Surprising Side Effects Of Metformin

Having type 2 diabetes means monitoring your blood sugar, paying close attention to what you eat, and dealing with unpleasant side effects. It stems from your body's inability to use insulin correctly to keep blood sugar levels under control, and it can slowly do dangerous and long-lasting damage. While there are several effective ways to keep type 2 diabetes under control, one of the most common drugs used to treat it is Metformin. And while many people don't have problems taking the medication, some of the side effects of Metformin can be unexpected.

Type 2 diabetes does not have many obvious symptoms. It can, however, cause major problems like skin infections, vision issues, sexual difficulty, and kidney damage (via Prevention). If not managed well, it can eventually lead to kidney failure and cardiac arrest. As scary as those side effects and outcomes sound, many of them can be avoided by working to manage the disease. When combined with a healthy diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes, Metformin can help increase your body's response to insulin to help reduce blood glucose levels and help your body process food into energy more efficiently (via MedlinePlus). Metformin is taken orally and is taken with food. Other medical issues and drugs can be dangerous when combined with Metformin, or may make side effects worse.

These signs could mean a life-threatening problem

Metformin can cause side effects that are similar to those brought on by many other medications. Stomach upset, decreased appetite, sleepiness, and diarrhea are all common when using this drug (via Mayo Clinic). But be especially aware of less common side effects like blurred vision, irregular heartbeat, slurred speech, loss of strength, and other more-serious issues that can occur on Metformin. If you've been taking the same dose of Metformin for several days or weeks, you should no longer be having stomach issues. If they do return, it could be a sign of a dangerous condition called lactic acidosis (via WebMD).

Lactic acidosis can show up quickly and the symptoms are usually severe (via Mayo Clinic). If you notice that you suddenly have fast, shallow breathing, abdominal discomfort, muscle pains, and weakness, among other serious symptoms, it's important to get emergency medical attention immediately. This could be an indication that a dangerous underlying condition such as kidney failure or a heart attack is occurring. Paying close attention to your body while taking Metformin can help you avoid serious outcomes and put you on the path to successfully managing your type 2 diabetes.