June 9, 2023

I get this question in my clinic almost daily. Doc, I heard one of the metformin side effects is kidney damage. Should I stop taking metformin? I take my time to explain what metformin’s side effects are and when metformin should be stopped in a patient with chronic kidney disease. In this short video, you will find your answer.

Hi guys welcome to sugar md today we are talking about metformin does metformin cause kidney damage is metformin bad for your kidneys let’s talk about it right now hi guys i’m dr ahmet ergin i’m an endocrinologist and a diabetes specialist today we are talking about the effect of metformin on kidneys now we have a lot of videos about metformin like here like

There like this one you name it we have a lot of videos about metformin but specifically i don’t think i’ve ever answered the question does metformin kill your kidneys and i get this question a lot in my clinic and people actually come to me and say that i want to stop my metformin because it kills my kidneys i’m like who said that i don’t know somebody said it

I heard it well we don’t go by she said it he said it right so we go by signs now does metformin really cause kidney damage it does not directly cause kidney damage but what happens when you have a kidney failure now most people cannot differentiate the chicken from the egg right so is it the chicken or the egg people’s kidney function go down for many reasons

Right and if they’re in metformin which i would say 90 percent of diabetics are almost on metformin you know most of the time at least in the beginning and they blame metformin for causing the kidney damage well that’s not typically the case but the reason we stop metformin when the kidney function goes below a certain level is because metformin is cleared by the

Kidneys like any drug that is clear by the kidney your doctor should adjust the dose or stop the medication depending on the kidney function since it is clear from the kidney because in excessive doses if metformin is not clear by your body there is something called lactic acidosis which can actually kill you now thankfully it is very very rare that’s why fda said

You know what you know it’s so rare that we will allow metformin to be in use to be used by the patients until gfr is below 30 kidney function we call this gfr glomerular filtration rate now your physician may not be comfortable if your metformin is below say uh 50 you know a 60 sometimes they will stop the metformin but what happens when you stop metformin is if

You are not doing something else and just stopping just somebody’s medication and they’re sending sending home they’re gonna come back with a very high blood sugar and most of them will be so you have to do something differently you know you can you can use another medication you can use another supplement unfortunately a lot of doctors are not very open-minded

When it comes to supplements because they don’t study supplements at school so when they don’t know it they say no to it you know but you can do your own research and you know if you don’t want to take metformin you can take you know berberine super berberine dehydroberberine there’s a lot of metformin equivalent i would say not necessarily pharmaceutically but

At least the efficacy wise or the end result wise is similar and you don’t necessarily have to use a a supplement or a medication that works like metformin you can use just something else that can get the job done which is lowering your blood sugar right so we have a lot of supplements on our website you can check that at sugarmds.com or sugarmds.com which you

May find useful but back to the topic guys metformin does not kill your kidneys but if you’re not comfortable with it because of all the side effects that you’re experiencing because of metformin and again we talked about metformin side effects you know on this video here make sure you check that video out because it’s more comprehensive but if you’re tired of

The side effects or if you don’t think it’s helping you anymore it is okay to change it but don’t blame the per drug to for your kidney damage because then if you don’t know what really is causing your kidney damage and you blame metformin what if it is something else what is your high blood pressure what if it is your like uncontrolled cholesterol what if it is

Some another systemic disorder killing your kidneys like you know you need to really be open-minded and just stop blaming things only one one thing but i’m okay with stopping or reducing metformin as the kidney function goes down just to protect you from the possible lactic acidosis that happens with metformin again you know sometimes i just reduce the metformin

Dose when the gfr goes below 60 and i stop the metformin if the gfr goes below 30 for sure but again you know we work with the patients you know if you don’t feel comfortable it is okay to stop it it’s not like the only medication in the market there are a lot of ways to do it and if you are dedicated to change your lifestyle and do some exercise and dieting

And change your lifestyle entirely that is probably the best thing you can do it may or may not be enough in every case every case is different but i think you have options as long as you know your options and you’re educated and that’s why you’re watching this channel i think you have the odds to your favor guys make sure you like this video share and give a

Thumbs up and we’ll see in the next one hey guys i hope you are enjoying this channel so far and i hope you subscribed already if you didn’t do it and if you did watch this video right there i think that will help you too

Transcribed from video
Metformin Damages Kidneys? By SugarMD