There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Each involves a problem with the hormone insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas and is responsible for helping the sugar (glucose) get turned into energy. If the insulin function is damaged, dangerous sugar levels build up in the body. Type 2 (T2D) means the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Metformin is the “gold standard” of treatment for those starting with type 2 diabetes management and can be used in conjunction with insulin or other non-insulin-dependent medicines. Here’s a closer look into T2D risk factors and why metformin is a preferred therapy for it.
Type 2 Diabetes Risks
When your body isn’t responding to the insulin function, sugar levels rise, and the pancreas will continue to make insulin to keep up with the load. Over time, the pancreas becomes unable to keep up. Some sugar is naturally found in the body, but we also get sugar from what we eat and drink. Regularly consuming too much sugar is a risk factor for developing T2D.
Other risk factors include:
- Family history
- An unhealthy diet high in trans fats and processed sugars
- Being overweight
- Lack of activity
- Fatty liver
If you are concerned about your risk or have signs of T2D, talk with your doctor. T2D symptoms consist of increased thirst, frequent urination, excess hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision.
More about Metformin
Metformin is in a class of drugs that prevent the production of sugar in the liver. It also increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which helps lessen the amount of sugar the body absorbs and makes. For those with T2D, metformin makes it easier to manage by helping lower sugar levels combined with diet and exercise. It is also safe, effective, affordable, isn’t linked to weight gain, and doesn’t stress organs. Side effects are mild, with the most common complaint of stomach pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. These gastric complaints can be solved by adjusting the dosage, along with extended-release options. While severe reactions are rare, you should always review the benefits and risks with your doctor before taking it.
The benefits of metformin extend beyond use for those with T2D. It is also being used to treat gestational diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Clinical Research and Type 2 Diabetes Options
In Georgia, diabetes increased by 24% from 10.2% to 12.6% of adults since 2012. If you are aware of the risks and act early, diabetes can be delayed or prevented. You can start by eating healthier food, losing weight, exercising 30 minutes for most days during the week, not smoking, and controlling chronic conditions.
While prevention is possible, those already diagnosed with T2D have available treatment options and a community of researchers striving for improved possibilities. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with T2D and is taking metformin, clinical research studies may be an option. To learn more about the type 2 diabetes studies enrolling here at InQuest, call (770) 903-0148.
Mayoclinic.org | Metformin (Oral Route)
CDC.gov | Prediabetes – Your Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
diaTribe.org | Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Metformin, But Were Afraid to Ask