Although diabetes cannot be cured, early detection of this disease allows the blood sugar levels of people with diabetes to be controlled. The goal of diabetes treatment is to maintain a balance of blood sugar levels and minimize the risk of complications.
Maintaining a balance of blood sugar levels can be done by applying a healthy diet or regular exercise.
However, sometimes it can't just do that. You might also need rock medication to treat it. There are several types of drugs that can be used for people who have type 2 diabetes. One of the drugs that are often consumed by diabetes is metformin.
Metformin is a drug used to control high blood sugar. Metformin works by reducing the sugar content that the liver delivers into the bloodstream and makes the body more responsive to insulin. This is the first drug that is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. Just as with other types of drugs metformin has side effects in its long-term use. Then what are the side effects of metformin that you need to know? Here's the explanation.
Long-term side effects of metformin
Although rare, lactic acidosis has the potential to be the most serious side effect of metformin. Lactic acidosis is a buildup of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal. Metformin can produce large amounts of lactic acid. This can inhibit certain disorders which then force the body's cells to carry out anaerobic metabolism (the process of forming energy that does not use oxygen).
Well, lactic acid is a product of anaerobic metabolism which will make the blood pH more acidic. If the level is very high it can cause damage or failure of the functions of various organs of the body.
Because the kidneys produce the results of metformin drug metabolism, kidney damage in any case will cause increased levels of metformin in the blood so that there will be an increase in lactic acid. This is the reason why metformin is generally only prescribed for people with healthy kidney function.
These side effects have the potential to be deadly and if you experience any symptoms, you should contact a doctor immediately. Lactic acidosis can occur slowly and worsen with time. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as:
- Muscle pain or feeling weak
- Numbness or cold feeling in the hands and feet
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling dizzy, head spinning, tired, and very weak.
- Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
- Slow or irregular heartbeat
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Taking long-term metformin causes a decrease in vitamin B12 levels. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause significant health risks because this vitamin is important for carrying out DNA functions, red blood cell production, and other biochemical functions in the body.
Reduced vitamin B12 in the blood can cause megoblastic anemia, where the bone marrow cannot produce red blood cells adequately. Although this type of anemia is not common, it can occur due to a lack of vitamin B12 as a side effect of metformin in the long term.
In addition, vitamin B12 deficiency may also cause complications of small blood vessels and peripheral nerve disorders in the body. This causes side effects such as finger tingling, fatigue, muscle pain, and forgetfulness.
To increase vitamin B12 levels in the body, you can eat foods that are rich in sources of vitamin B12 such as beef, chicken, eggs, fish, red meat, green leafy vegetables and beans.
Other metformin side effects
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Stomach pain
- Cough and hoarseness.
- Lemas and sleepiness
The body of each person is different, so the response to this metformin drug will also vary. In other words, the various side effects of metformin mentioned above are not fixed prices that will certainly appear.
Your doctor will consider which risks are greater, the risk of metformin side effects or the risk of dangerous diabetes complications. Therefore, always consult your condition and any changes you feel after taking this medicine to your doctor.
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