Can you get off Metformin?
For many people with Type 2 Diabetes, one of the major motivators to improving their health is that they want to get off of their medications.
Depending on the complications and medications that the patient is on, that can be fairly straightforward, or somewhat more challenging, but in the majority of cases it comes down to losing weight and lowering blood sugar.
Today we will explore what it takes to get off Metformin and once again start living a regular life, drug free.
First of all - what is Metformin?
Metformin is the single most common drug prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes.
It's important to note that metformin does not treat diabetes or the underlying cause, it simply treats the symptoms - namely it can help to reduce blood sugar levels.
Metformin can lower blood sugar in a variety of ways, but over time can also be damaging to the kidneys and liver.
How do you stop taking Metformin?
While Metformin can be an effective and useful part of an overall diabetes management program, there are instances in which it is generally considered safe to stop taking it.
The most obvious, of course, is when your diabetes is under control.
This typically occurs in conjunction with weight loss occurring from changes to diet and exercise.
The metrics to consider
The most important marker for diabetics - and therefore the marker most strongly considered when deciding if it is safe to de-prescribe medication, is A1C.
A1C is an indicator of blood sugar, generally taken over a three month period.
If your A1 is under 7%, and you have been consistently taking steps to improve your health, such as changing your diet or exercising regularly, then you may be in a good position to talk to your doctor about stopping your medication regimen.
He or she will probably also want to see that your fasting glucose is under 130mg/dL, and that it never gets above 180, even after a meal.
If all these criteria are met, you could be a good candidate to stop taking Metformin.
That being said, you'll need to continue to improve your health if you want to stay off of prescription drugs. If you fall off and go back to your old lifestyle, your numbers will go back up and you'll need to get back on your medications.
It's absolutely possible to get off of your diabetes medications.
By improving your health through lifestyle adjustments it is possible to lower blood sugar and A1C, and get off of prescription medications.
The key to staying off of them, unsurprisingly, is to keep improving your health and maintaining your new lifestyle.