November 29, 2022

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Hi this is pim from smart diabetics academy in today’s video i’m going to walk you through the pros and cons of metformin for diabetes in this video i will have a look at what metformin does why it may be good for you and lastly the side effects so metformin helps lowering your blood sugar in three different ways so first of all it decreases the production and

Release of blood sugar from the liver which means that when you are fasting your blood sugar will go down which can sometimes be a problem for some diabetics especially if you are severely insulin resistant and you have had elevated blood sugar levels for a very long period of time because when you have chronically elevated blood sugar the set point often changes

And your body will strive to maintain elevated blood sugar levels even when you don’t eat so this is where metformin might be good and preventing your liver from over producing and over releasing sugar to keep their blood sugar levels up at that unhealthy level so if this is the case for you and you’re struggling to get control of your blood sugar with diet alone

Metformin might be a decent alternative for you in in this aspect so it also decreases the absorption of sugar from your intestines and this can cause some people to initially lose weight when they start taking metformin and you might think that this sounds great but the most common side effect of metformin is in the gi tract and there are many of them and i

Will talk a little bit more about that in a minute but the good thing with the reduced absorption if you like is that when the sugar is excreted rather than absorbed your blood sugar obviously won’t go up as much as it would have if you had not been taking metformin so lastly metformin helps insulin do its job by including increasing insulin sensitivity in your

Cells so this might may sound like a good thing because it lowers the blood sugar obviously and it increases your insulin sensitivity but that’s not the whole truth and we’re gonna have a look at the ugly so let’s do have a look at the ugly because the um because metformin decreases the production and the release of sugar in the liver you’re always running

The risk risk of becoming hypoglycemic which means that your blood sugar is going too low you’re having a hypo so this isn’t excuse me this isn’t too common for those who are just taking metformin but in combination with insulin it’s really common that it happens for a lot of people and it’s also common when you drink alcohol together with metformin because

Alcohol is metabolized by the liver so when you have that combination you are in trouble so this is something that you need to be aware of even though it’s not that common it might happen to you and it can also happen to people for other various reasons but there is no one-size-fits-all but these are the most too um common scenarios should i say the combination

Of other prescription drugs and alcohol so when you prevent glucose production in the liver in some people especially those with liver or kidney dysfunction it can lead to lactic acidosis and the symptoms are usually nausea abdominal pain increase the heart rate and reduce blood pressure and also in combination with rapid breathing this is a rare side effect

But the mortality rate of this is over 30 so you just need to be aware of that if you’re taking metformin and some and you might have an infection that something else is going on and you get these symptoms you need to go to the hospital asap it’s really important so i was mentioning that the most common side effects are actually gi related as in in the gut so

These can be things like diarrhea stomach pain nausea vomiting loss of appetite change in taste all those kind of things they are very very common and a lot of people get them at least around 30 percent of people are taking metformin get some sort of symptoms and i’m saying 30 and that’s what people report but usually what what they do see is that the amount

Of side effects that are reported are much lower than the actual number so what you need to know is that the sugar when when you eat sugar in excess and it’s in your intestines it functions as a laxative it will literally hold on to water and it will draw fluid out of your intestinal wall by osmosis which can lead to all of these side effects so if you have a

Lot of gi symptoms from taking metformin you need to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet this way you will lessen the amount of sugar that flows through your intestines and that way you won’t get the diarrhea and the bloating and the pain etc it’s much easier to avoid those side effects if you are eating less carbohydrates it’s as simple as that so

You can’t just start taking metformin and think that you can continue with a high carb diet it might still have some positive effects on your blood sugar but you will probably feel awful and with regards to its effect on your insulin sensitivity um it’s great on paper but in reality what happens is that when you’re forcing more sugar into your cells that don’t

Actually want more sugar your blood sugar will for sure decrease and that’s looking good and your doctor is going to be happy about that and you’re going to think that you’re avoiding all of these um diabetic complications which actually in reality it hasn’t been seen so you just over time what is happening is that you’re doing the very thing that caused you to

Develop diabetes and you’re just going to progress your disease by not allowing your body to restore and go back to its original function so if you are taking metformin for a longer period of time you will become more and more insulin resistant you won’t notice it because you have metformin there as a crutch or an amplifier that helps insulin do its job but if

You were to stop taking metformin if you removed it you’re gonna notice that your blood sugar control is a lot worse than it was when you started taking metformin and this is in part at least caused by the metformin itself which just helps you actually get worse plus when you take any medication you generally get away with doing more things that you wouldn’t

If you didn’t take any medication so people that are on medication tend to not necessarily look after the diet as much as other people would not being on the medications so it’s it’s a double-edged sword i guess and i think that it might be a good idea initially if you’re really struggling with blood sugar control but in general it’s not a great idea to be on

Medication and there are other things that can happen as well like you can get b12 deficiency which can lead to anemia there are other things that more obscure things that haven’t been proven that can happen so in general it’s probably better to not be on any medication if you can but if you need to be on metformin do it but also look after your diet so as you

Can see there’s obviously a reason for why metformin is the most commonly prescribed um medication for diabetics because it is helping managing your blood sugar and that is how we diagnose and that is how we assess a person’s diabetes and how it progresses we do that by looking at the blood sugars but this is not necessarily a good way of doing it and it doesn’t

Tell the whole truth and there’s so many side effects as well and unfortunately no medication is helping you get rid of your diabetes so whenever you take medication to manage your blood sugar please do ask yourself what the goal is why do you want to medicate is it to help with unmanageable blood sugar levels while you’re working on your diet or is it because

You don’t want to do anything about your diet do you imagine that you at some point can come off of these medications again or you’re just going to keep medicating for the rest of your life because it seems like the easier option are you prepared to live a life with this side effect and risk having these more serious complications like lactic acidosis and having

High pose if you do something wrong etc or is this just a temporary solution for you to deal with an acute problem so i’m not here to tell you what to do because that is obviously up to you it’s your life but i want you to ask yourself these questions so that you can decide that you have really thought this through and you can decide what to do based on what

Your goal is what is it that you want and where do you want your life to go do you want to live a life on medications for the rest of your life or do you want to come off of these medications at some point and if so what other things do you need to do as well to get there so i hope you found this video helpful and if you have please do give it a thumbs up and

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Transcribed from video
Metformin for Diabetes – Pros and Cons By Smart Diabetics Academy