could say that metformin effectively helps to lose weight, although not all people can benefit from it; it all depends on the physical constitution of the patient and the type of obesity he presents. Either way, the most convenient thing is to consult a health professional. It should not be forgotten that we are talking about a drug for diabetics and that only one expert can determine when and how metformin should be taken.

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