Anyone who has dealt with a Type II Diabetes diagnosisis probably intimately familiar with Metformin. Dubbed the "safest" treatment option, it is often prescribed as a first-line medication for people first diagnosed. And as symptoms persist or worsen, it then gets paired with a second, stronger line of defense. However, just because it is so common popped, doesn't mean this pill is without it's downfalls.
Sure, you don't get a prescription filled without a clear warning of the havoc it wreaks on your gastrointestinal tract. While it's become somewhat of an awkward joke among users, it can be downright debilitating to many. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's also affecting you in ways that you don't necessarily see or feel.
In fact, it is interesting to note that until 2009 science really didn't know how Metformin worked (Yes, I know that sounds silly, but it's true). The way that scientists and doctors previously believed it to work was actually wrong. In between meals and during the night (fasting), when blood glucose begins to drop, a "SIGNAL" triggers the liver to begin producing glucose in order to maintain normal levels of cell energy. A meal (increase in blood glucose) will signal the body to produce insulin. This moves glucose out of the blood and into the cells where it is used for energy. Increased insulin normally "SIGNALS" the liver to stop producing glucose since there is plenty around due to the meal. In a type II diabetic this "SIGNAL" is ignored and the liver keeps producing glucose.
Doctors and scientists used to believe that Metformin helped the liver to recognize the "SIGNAL" to stop producing glucose better, similar to an interpreter helping two businessmen of different languages communicate. Now, we know that the Metformin actually REPLACES the "SIGNAL" forcing the liver to stop production of glucose. Imagine the interpreter deciding that he can REPLACE one side of the conversation because he, "has a pretty good idea of what one of the businessmen has to say". This conversation would present several problems, and there are several problems with just REPLACING the delicate chemistry of the body. They include:
Dr. David Sanders
Known as the "Dr. House" of Diabetes, he's devoted his career to helping Type II Diabetes reverse their diagnosis and live their healthiest life. Holistically. He's committed to getting to the root cause of disease and is an avid learner in all things Endocrinology.