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Metformin is a really popular medication for treating Type II diabetes. It is also sometimes prescribed for people with LADA Diabetes or Type 1 diabetes, to be used along with insulin. The idea is that it may reduce the amount of insulin required. It doesn’t treat the root cause of LADA or Type 1 diabetes. The root cause is that the pancreas is not producing (enough) insulin. With LADA diabetes, sometimes the pancreas still is producing some insulin, but not a normal amount.
Metformin has a couple of mechanisms of action. One thing it does is that it reduces the liver’s production of glucose, and thereby it may make your glucose numbers better. It also reduces insulin resistance, so it could make the insulin you have more effective.
In my case, metformin was the first medication prescribed for my diabetes. At the time, I don’t think my doctor knew that I had LADA/Type 1. (I was seeing a family doctor who didn’t specialize in diabetes.) LADA is often misdiagnosed as Type II. Metformin is cheap and I was happy that it did help my blood glucose. It took about a month to see my fasting glucose numbers improve (YES it can take time!), but metformin combined with a low carb diet worked to treat me diabetes for the first year. Over time, however, my pancreas’ insulin production got even less, and metformin no longer worked for me.
BUT, back when it did work for me, I also got LOW BLOOD GLUCOSE (hypoglycemia) from the metformin!! Or, at least, it seemed that the metformin was contributing to the issue. I was especially prone to it after exercising…
So, this blog post is to tell you, YES metformin might work at first, but also, it MIGHT cause low blood glucose, despite this not supposed to be an issue!
If you find that Metformin isn’t working for you, I recommend that you talk to an Endocrinologist about getting tested to see if you have an autoimmune form of diabetes like LADA or Type 1. If so, the treatment you really need is insulin!