Currently metformin is widely used to treat type 2 diabetes. So, is metformin the best type 2 diabetes drug?
It seems contradictory, but determining which treatment is appropriate for type 2 diabetes is often more difficult than in the case of type 1 diabetes. In the latter case, treatment is based on insulin therapy. In general, the introduction of lifestyle changes, including modification of eating habits and adherence to sports programs, could be enough to manage type 2 diabetes. But this is not the case. A large number of people with this type of diabetes still require oral drug delivery called metformin. Today we will explain what is metformin and how it works for the benefit of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Metformin, also known as Fortamet, Glucofage or Glumetza, is one of the most preferred drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It works by reducing the amount of glucose that is synthesized in the liver. There is widespread belief that metformin action is associated with insulin production in the pancreas, which is completely wrong.
You will ask yourself: if metformin has nothing to do with insulin production, how can it benefit a patient with this type of diabetes? Remember that Type 2 diabetes refers to people who have insulin resistance while in Type 1, the patient is dependent on insulin.
Under normal conditions, when there is no contribution of glucose from intestinal digestion, the liver is responsible for the production of glucose to maintain cell metabolism. When intestinal glucose absorption increases after eating, liver glucose production decreases and may even cease, due to the action of insulin secreted in the blood by the pancreas.
In this way, the balance of blood glucose is maintained. Now, since insulin resistance occurs in type 2 diabetes, the liver does not receive signals to reduce or close the synthesis of glucose and, consequently, blood glucose concentration increases; Even when the body produces insulin.
In these circumstances, metformin action is useful for maintaining glucose balance, reducing the production and release of glucose by the liver. Because metformin is not associated with insulin production, it can be used in combination with other anti-diabetic drugs such as sulfonylurea (increase insulin synthesis) and insulin itself.
Metformin is a versatile drug that has other applications such as in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. It also reduces the risk of suffering from metabolic syndrome, helping to reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes. A recent study conducted at the National Institute for Aging (USA) found that metformin increased the half-life in rats by 5.8%, which has prompted research on these effects in humans.
In short, metformin has some beneficial effects in patients with type 2 diabetes. It also has some less severe side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain, although most of these symptoms quickly disappear.
It is advisable to take a metformin pill with food. For all these reasons, we recommend you consult a Doctor about your convenience to use the drug.
Note: This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek medical advice for questions about medical conditions or changes in your care.