"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Is metformin a wonder drug?

Ever wonder why some medications are called “wonder drugs”?

Sometimes it's due to tremendous health advantages a drug provides for a selected condition, equivalent to insulin for type 1 diabetes or antibiotics for pneumonia. Or, it may very well be since the drug is sweet for therefore many alternative conditions: Aspirin is usually called a wonder drug because it may well relieve pain, treat or prevent heart disease. Can, and will even prevent, cancer.

Could metformin be on this list? It is approved within the US to treat type 2 diabetes when used with weight loss plan and exercise by people 10 years of age and older. But lately, interest has grown in its potential to stop or treat quite a few other conditions, including aging. Yes, getting older. If true, “wonder drug” could also be an understatement.

What is Metformin?

gave History of metformin Goes back tons of of years. In Europe, the medicinal herb Galega officinalis was popular for treating digestive health and urinary problems and other ailments. In 1918, a scientist discovered that considered one of its components, guanidine, could lower blood sugar. Guanidine-containing drugs, equivalent to metformin and phenformin, were developed to treat diabetes. But they fell out of favor attributable to serious negative effects brought on by phenformin, and the invention of insulin.

Metformin was rediscovered a long time later and was approved as a treatment for diabetes in Europe within the Nineteen Fifties. It wasn't until 1995 that the FDA approved it to be used within the United States. It has since develop into probably the most prescribed drug for individuals with diabetes who cannot control their blood sugar through weight loss plan and exercise alone.

The advantages of metformin may extend beyond diabetes.

For a long time we've known that metformin does greater than just help lower blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. It also offers them. Cardiovascular benefitsIncluding a lower death rate attributable to heart disease. And it sometimes helps individuals with diabetes lose extra weight.

Metformin also has health advantages for individuals who would not have diabetes. Doctors have long prescribed it off-label — that's, to treat conditions outside of its approved use, including:

  • Pre-diabetes. People with prediabetes have elevated blood sugar that is just not yet high enough to qualify as diabetes. May be metformin. Delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. In individuals with prediabetes.
  • Information diabetes. Pregnant women may experience a rise in blood sugar which returns to normal after delivery. Metformin can assist. Control blood sugar during pregnancy. In such women
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This disorder affects young women who develop multiple cysts of their ovaries. Menstrual irregularities and fertility problems are common. Although the outcomes of clinical studies are mixed, Metformin has been prescribed for years. To help with menstrual regulation, fertility, and blood sugar for girls with PCOS.
  • Weight gain from antipsychotic drugs. Antipsychotics are powerful drugs prescribed for psychotic disorders equivalent to schizophrenia. A standard side effect is important weight gain. May be metformin. Weight loss in some people taking these drugs.

In addition, researchers are investigating the potential of metformin.

Because nearly all of research on metformin involved only individuals with diabetes or prediabetes, it's unclear whether these potential advantages are limited to individuals with these conditions, or people without Diabetes may profit.

What about negative effects?

The safety profile for metformin is kind of good. Side effects include nausea, stomach upset, or diarrhea. They are light. More serious negative effects are rare. These include severe allergic reactions and a condition. Lactic acidosis, the buildup of lactic acid within the bloodstream. People with significant kidney disease are at higher risk, so doctors avoid prescribing metformin for them.

The bottom line

According to current diabetes guidelines, metformin is the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. It is comparatively inexpensive and its potential negative effects are well understood.

If you will have diabetes and want metformin to assist lower your blood sugar, its other potential health advantages outweigh the surprising — not harmful — negative effects. And when you would not have diabetes? Well, its role in stopping or treating diseases, and possibly slowing aging and increasing life expectancy, is far less clear.

While the research thus far is promising, we'd like more compelling evidence before we will endorse its widespread use in people without diabetes. But, for medical researchers hoping to repurpose an old drug as a brand new wonder drug, metformin looks as if a fantastic place to begin.

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