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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Metformin for Type 2 Diabetes

By Wriley Baker

What is it that separates Type II Diabetes from Type I Diabetes? Both come from a body that does not produce enough insulin. However, Type II Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In Type 2 Diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or body cells ignore the insulin; this insulin is needed by the body to be able to use glucose for energy. Whenever we eat food the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose. This is the basic fuel for the cells in our body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells, so when glucose builds up in the blood as opposed to going into cells it can lead to diabetes complications.

While Type 1 Diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and requires the person to inject insulin, Type 2 Diabetes results from insulin resistances. As mentioned before the cells fail to use insulin properly. Type 2 Diabetes is non-insulin dependent whereas Type 1 Diabetes is insulin-dependent. Both types are chronic conditions that usually cannot be cured. Therefore, adequate treatment of diabetes is important along with blood pressure control and lifestyle factors. This includes maintaining a healthy body weight.

There are several classes of medications available for Type 2 Diabetes. Metformin is generally recommended as a first line treatment as there is good evidence that it decreases mortality. Sometiems injections of insulin can be added to oral medication or used alone. A few other classes of medications used to treat type 2 diabetes are sulfonylureas, nonsulfonylurea secretagogues, alpha glucosidase inhibitors, andthiazolidinediones.

With Metformin being highly recommended, it's good to understand exactly how this Type II Diabetes drug works. The drug helps to control the amount of glucose in one's blood. Metformin increases the sensitivity of liver, muscle, fat and other tissues to the uptake and effects of insulin. These actions help to lower the sugar level in the blood. Metformin is the first-line antidiabetic drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people and those with normal kidney function that is originally sold as Glucophage. The medication was approved by the FDA in December 1994 and can be used by itself or in addition to another drug.

Like any other drug, Metformin has its possible side effects. Stomach pain, decreased appetite and rapid breathing or shortness of breath are each Metformin side effects. Other Metformin side effects include: lightheadedness, fast/slow heartbeat, feeling cold, nausea, and vomiting. Extreme tiredness is another side effect of Metformin. One may or may not experience these symptoms, but Metformin is well known drug for treating Diabetes Type 2 so consult your doctor on the proper medicine plan.

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