Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control diabetes. It helps in treating high blood sugar due to type 2 diabetes. Metformin helps to restore your body’s response to the insulin you produce naturally. It also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb. Some doctors even use this drug as part of a combination therapy. This means you need to take it with other medicines. However, lifestyle intervention and weight loss are more effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. A case in point is below.
In a trial in 2014, some diabetic patients were assigned to metformin 850 mg twice daily. Another group received a placebo intervention [Ref]. Lifestyle changes included a low-fat, low-calorie diet, and 15 minutes of moderate exercise every day. The lifestyle group saw a greater reduction in diabetes incidence at 27%, compared to 18% in the metformin group. The results concluded that lifestyle changes — comprising diet and exercise — are superior to metformin for prevention of diabetes.
What You Can Do
You can successfully lower the dosage of metformin and simultaneously control blood sugar without medication by making lifestyle changes such as:
- Lose weight
- Workout for at least 60 minutes every day
- Reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Know how to manage type 2 diabetes.
- Modify your diabetes diet to include low-glycemic carbohydrates
- Stop smoking and use of tobacco in any form
- If you want to reduce diabetes complications, either drink less alcohol or quit drinking
Also, it’s important to get support. A dietitian, personal trainer, or family can improve your chances of sticking with these healthy habits.