What is Diabetes?
Before we talk about Metformin, it is important to understand what Metformin is treating. Metformin is a commonly used medication for a condition called Diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease where the body does not properly respond to, or produce a hormone called insulin.
When you eat food, carbohydrates and sugar in particular glucose levels in your blood rise. In response, the cells of the pancreas, called the Islets of Langerhans, release insulin hormone. The insulin hormone travels through your blood to your body’s cells and tells the cells to let the insulin inside. The cells use the glucose for energy or store it in the form of glycogen to use later.
It is important to have a well controlled balance in this system as too much sugar causes hyperglycemia, and too little sugar causes hypoglycemia.
As mentioned, diabetes is a condition where there is not appropriate regulation of glucose and insulin levels.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1, and Type 2.
What is Diabetes Type 1:
Type 1 Diabetes is a disease where the beta cells of the pancreas are damaged or destroyed. As a result, people suffer from hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and require outside sources of insulin.
What is Diabetes Type 2:
Type 2 diabetes is typically caused by a diet high in sugar, and develops over time. The cells become “oversaturated” with glucose, and when insulin rises and asks the cells to open the doors to take in the glucose from the blood stream, the cells are too ful and cannot. This results in too much sugar remaining in the blood stream, and the pancreas tries to compensate by making more and more insulin. Eventually the pancreas will stop working and these individuals may end up requiring outside insulin later.
What is Metformin
Metform is a drug that is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It works by telling the body to produce less glucose over time and improves the cell’s responses to insulin.
What are the risks / side effects of metformin
Side effects of metformin include: Stomach, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting (this is much less common on the extended release version). If you are experiencing these symptoms, be sure to rule out lactic acidosis which can be fatal. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include symptoms of nausea, severe low blood sugar, heart palpitations and stomach pain.
What are the benefits of metformin
Read this great article by Life Extension: https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2001/9/report_metformin/Page-01
Conventional Alternatives to Metformin in treatment of Diabetes
- Byetta/ exenatide
Integrative Alternatives to Metformin in treatment of Diabetes
Diabetes Shopping List
Deconstructing the Glycemic Index
|Glycemic Index for Selected Foods|
The glycemic index refers to the amount of glucose released by foods within 2 hours. In technical terms, it is the area under the two-hour blood glucose curve for each food expressed as a % of the area under the curve when compared to glucose. Foods with a higher glycemic index release glucose into the bloodstream faster than foods with a lower index. This information can be used in the treatment of obesity, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and other conditions where glucose metabolism is important. It is therefore very important to eat the foods that have the lower glycemic indexes, represented by the lower percentage numbers.
Broad beans (fresh)
“Rice tea” biscuits
Spaghetti (whole wheat)
Beans (canned navy)